Elite Heads to GT5 Challenge Finale with Narrow Team's Lead

Ginetta GT5 Challenge
September 28, 2021

2018 Season

The calendar, dates and everything you need to know about the new season


The final three races in this year’s Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge take place at Donington Park next month (16-17 Oct) with Elite Motorsport heading to Leicestershire with a slender one-point lead advantage in the Teams’ standings.

Elite’s GT5 “Pro” trio of John Bennett, Will Aspin and Harley Haughton lie second, third and seventh while Harry Mangion now leads the GT5 “Am” title race again with Karim Sekkat retaining third. 

In the last event at Croft (18-19 Sep) Bennett, who celebrated his 18th birthday recently (15 Sep), recorded the fourth fastest time for both races but a penalty from the previous race meant John started Race 1 ninth. He worked his way up well from 10th to record sixth and followed that up with fifth on Sunday afternoon together with fastest race lap – results that helped John leapfrog team-mate Aspin in the championship standings. Amazingly, Croft marked the first time Bennett had not been on the podium during a race weekend in over a year.    

Aspin experienced a highly disappointing event that began with being unable to find a clear, traffic-free lap in qualifying which left him frustrated with eighth and 13th place starts, coming away with hard-earned seventh and 10th race finishes, blunting his title challenge. 

Croft “rookie” Haughton started seventh for both races but after a good start in Race 1, was squeezed out of fourth place in a racing incident on the opening lap, coming home an unlucky 17th. In the second race, Harley did well to avoid a spinning car that hit a tyre stack at Turn 3 bringing out a Red Flag, Haughton taking to the grass in avoidance to record ninth.

Elite’s GT5 Am duo scored three podiums. Mangion began Race 1 from class pole but had to be content with second place – just 0.497secs behind the class winner and replicated that in Race 2 despite being pushed off the road at the start and having to nurse his damaged car home. These two results earned Harry the class lead he lost back in July due to being forced to miss three races. Sekkat endured a character building event, delayed by a variety of issues that began in qualifying and affected both races. Karim nevertheless posted fifth and then third together with recording the fastest GT5 Am lap on Sunday.

Eddie Ives, Team Owner & Manager

“Croft was a pretty difficult weekend for us in terms of our GT5 Pro trio which makes the Teams’ title race pretty interesting as we head to the final three races with us just one-point ahead!

“John, Will and Harley all had unusually difficult weekends with just two top-six placings between them, both scored by John which helped him move ahead of Will who had his worst weekend of the season with a seventh place high. Harley meanwhile was just plain unlucky.    

“While our GT5 Pro contenders had a tough weekend, our Am pairing of Harry and Karim overcame issues to post some solid results. Harry retook the Am championship lead with two runners-up placings while Karim came through a variety of problems to record a podium himself."