Donington Park Victory Moves Josh Malin Closer To Ginetta GT5 Championship Lead
Josh Malin secured his fifth win of the 2020 Ginetta GT5 Challenge season at Donington Park GP circuit this past weekend (19/20 September) and added another podium finish to keep the pressure up on his title rivals. The 20-year-old, from Ferndown in Dorset, had picked up race wins in each of the opening three meetings of the season at Oulton Park and Knockhill, and he marked his return to action with more silverware in Leicestershire. Entering the weekend just 24 points adrift of the series lead, the Richardson Racing driver confirmed the strong pace shown in practice by fighting for pole position in Saturday's qualifying. He finished up third overall, with the top four cars separated by just two tenths of a second ahead of the first of three races. Malin made a swift start to race one, fighting his way past title rival Jonny Wilkinson in the early stages of the race which was delayed by a safety car interruption to clear up a first-lap incident in the midfield. On the restart, Malin showed his determination by going after the race leader, Gordie Mutch, and he soon found his chance at McLeans as he slid up the inside to take control of the 15-minute contest. Despite giving away the tow for the closing laps of the race, it was enough for Malin to hang on and grab his fifth win of the season. It continued his positive record at Donington Park, having taken his maiden Ginetta GT5 Challenge success there last season and his debut car racing win back in 2016. Backed by The Car Guys, Pioneer Shopfitting Ltd and Digital-Motorsports.com, Malin hoped to add another victory to his name the following day starting from fourth place on the grid this time around. A good getaway once the lights went out meant Malin improved to third but in the thick of a big battle for the top five spots. A move at Coppice behind dropped him a spot on the opening lap, but an off for fellow title rival James Taylor put both in combat at the chicane. Malin prevailed and pressured Rory McKean into surrendering third place at Craner Curves thanks to a bold move around the outside by the Richardson Racing driver. Taylor switched inside Malin at Coppice late in the race for the final podium spot, although Malin kept up the intense pressure up until the flag to come home just short in fourth position, securing more important points for his title tilt. Malin started the final contest from fourth on the grid once again as a result, and a demon start sent him charging around the outside into second place by the time the field left Redgate for the first time. Chasing after leader Mutch, the pair pulled away from the field and took the flag unchanged as Malin added his second podium finish of the weekend. The results move Malin, who battles type 1 diabetes, to just 16 points adrift of the championship lead heading to the next meeting at Silverstone's National circuit this weekend (26/27 September), in support of the British Touring Car Championship. Josh Malin: "Another win was a mega result, and again we've scored more good points and kept the pressure up on both James [Taylor] and Jonny [Wilkinson] at the head of the championship standings. "I thought I had pole position a few times in qualifying. We did hold it right up until the end, and I just lost a bit of time in the first sector which was enough, but the time was there on the table for sure. "It was a great first race battle. I got a bit of a mediocre start and managed to hold position going through turn one, then pass Jonny further around the lap before the safety car. Then after the restart I managed to get a run on the leader and just let off the brakes a bit and made it stick for the win. "In race two it was a bit of a battle and we couldn't quite get the podium I wanted, but that's racing. I got a mega start in the last race and me and Gordie [Mutch] just checked out, and I got more points on those I need to beat. I'm looking forward to Silverstone and I think it's going to be another great battle around a slipstreaming circuit."
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.