Xentek Motorsport returned to winning ways in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge with a stunning victory hat-trick at Snetterton (17/18 June), with Ella Lloyd and Luke Garlick sharing the spoils to kick off the second half of the season.
After recording a sensational total of 34 GT5 class podium finishes over the opening four events of the year, the South Yorkshire squad built on their impressive trophy haul in Norfolk as they moved one step closer to successfully retaining their GT5 Pro drivers’ title.
Sam Harvey kicked off the weekend with a brilliant first pole position in the series, leading a one-two-three for the team from Lloyd and Garlick. While he unfortunately dropped back to fourth through the race, Lloyd led every lap in style and took the win ahead of Garlick.
Lloyd worked her way up into the lead early in race two and produced a composed drive to soak up pressure and score her sixth win of the season. Garlick survived an unfortunate off-track moment to finish third, with Harvey rounding out the top five.
The final race was the most exciting of the weekend, with the top four GT5 cars running as one group throughout the race. Lloyd led for a number of laps before a smart move at Nelson corner netted Garlick his fifth win of the year, with Lloyd completing another Xentek one-two as Harvey finished close behind in fourth.
Unfortunately missing from the headline GT Pro class of the Ginetta GT Championship was Conner Garlick, with the Donington Park race-winner electing to sit out the remainder of the season to instead focus on some exciting race plans for 2024 with Xentek Motorsport.
Stepping up to the GT Pro class meanwhile was Bal Sidhu, following his tremendous success in the GT5 Am category over the first half of the season. With limited running in his new G56 GTP car, the weekend provided a steep learning curve.
Sidhu tackled the challenge head on and showed some great progress across the event. Qualified eighth in class, he went on to replicate that result in the opening two races and beat drivers with more experience with the car in the process, before unfortunately not finishing the final encounter.
In the Ginetta GT Academy, Paul Livesey enjoyed one of his strongest weekends to date. A brilliant drive in an action-packed opener saw him match his seasons’ best fourth place finish in the GTA class, which he followed up with fifth and sixth place results on Sunday as he also made two visits to the Chairmans Cup podium.
Felix Livesey made a tremendous start to the opening Ginetta Junior race, gaining six places to tenth on the opening lap alone, though a tough race from there ended in retirement. More promising pace in race two netted a 16th place, before he enjoyed his best result in the last outing as he battled for the top ten once again en-route to 14th.
Christopher Richards – Team Principal: “It was a great feeling to see our drivers back on the top step of the GT5 Challenge podium. Ella and Luke both drove superbly to share the wins and carry on their title charges, while Sam put in a perfect qualifying lap and we’re gutted the races didn’t go his way.
“It was a big challenge for Bal coming in to GT Pro with limited running of the car, but he took on the challenge and made some fantastic progress. Paul was great, with good pace and consistency across the three races to finish in the top six in class and grab a couple more trophies.
“Felix is due some good luck soon, as once again he showed he has the speed and the racecraft to be battling for the top ten before hitting trouble. Overall, it’s been another really enjoyable weekend of racing and we’re now excited for a bit of a summer break before we come back at Cadwell Park.”
After three Ginetta events in the last four weeks, the calendar now features a welcome five-week summer break before the action resumes with a trip to Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire (22/23 July).