Summer Break for Ginetta GT5 Challenge Team's Leaders Elite Motorsport

Ginetta GT5 Challenge
August 13, 2021

2018 Season

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


Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge Teams Championship leaders Elite Motorsport and its drivers now have a six-week summer break prior to the next rounds of the series at Croft.

In the Driver’s standings, Will Aspin and John Bennett remain second and third respectively, Harley Haughton moves up to seventh in GT5 Pro while Harry Mangion jumps from fifth to second in GT5 Am with Karim Sekkat third following the latest races at Snetterton (7-8 Aug). Elite’s sextet accumulated 11 podium overall/class placings – including five wins – five front row starts – consisting of two class pole-positions – plus six fastest race laps in the three races on “home turf”.

Qualifying on Saturday morning was staged in wet conditions, that progressively worsened, but resulted in a very good session for the Elite runners. Bennett recorded his second “pole” of the season for Race 1 along with a front row start for Race 2, (a driver’s second fastest lap making up the Race 2 grid). Aspin recorded two third place starts, Haughton two fourths – his best start positions of the campaign, Sekkat an “Am pole” for Race 1 – Karim’s best quali run – and a Race 2 “Am pole” for the returning Mangion in Race 2, his fourth of the season having missed the previous Donington event. Due to Saturday’s programme of races over-running, unusually all three GT5 races were staged on Sunday making for a very hectic day for both drivers and team members. 

Aspin, who had celebrated his 17th birthday since the last Donington Park event, recovered well from 16th to ninth at the chequered flag in Race 1. Lying second early on, Will was unceremoniously spun out of third place on lap three in the opener but took the chequered flag first in Race 2. However, Will later received a one place penalty for gaining an unfair advantage following minimal contact with another car when he took the lead two laps from home, demoting him to a second place in the final classification. 

Aspin, slow away from the front row in the wet Race 3, had a moment at mid-distance as the rain intensified, dropping from third to fifth, but came back to record his 11th podium finish from 13 races with third place. 

Bennett, who led brilliantly from start to finish in Race 1 to record his fourth win of the season, had to settle for third in Race 2 – despite leading in the closing stages – after a race-long combat featuring plenty of skirmishes for the leading contenders, his Ginetta lacking straight line pace. John was challenging for his second victory of the race weekend but spun out of second place on the slippery track at Riches on the last lap of Race 3 when dicing for the lead, coming home eighth along with the fastest lap.

Haughton claimed his best result of the season with fourth place in Race 1. Harley set his three quickest race laps on the final three laps as his new tyres reached their optimum temperature – including the race’s actual fastest race lap by a staggering 0.329secs over the next quickest car. Seventh and fastest race lap again was all Harley had to show from a hard fought Race 2, having run P3 on lap seven, but ran wide damaging his car’s rear bodywork. In Race 3, Haughton was sixth early on but spun down to 12th, taking the chequered flag 10th.

Mangion swept serenely to three very strong “Am” class wins and two fastest “Am” race laps while Sekkat, the fastest “AM” in each of Friday’s test sessions, recovered brilliantly to third in class in Race 1. Having started from “pole”, Karim was turned around by another car at Agostini but resiliently fought back from the back of the “Am” category to third. Battling for his seventh “Am” podium, Sekkat went for third on the last lap at Montreal in Race 2 but locked up and made contact with his rival, lifting the bonnet and limping home seventh. In Race 3, a second lap spin saw Karim come home sixth.  

Peter Dilnot equalled his best results of the G40 Am season with a brace of third places in Races 1 and 2 before scoring his maiden class victory, a great drive in difficult conditions giving Peter a very comfortable win and fastest class race lap. The next two Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge races will be held at Croft over 18-19 September – the penultimate event of the 18-race season. 

Eddie Ives, Team Owner & Manager:

“We’ve now a break in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge which gives us and our drivers the chance to reflect on the season to date before we go to Croft and then Donington Park for the final five races.

“Will and John continued their title challenges at Snetterton last weekend. Both showed excellent speed and fought for victories in each race. Harley’s pace is improving with every event and is knocking on the door of scoring his first podium.

“Harry returned to the series in style after being forced to miss the previous event and is right back in GT5 Am title contention. It was great to see Karim get Am pole for Race 1 but he had some bad luck in the races. He remains up there in the standings.

“And it was a pleasure to see Peter claim a G40 Am win along with two other podiums at Snett. All of our guys put in quality performances in very difficult [weather] conditions.”