Xentek Motorsport have become 10-time Ginetta champions after completing a sensational 2023 season with no less than three championship successes to their name; securing the inaugural GT Championship teams’ crown and both the GT5 Challenge Pro and Am drivers’ titles with Luke Garlick and Bal Sidhu respectively.
While the teams’ and GT5 Am honours were secured in advance of the final round of the season at Donington Park this past weekend (21/22 October), the GT5 Pro champion would be decided during a nail-biting last three races as team-mates Garlick and Ella Lloyd battled it out for glory.
Garlick headed into the weekend with the upper hand in the standings once dropped scores were taken into consideration, however Lloyd remained firmly in contention and boosted her chances by topping the timesheets in qualifying in tricky wet conditions.
It was Garlick who went on to win the opener though and after a disappointing retirement in race two, he confirmed himself as champion in style with a brilliant charge from fifth on the grid to an eighth win of the season in the final race.
Lloyd impressively fought back from an off-track moment in race one to finish in second place, a result she replicated in the next one as she signed off the season as vice-champion with nine race victories and 17 podium finishes to her name.
Sam Harvey made it a perfect one-two-three for the team in the final GT5 points standings after enjoying his best weekend of the season. A podium hat-trick, taking his tally to 13 for the year, featured a superb maiden victory in race two.
Xentek Motorsport expanded to a three-car line-up in the headline GT Pro class for the final weekend, as four-time race-winner Blake Angliss joined the South Yorkshire team. He made a good impact in his G56 GT Pro, scoring a hard-fought pair of podium finishes on Sunday.
Returning to the scene of his maiden win back in May, Conner Garlick was on top form again. After posting the fastest lap of all in race one and just missing out on the podium in race two, he expertly guided his EU Tags-backed car to second position in the closer.
Sidhu finished off his half-season in the GT Pro class with three strong drives, taking a best result of sixth overall, while the highlight of the finale weekend for Phil McGarty in the GT Academy was a brilliant charge from 20th on the grid to 13th in race two.
Christopher Richards – Team Principal: “What a season! It’s been a typically action-packed year of Ginetta racing, with plenty of ups and downs along the way, so to end it with three championship titles to our name is a simply incredible feeling.
“This success is a testament to the hard work and dedication of every single member of our team, who have put in plenty of long days and late nights to give our drivers the fast and reliable race cars they deserve. They then went out there and did the business on track, which has been shown with the Teams’ title.
“We’re over the moon for Luke to win the GT5 Pro title. He’s developed so much as a driver in his time with us and he pieced together a really consistent season, full of podium finishes. Ella was equally as impressive across the year and she should be very proud of her achievements.
“Sam has been determined to get a race win all season and we’re delighted it came together for him this weekend, getting him third in the points also. Bal got the points on the board early in the season to win GT5 Am and has since made some brilliant progress in the GT Pro.
“To sign off the GT Pro season with podium finishes for both Conner and Blake is great, and both deserved their trophies. All in all, we’re so happy with what we have achieved this year across both our Ginetta and Porsche programmes, and we’re looking forward to seeing what 2024 brings for us.”
Images from Jakob Ebrey Photography.