Dorset racer Josh Malin flew to a Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge race victory in the opening weekend of the 2020 season at Oulton Park last weekend (1/2 August).
The 20-year-old, who battles type 1 diabetes, bounced back from an engine problem in Friday testing to plant his Ginetta G40 on pole position by two tenths of a second the following day ahead of the first of the weekend’s three races in Cheshire.
A long hold before the lights went out left Malin playing catch-up as nearest rival James Taylor swept into the lead on the opening lap of race one, which ultimately came down to a single-lap shootout following a lengthy safety car delay to clear up an incident behind.
The Richardson Racing man put the pressure on and pounced with a bold move around the outside of Taylor heading into the Shell Oils Hairpin on the final lap, hanging on to claim an emotional second win of his GT5 Challenge career to date.
Starting third on the grid for the second race as a result of second-fastest lap times from qualifying, a strong start helped Malin up into second spot with leader Taylor firmly in his sights. Braking late for Lodge, he looked for a move to take the lead and took it when contact left Taylor spinning.
Malin continued despite the knock, and fended off a charging Jonny Wilkinson and Gordie Mutch to double his victory tally for the weekend by half a second from Wilkinson. Unfortunately, he was handed a ten second time penalty for his part in the incident with Taylor, meaning he was classified seventh overall.
In his The Car Guys and Digtal-Motorsports.com backed car, Malin sadly saw his weekend end in disappointment in race three due to an off at Druids. That came while well in the thick of an eight-car dice at the front, completing a weekend where his overall pace warranted more luck than what he has dealt.
Malin’s next opportunity to add to his tally comes in three weeks time (22/23 August) back at Oulton Park again, as the championship supports the British Touring Car Championship.
Josh Malin: "We’ve been so quick all weekend, so it’s a big positive to know that we’re in contention. Unfortunately, we’ve lost out through a few incidents on Sunday which cost us the chance to potentially get a hat-trick of wins.
“Qualifying went fantastically. We had a clutch problem at the start of the first race, but with one lap to go I really wanted that win. I got a good run on James coming through towards the Shell Oils Hairpin and went around the outside. It felt great and I’m so happy to get that win. Hopefully we can kick on and add more next time out."