Elite Motorsport Aims for Third Consecutive Ginetta GT5 Challenge Team Title

Ginetta GT5 Challenge
February 3, 2022

2018 Season

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Elite Motorsport will bid for a third successive Ginetta GT5 Challenge Team Championship title with a four-car squad of drivers familiar to the Norfolk-based squad.

Elite’s GT5 regulars Harley Haughton, Harry Mangion and Karim Sekkat plus Will Jenkins, who steps up from Elite’s Ginetta Juniors, will strive for title honours in this year’s series.

Haughton joined Elite last year for his first year out of karting. Having won the 2014 MBKC Honda Cadet and 2016 NKF Honda Cadet Championships, Harley claimed the 2019 MiniMax Super1 title, finished runner-up in the Minimax English Open and was a leading contender for the British title the same year.

He ran at the front in the British Junior Rotax Championship in 2020, and also contested some BNL and European Championship events in the Senior Max class. Harley, who scored over 70 podiums in karting, finished an excellent sixth overall in the GT5 Challenge having achieved 13 top-10 finishes with a best place finish of fourth overall (Snetterton) and competes this year in Pro.

Mangion began his motorsport career late, missing out on third place in the novice-only 2019 Ginetta GRDC Series by just five-points. He achieved two podiums including a victory (Brands Hatch), in what amounted to an eight-race motor racing career prior to last season, Harry taking a sojourn in 2020.

Harry claimed the GT5 Challenge Am title in truly fantastic style last year. Having achieved six Am podiums – including three wins – from the opening three events, he led the Am championship but was forced to miss the next event (three races at Donington) having to self-isolate after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for Covid. But a further seven podiums in the remaining races – including four victories – saw Mangion, who graduates to the Pro category this season, deservedly claim the Am title.

Sekkat, runner-up in the 2020 GT5 Am division after a year out in 2019, could consider himself very unfortunate to have only finished fourth in Am last year – dropping from third in the standings at the final event – harshly been disqualified in Race 1 – and having lay second at one stage during the season.

Whereas Karim scored five podium finishes, including one win (Silverstone) in ‘20, last year he achieved 13 Am top-six finishes including eight podiums, finishing second an incredible five times.  

2019 Ginetta Junior Scholarship Finalist Jenkins, who began his motorsport career in Motocross before moving into karts, was the 10th best-placed Rookie in the 2020 Junior series having impressively netted eight top-10s, including a fourth place (Knockhill) in his car racing debut year.

Last season, Will finished a fine fifth in the final Junior standings having lay second at one stage. He netted 13 top-six finishes, eight times standing on the podium, including one victory (Silverstone). After two seasons in the Junior category with Elite, he now heads for GT5. The 18-race Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge is scheduled to begin over 16-18 April at Oulton Park.

Harley Haughton (GB). Age 17. Born/Lives: Stockport, Greater Manchester (UK):

“Winning the championship is my aim. It's never easy and takes some luck but I believe we can do it. I had a great first year with Elite, they supported me and helped with excellent car preparation and race tuition. The foundations have been laid for me to be successful.

“Starting as the only novice in the Pro class last year was always going to be a tall order. I ran in the top-five or six pretty much with some fastest laps. It could have been better, and but for a dose of Covid before Croft, fourth would not have been out of reach. I am excited to see what I can do now I have some GT5 experience!”

Will Jenkins (GB). Age 17. Born: Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire (UK):

“I’m aware of the challenges I will face stepping up to GT5s but I am confident that with the help and support of both my partners and Elite Motorsport, my aim to win the overall title is achievable. I look forward to learning and adapting to the GT5 spec car and with the help of an extensive pre-season testing program I will be well prepared for the year ahead.

“After joining Elite ahead of last season, it was clear they’ve played a huge part in my development as a driver. The hard work of both the team and I was rewarded with a total of eight podiums, a win, pole-position plus three fastest laps – I finished 21 of the 25 races inside the top-10.  This, combined with Elite’s successful history in GT5 led me to the decision to continue with them as I progress to the next stage of my career.”

Harry Mangion (GB). Age 28. Born: Oxford, Oxfordshire (UK). Lives: London (UK):

“Moving up to the Pro class, my aims are to improve on my pace compared to other returning drivers. I hope to be consistently in the top-10 overall. Elite has a continued track record of success in Ginetta racing and their driver coaches really helped me to the Am title last year. They’re also a great bunch to be around!

“2021 was a huge eye opener for me. I probably underestimated how competitive the series is, and how much I had to learn. Coming from only four previous race weekends, it was a steep learning curve but I really enjoyed it. And winning the Am title, despite missing three of the 18 races was a huge achievement for me.”

Karim Sekkat (MA/D). Age 51. Born: Kiel (D). Lives: Oxford, Oxfordshire (UK):

“I feel I’ve not fully realised my potential in GT5 Am and I’m targeting the title – but whatever I do, ‘win or spin’, I intend to do in style! Elite is a good overall team with great coaches and mechanics. A good mix of experience and knowledge available for different drivers.

“My coaches underlined strong personal improvements in 2021 as a driver despite ending fourth. I achieved more podiums, pole-positions, fastest times in free practice, qualifications and races than in any other year. So whether we are looking at the technical side, pure pace or race craft, the needle is moving in the right direction. I have analysed what worked last year and what didn’t. 2022 will tell us whether any of it has equated to improvements on the track.”

Eddie Ives, Elite Motorsport Team Owner & Manager:

“Our aim is to retain the Teams’ championship title but also win the GT5 Driver’s Pro title for the first time having finished second in the latter for the past two years - we are determined to go one better!

“It’s fantastic to have our GT5 squad in place at the beginning of February and really pleased that all four drivers are continuing with Elite in 2022. Will and Harley should work well together and be a strong front running force and we’re targeting the Am title for Karim. Meanwhile reigning Am champion Harry is stepping up into the Pro class. I look forward to working closely with them all.”