Ginetta GT5 Challenge

Kellett Keeps his Cool for GT5 Rockingham Double

3 Mins read
Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

James Kellett came away from the Rockingham Motor Speedway with two victories and the overall Ginetta GT5 Challenge championship lead. The Century Motorsport driver seemed almost untouchable throughout the weekend, only losing out in the final reverse grid race to Geri Nicosia.

Alex Toth-Jones was arguably the closest competition to Kellett, finishing second in the first two races. Scott McKenna and Shane Stoney both picked up a third place each as they spent the weekend battling with Connor O’Brien for the final podium places.

They were denied in the final race though, as an incredible defensive display saw Morgan Quinn hang on to take home silverware. Also picking up a trophy

Qualifying

Pole: Scott McKenna – HHC Motorsport

It was Max Bird who set the early pace as the session got underway. Sadly for the Century Motorsport driver, he would soon be pushed down as O’Brien took the initiative at the front with Shane Stoney narrowly behind. The two-way fight soon added another driver to the line-up as James Kellett snatched pole with a few minutes remaining.

As the flag dropped though it was a last-minute lap from Scott McKenna who took pole and thus demoted Kellett, Stoney and O’Brien who had pitted two minutes before the end. Alex Toth-Jones and Bird completed the top six.

It was close between the top eight all weekend at Rockingham (Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

Race 1

Winner: James Kellett – Century Motorsport

James Kellett made a strong start, but mostly benefitted from a dire opening lap for polesitter Scott McKenna who was demoted to fourth. Also benefitting was Alex Toth-Jones with the leading pair soon breaking away from third place Connor O’Brien.

Further back all eyes were on Shane Stoney and Charlie Digby as they picked off the cars one-by-one. Digby had started twenty-first while Stoney had been third, but with Stoney, the Oulton Park’s race winner, struggling in the opening laps, he was fortunate to recover to fifth by the chequered flag.

Over the line, it was Kellett who hung on, 1.6 seconds ahead of the challenging Toth-Jones. Behind them, McKenna recorded a podium place after overtaking O’Brien at the mid-race point. He eventually pulled out a gap of seven seconds to the Optimum Motorsport driver who was focused on the queue behind in the closing laps.

Stoney would finish top of the challengers in fifth ahead of Digby and Max Bird, while Morgan Quinn managed to recover to take eighth place at the line.

Race 2

Winner: James Kellett – Century Motorsport

Winning the opening race was the perfect tonic for Kellett who knew he could take the championship lead with a strong finish in race two. It wasn’t going to be easy though as Alex Toth-Jones took the lead around the outside of the Deene Hairpin on the opening lap.

Kellett fought back though, retaking the place before the first lap had been completed. This would not please Shane Stoney, who after starting fourth was frustrated to have not disposed of Scott McKenna in the opening half. With nine minutes to go, he finally got the move completed, chasing the top two.

Further back, Charlie Digby’s storm through the order saw him come to blows with Max Bird, spinning the Century car. Bird would later spin on his own, this time a Deene, but it was the beached Carlito Miracco that ensured the corner was yellow flagged for the final three laps.

Kellett was nowhere near as dominant, but still crossed the line ahead of Toth-Jones and Stoney, with the three drivers split by under a second. As for McKenna he followed them home closely in fourth. The battle for fifth would go to final lap as Connor O’Brien held off Geri Nicosia, who himself lost a place to Digby in the closing stages. Morgan Quinn was once again eighth.

Geri Nicosia took victory in the final race of the weekend (Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

Race 3

Winner: Geri Nicosia – Optimum Motorsport

A blistering start from both Alex Toth-Jones and James Kellett saw them fight for third, both gaining four places. Meanwhile, GT5 race winner Geri Nicosia leapfrogged Morgan Quinn on the start, allowing himself to break away as Quinn set about defending his second place from the championship leaders.

Before too long, the remainder of the front-runners; Connor O’Brien, Shane Stoney and Scott McKenna joined the train for second. Kellett did find a way through, but it proved the challenge of the race for those behind, as a number of cars swapped positions to all attack Quinn and his final podium place.

Kellett would close the gap to the leader, but it proved to be futile as Nicosia crossed the line to take the flag just over a second from the points leader. Quinn would hang on to third, benefitting from a spin behind.

Going into Tarzan’s on the final lap, McKenna who had been running fourth, was spun by O’Brien. The move allowed Katie Milner to jump up to fourth as O’Brien took fifth from Stoney and Toth-Jones. The top 8 was rounded out by Max Bird after starting eighteenth.

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