Kellett Secures GT5 Title at Donington as Bird Shines


Credit: JEP / Ginetta

It was a weekend to remember for James Kellett. The Ginetta GT5 Challenge title and ending the season with a win left the Century Motorsport delighted with his result.

Going into the Donington Park weekend, Kellett had been all but handed the title after closest rival Shane Stoney did not enter, but it didn’t take away from the Yorkshire drivers efforts earlier in the season.

The stand out performer from the weekend had been Max Bird, completing a sweep of wins for the Century team as a second place at the end of the weekend secured him fourth in the standings. Podiums for Alex Toth-Jones and Ashley Marshall was especially delightful for the latter who picked up his first silverware of the year.

In the AM Cup, it would be Lee Frost who took the title after victory in the final race.

QUALIFYING

Pole: James Kellett – Century Motorsport

James Kellett took to the top of the times after dominating the session. Alex Toth-Jones was his closest rival by the mid-session stage but soon pitted, with Max Bird ending the session in second. No-one could stop Kellett though, with Bird the only driver within half a second.

The biggest shock came from Geri Nicosia, as the only remaining championship contender he needed a strong qualifying, but failed to make the most of the opportunity, dropping to fourteenth. Gordon Mutch was best of the rest in third, edging out Morgan Quinn, Ryan Hadfield and Carlito Mircanno as Toth-Jones fell to seventh.

Max Bird won two out the three races at Donington Park, ending the season in style (Credit: JEP / Ginetta)

RACE 1

Max Bird – Century Motorsport

A disastrous start for Max Bird from the front row ensured it would be a clean getaway for James Kellett with Alex Toth-Jones and a queue on nine cars chasing him down. That queue soon swallowed up the Richardson Racing driver again giving Kellett a moment of breathing space.

Gordon Mutch and Bird would take over the charge on Kellett as the top three broke away. Bird though had the momentum, picking off both and taking the lead with two laps to go. Bird took the flag from Mutch, but in third Kellett confirmed the title, a delight for the Century Motorsport driver.

Ryan Hadfield remained out of trouble to secure fourth ahead of Carlito Mircanno and Toth-Jones, who was given a five second penalty. This meant the top eight would be completed by Matt Rainbow and Geri Nicosia.

RACE 2

Winner: Max Bird – Century Motorsport

Off the line, contact between Matt Rainbow and Katie Milner spun the latter in the first corner, sending ten cars to the gravel and a chain reaction behind resulted in Charlie Digby, Paul McGarthy and Gus Bowers all adding to the retirement list, resulting in a safety car. Elsewhere, Gordon Mutch was also spun, dropping him to the back.

Max Bird led the field away on the restart, but could not shake James Kellett with the new champion hounding the eventual winner until the line. Alex Toth-Jones remained out of trouble to take the final podium position.

Behind them, Geri Nicosia took fourth, holding off a late challenge from Carlito Mircanno. The story of the race though came from Matt Palmer, taking sixth after starting 21st.

Ashley Marshall (#29) led the early stages in the final race, eventually dropping to second place after a last lap overtake from Kellett. (Credit: JEP / Ginetta)

RACE 3

Winner: James Kellett – Century Motorsport

While all the cars made it through the opening corner, the green flag racing would not last long as Lucky Khera lost the back-end of his car at the chicane, spinning into the middle of the track before being collected by Matt Rainbow. Will Dyrdal would collect Rainbow, bringing out the red flag.

After a delay, Ashley Marshall led the field away as Sebastian Arenram attempted to hold on for a maiden podium. Not content with winning the championship, James Kellett scythed his way through the order, overtaking Marshall at the hairpin on the final lap to finish the season in style. Marshall would lead home Max Bird for his best result of the year.

Behind them, Arenram lost a place to Bird on the closing lap after a failed move on Kellett, costing him a podium, while Geri Nicosia, who had been leading after the first start settled for fifth and second in the championship. Rounding out the top eight was Matt Palmer, Connor O’Brien and Carlito Mircanno.