After being on course to win all the races at Brands Hatch, the Ginetta GT5 Challenge Championship leader Ollie Chadwick started his weekend in fine style, taking pole and then victory in another dominant performance around the Thruxton circuit. The battle for second caught many people’s attention, allowing Chadwick to break away in the early stages.
It may have been a good start for Chadwick, but a poor start from the driver alongside on the front row; Matt Chapman allowed Ryan Hadfield and brother Jonathan, to get through into the first corner. As the three of them squabble over places on the opening lap Chadwick started getting away down the road.
Determined not to lose too much time, Chapman already looked to make the move at the end of the opening lap, getting space back as he drove around the outside of the Hadfield’s, but despite his best effort, was only able to get past Jonathan.
The race became that bit more difficult for Jonathan Hadfield as he slowed going through Church allowing Ian Robinson into fourth with Nick Zapolski following behind. Luckily for Hadfield, it appeared to be only a wrong gear selection as he was quickly up to speed a few corners later.
The battle for second intensified as Chapman finally managed to take second from Ryan Hadfield. Just behind them, Zapolski was forced to back off into the chicane as Robinson ran wide allowing Jonathan into fifth. There was a big gap to Jack Minshaw who was clearly struggling for pace, holding off Matt Flowers in the process.
Jonathan Hadfield used his momentum to catch Robinson, giving a little nudge as the privateer got back his fourth place that he’d lost at the start. With only one remaining front runner left behind him, Robinson started dropping off slightly from the rest of the pack.
Further back, Flowers took seventh from Minshaw as the twenty-six-year-old defended too hard into the club chicane, running wide. Chadwick started backing off, allowing the others catch slightly but it soon became clear he was just maintaining the gap, preserving his tyres for Sunday.
Zapolski finally made the most of the opportunity, demoting Robinson, as the Am driver continued to dice for a number of laps. After catching up, Jonathan easily made his way past Ryan, but things went from bad to worse as Ryan Hadfield outbraked himself running off into the barrier. He dropped right down the order, but was able to keep the engine going, eventually finishing tenth.
While Chapman may have caught up in the final few laps, Chadwick was content with managing his tyres, winning by only 2.3 seconds. After Ryan’s crucial mistake, brother Jonathan took the final podium place, as Zapolski and Robinson completed the top five.
After a fairly quiet race, away from the battle for second, Flowers beat Minshaw into sixth place as a fairly impressive run from Alex Toth-Jones saw him round out the top eight.