One of the highlights of the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge season takes place this weekend as the grid heads to the Zandvoort circuit in the Netherlands for its annual overseas round. Almost 30 entries will contest the race around this tricky ‘old-school’ circuit, home of the Dutch F1 Grand Prix from 1948 to 1985. Stephen Errity looks at the grid.
Having won the first of the three races at Silverstone last time out, Shane Stoney currently holds a narrow lead of just three points in the championship, with 296 points to Lewis Brown’s 293. Brown took the other two victories up for grabs at Silverstone to leave the title fight finely poised ahead of the trip across the water.
A win at Rockingham earlier in the season and a run of consistent points finishes sees Ryan Hadfield third heading into Zandvoort, on 238 points but his absence from the even means Xentek’s Nick Zapolski (216) and Optimum Motorsport racer Ollie Wilkinson (205) have a shot at leapfrogging the young racer as they complete the top five points-scorers.
After two podium finishes at Silverstone, Xentek’s Simon Traves is sixth in the points, ahead of Max Bird (Century Motorsport), Katie Milner (Team OneCall) and Steven Wells (Optimum Motorsport). And looking to break into the top 10 overall in the standings with some good results this weekend will be the likes of Privateer Matt Palmer, Richard Evans (Quattro Motorsport), Adrian Campbell-Smith (Want2Race) and Angus Fender (GBR).
Following his guest appearance at the Thruxton round, 2016 GT5 Challenge champion Ollie Chadwick is back for more with Xentek Racing at Zandvoort, while Swedes Niclas Harbig and Robin Lassander - who contested the season opener at Oulton Park, make a return to the grid at Zandvoort. There’ll also be a third Swede on the grid in the shape of 2016 GT5 Challenge Sweden champion - Alexander Holmberg.
Completing the GT5 Challenge contingent making the trip overseas are Alex Toth-Jones (Richardson Racing), Sami Saarelainen (Century Motorsport), Jose Antonio Ledesma (Reflex Racing), Connor O’Brien (Optimum Motorsport), Andrew and Ashley Marshall (also Optimum), Nick Halstead (Fox Motorsport), Jonny Greenwood, Carlito Miracco, Morgan Quinn and Want2Race driver Mike Jarvis.