Josh Malin will head into the final rounds of the 2020 Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge season as the championship leader after scoring a sensational pair of race victories during the penultimate meeting of the year at Silverstone this past weekend (26/27 September).
Malin headed to Silverstone with a brilliant record of winning at least one race at each of the meetings across the season so far, and the Dorset racer extended that record with his sixth and seventh wins of the campaign to crucially secure himself the points lead with two races to go.
The race meeting started in positive fashion for Malin behind the wheel of his Richardson Racing Ginetta G40, as he finished in the top three in both of Friday’s free practice sessions. He perfectly replicated that performance in qualifying the next day, setting the third fastest time overall.
A grid penalty for the original pole-sitter meant Malin ended up starting on the front row and he took full advantage of the elevated position. A brilliant opening lap saw him move into the race lead, though he soon has a train of cars on his tail.
Soaking up the pressure with a faultless defensive drive in the early stages, the 20 year old then capitalised on some battling behind to crucially break the tow. From that point on he couldn’t be caught, pulling away to a brilliant race victory by a margin of almost five seconds.
Competing alongside the BTCC for the weekend meant that the second race of the weekend was televised live on ITV2. The Ferndown based racer lined up third on the grid and soon began to put on a show for the TV audience as he stormed into second place on lap three.
Malin began to pile the pressure on the race leader and his opportunity to take control of the race came on lap seven. A great run out of Copse corner in his The Car Guys, Digital Motorsports and Pioneer Shopfitting backed Ginetta allowed him to slide down the inside through Becketts.
Now heading a close-fought five car train at the head of the field, Malin had his work cut out to keep the chasing pack at bay. A faultless defensive display saw him fend off multiple challenges for the lead, before he took advantage of battling behind to storm clear to victory.
The weekend’s results mean Malin now has a seven point championship lead heading into the season finale. That will also take place at Silverstone, however the last two races of the year will take place on the full Grand Prix circuit in support of the British GT Championship (07/08 November).
Josh Malin: “What a weekend! To come away with two race wins, two fastest laps and the championship lead, I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more. It was far from easy and we worked incredibly hard to achieve this success.
“The Richardson Racing team gave me a fantastic car throughout. Working without a tow in qualifying was always going to put me at a disadvantage compared to other drivers, but we pulled the laps together to start both races inside the top three.
“The races were such great fun. Once I was in the lead in both, I had to work hard to keep everyone at bay, which wasn’t easy as everyone used my slipstream down the long straights. I managed to withstand the pressure and make the break at the front when I could to get the wins.
“It’s been great racing alongside the British Touring Car Championship this season, especially with the live television coverage that comes with it. To have won five of the six races on the BTCC weekends, including all three that were televised, is amazing.
“It’s been a real battle this season making up the lost ground from the season opener, and now we have the championship lead we don’t plan to lose it. I came into this season with one objective, to win the championship, and now it’s time to complete the job!”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.