Stoney Closes in After Scorching Spa GT5 Weekend


Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography / Ginetta

Shane Stoney came away with the largest points haul from the Ginetta GT5 Challenge at Spa-Francorchamps. The Quattro Motorsport driver collected pole and a win, before being denied the double by rival James Kellett on the final lap of race two.

With the GT5 and G40 Cup both in action at the same time, Spa-Francorchamps witnessed the largest grids of the year as 59 cars entered the weekend. Kellett’s poor first race had given Stoney the advantage, but the 23-year-old had had to withstand the pressure from Geri Nicosia, the only other driver to pick up a double podium.

Strong performances were also shown by Connor Grady, as the only other driver to collect silverware, while Matt Maxted put in his best performance of the year. In the Am class, Nick Halstead took a double victory.

QUALIFYING

Pole: Shane Stoney – Quattro Motorsport

The 59 car grid ensured track space was at a premium for many drivers, with G40’s proving a obstical for many. One such driver who failed to find a clean lap was James Kellett. The championship leader was 0.8 seconds off the pace on his quickest lap and as a result lines up ninth, as key rival Shane Stoney made the most of his early run to take pole with a time of 2min 50.237.

Stoney would be joined on the front row by Charlie Digby. Alongside Connor Grady in third, the pair knew that they had a golden chance to claim a special win around the legendary Spa, as Geri Nicosia completed the second row. Other drivers happy with their result were Brett Ward and Matt Maxted with their best qualifying of the year to complete the top six.

Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography / Ginetta

RACE 1

Winner: Shane Stoney – Quattro Motorsport

Shane Stoney kept the lead on the opening lap, as Geri Nicosia jumped up two places into Second, displacing Charlie Digby and Connor Grady. Sadly for Digby, a spin dropped him back into the midfield. His spin wasn’t the only drama though as a four car incident in the midfield class brought out the safety car.

After three laps of neutral conditions, Stoney led the field away again for a final two lap sprint to the line. Nicosia was not prepared to sit back, hounding the leader up the hill to Radillon.  Stoney was wise to pressure though, eventually holding on for his fourth win of the year.

Completing the podium would be Grady ahead of Matt Maxted, recording his best result of the year. The Privateer from Billericay had to work for his place as championship leader James Kellett followed him over the line after getting the better of Connor O’Brien, who finished sixth. Elsewhere, Nick Halstead won the GT5 Am class.

RACE 2

Winner: James Kellett – Century Motorsport

Despite two of the Ginetta’s now out of action after yesterdays incident, the now 57 car grid set off with Shane Stoney once again leading the field away. It would be a position he defended from James Kellett on the opening lap with the safety car coming out shortly afterwards after an incident between a group of G40’s.

As the race got back underway, Kellett was quick to react and after a lap of tussling around the Ardennes came out on top as the pair dragged their way to line, under a tenth of a second between them.

In third, Nicosia did not make the most of the restart, dropping to fifth. It would be a position he’d fight for though, as the final lap proved to be the highlight of the race with Connor Grady eventually succeeding the position to the Optimum Motorsport driver.

In the race for the podium, both Connor O’Brien and Ashley Marshall became victims of the action, crashing out on the final lap. This meant Matt Maxted inherited fifth from Max Bird. Further back it was another win for Nick Halstead in GT5 Am.