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Nicosia Takes GT5 Challenge Win In Wet Knockhill Opener

Geri Nicosia took the opening win of the weekend at Knockhill today (12 August 2017) after a storming drive in the rain saw him fend of the championship leader to take victory in tricky conditions.
 
Simon Traves was the man to beat in qualifying setting the fastest time of the session (1:01.243s) on lap four, which was never topped. The championship rivals, Lewis Brown and Shane Stoney rounded out the session second and third respectively, whilst Nick Zapolski and Oliver Wilkinson rounded out the top five.
 
As the action got underway, a touch of wheel spin off the line for the pole-man allowed Brown to slip into the lead as they headed into Duffers Dip for the third time, but as the those behind followed them down the hill a coming together in the mid-pack left Seb Perez (who is visiting from the Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup) stuck in the gravel and brought about the safety car.
 
Racing got back up to full speed on lap three. The leaders instantly pulled a gap on the eight car fight for third, with Nicosia at the helm. A lap later and Nicosia started to reel in Traves, who was dragging bodywork after a tap to the rear at Taylor’s Hairpin left him with damaged bumper. Things went from bad to worse for the pole man though, as he later received a 10s penalty was applied for a false start.
 
As Nicosia made a move stick, Stoney followed him through and the pair went on the hunt for Brown. As the heavens opened, the action became very much a case of who could keep it on the tarmac (and pointing in the right direction). Nicosia lined up a textbook move on his former Junior rival and soon nipped through into the lead. Not long later, Stoney – a Knockhill stalwart and no stranger to wet weather racing – made a move stick on his points rival and slipped up to second.
 
After 20 laps, the chequered flag couldn’t come out soon enough for Nicosia, who took the win. Significantly for this weekend’s guest driver, Knockhill was the same circuit he claimed his maiden Ginetta Junior victory. Following him over the line was Stoney in second, with Brown having to settle for third.
 
Elsewhere, Katie Milner made great progress from her grid spot of 10th, to finish sixth after a great battle for position with Oliver Wilkinson and Nick Zapolski.
 
Meanwhile in the Am class, a fantastic opening lap for Richard Evans (who started at the very back of the field) made up an impressive 10 places during his first tour around Knockhill. The Quattro Motorsport driver held the class lead for much of the race, until a big spin at Hislop’s on the penultimate lap saw him lose track position to Adrian Campbell-Smith . Nick Halstead joined the pair on the podium after a fantastic race with Jonny Greenwood.