A strong weekend for Lewis Brown in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge saw the Junior graduate collect a double win, while new series leader Shane Stoney who won the first race at Silverstone, before collected two further podiums. The result sees Stoney take the championship lead by 3 points.
The weekend was marred slightly, when over twenty drivers were called to the stewards after race one for setting their fastest lap during a yellow flag period in race one, ensuring it became impossible to run race two on schedule until penalties had been sorted out.
Behind the winners, Oliver Wilkinson picked up pole position, but a disaster in the opening race ensured he would struggle throughout the weekend. Elsewhere, Simon Traves enjoyed a strong weekend with a double podium, as Ryan Hadfield and Max Bird also left with silverware during a weekend where GRDC+ cars were on track at the same time.
Pole: Oliver Wilkinson – Optimum Motorsport
Oliver Wilkinson in the #69 Optimum Motorsport Ginetta claimed an emphatic pole in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge Pro category, whilst Richard Evans sealed top spot in the Am class.
In the early exchanges, Shane Stoney set the pace, topping the timesheets from R & J Motorsport’s Ryan Hadfield before Simon Traves split the pairing.
Heading into the final five minutes, the battle for pole intensified, with Wilkinson in the #69 Optimum Motorsport Ginetta storming into first place ahead of Stoney with a 2:27:100.
Stoney was then bundled further down the order, dropping from second to fourth in the space of a minute, as Lewis Brown and Hadfield claimed second and third respectively in the final order. This left Traves to round out a top five covered by just under a second.
Winner: Shane Stoney – Richardson Racing
Race one began with pole-sitter Oliver Wilkinson being muscled out of the lead by Ryan Hadfield, with #39 Lewis Brown splitting the pairing at the end of the first lap. A spin through Brooklands corner however saw Brown plummet down the order, seeing Hadfield alone at the front ahead of Shane Stoney.
Stoney swept into the lead with five minutes left as Hadfield struggled to maintain his early race pace. Stoney immediately bridged a gap at the front, whilst Hadfield fell into the clutches of third placed Simon Traves.
The final lap was halted prematurely when the red flag waved after the GRDC+ #98 of Colin Plumb beached his Ginetta on the apex of Luffield corner, handing victory to Stoney.
The red flag ultimately helped saved Hadfield’s second place with Traves completing the podium. Behind them, Nick Zapolski took fourth with Brown and Luke Pinder completing the top six. Richard Evans won the AM class.
Winner: Lewis Brown – R & J Motorsports
Race two was postponed from its initial time slot of 9:35AM, following on from complications arising regarding the grid order, with a number of penalties handed out for incidents in race one.
The delayed race eventually got underway, with Shane Stoney starting on pole. Sadly he could not keep the position, losing the place to Ryan Hadfield and Lewis Brown in the opening lap.
Hadfield and Brown were quick to break away, with Stoney only just keeping in touch during the opening lap. Behind them, a strong start from Simon Traves had seen him take fourth, but would struggle to keep the edge over Luke Pinder.
With Pinder being shoved down the order, Nick Zapolski took the advantage to jump further up the order, eventually taking fourth and the fastest lap in clear air.
Hadfield’s tyres were wearing away in the second half and lost the lead to Brown, before a battle with Stoney and Zapolski over the podium place. Traves would later join the action with Hadfield clearly the cork in the Ginetta G40 bottle.
All of this meant it was a comfortable win for Brown, crossing the line over 1.5 seconds ahead of Stoney. Zapolski and Hadfield’s fight for the final podium place proved to be Traves gain, scoring the fastest lap and third overall.
Hadfield, Zapolski and Oliver Wilkinson completed the top six, after a quiet race for the latter, while Pinder dropped to seventh.
Winner: Lewis Brown – R & J Motorsport
A shaken up grid in the final race saw Angus Fender on pole, unsurprisingly being bundled down to fifth on the opening lap, with Luke Pinder clambering up into an early lead.
Pinder’s success was immediately shattered however, with the #67 privateer being awarded a 10 second penalty along with Fender for being out of position at the start.
Race two winner Lewis Brown muscled his way past lead car on the road Pinder, looking to bridge a gap between himself and fourth-placed Max Bird – the next driver on the road without an impending penalty. Behind them though, Shane Stoney was scything through the pack.
Heading onto the final lap, Brown tenaciously defended a late challenge from Stoney, holding on to claim race three honours in the GT5 category, while Bird completed the podium.
Behind them, Oliver Wilkinson took a commendable fourth, from Simon Traves and Katie Milner, who had started outside of the top ten.