Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit will host the final three races of the Ginetta GT5 Challenge season next weekend, 10th/11th September, where multiple race winner Matt Chapman will be aiming to wrap-up the coveted Vice-Champion’s title in only his first year in the championship.
Following a huge two-month break since the penultimate event of the season at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, where the 16-year-old raced to the second victory of his maiden campaign in the series as part of a memorable podium hat-trick, he is now eyeing the top step of the podium once more.
In only his third season of racing at any level, and first running on ‘slick’ racing tyres, Oxford-based Matt has been a revelation at the wheel of his Total Control Racing prepared Ginetta GT5 Challenge car with some outstanding performances across the 16 races contested thus far.
Beginning the championship with a maiden podium finish in round three at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit, an event in which he also gained a truly remarkable 26 positions in the first race after an unfortunate qualifying mishap, at Thruxton next time out he added two more podium results.
The visit to Oulton Park International Circuit in late May delivered Matt’s first victory in cars, an excellent drive from sixth on the grid securing a five second winning margin, and he continued his run of rostrums at a rain-hit Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in June.
Croft in North Yorkshire is the only venue visited so far in 2016 where the TCR driver missed out on silverware, following two incident-packed races, but he hit back in style on his first trip to Spa where he climbed back into second place in the hotly contested championship.
Now, with an 18-point lead over chief challenger Ryan Hadfield in the battle for the Vice-Champion’s position, Matt is determined to sign off his first year in the popular British GT Championship support category with another clutch of trophies.
“I can’t believe how long it’s been since Spa – next weekend can’t come soon enough”, said the Oxfordshire youngster, “I really am looking forward to Donington massively, I’ve never raced on the full Grand Prix track before so that’s going to be a good new experience and I know the team will give me a great car as always.
“TCR has had some amazing success at Donington over the last few years and I really want to try and take another win before the end of the season. Ending the year as Vice-Champion in my first season would be incredible, that’s the target so we’ll have to see how things go.”
Qualifying for the final event of the Ginetta GT5 Challenge season will get underway at 11.20 next Saturday, 10th September, with the opening race of the weekend following at 15.35. On Sunday, 11th September, rounds 18 and 19 will take place at 10.35 and 15.15 respectively.