Harley Haughton Maintains GT5 Challenge Points Lead With Brands Hatch Victory
Harley Haughton will take a 13-point lead into Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge season finale next month after scoring his fifth win of the season at Brands Hatch this past weekend (September 10/11).
The Elite Motorsport driver maintained his scintillating form during what was a blockbuster penultimate event of the year, taking a superb lights-to-flag triumph as well as a hard-fought second place finish. Those results ensured he remains at the summit of the standings as he chases title glory.
Returning to competitive action following a ten-week break in the schedule, Haughton wasted no time in getting back up to speed as he featured towards the top of the times in practice throughout Friday on the shorter Indy layout.
Carrying that front-running form into Saturday’s all-important qualifying session on the full Grand Prix circuit, the 17-year-old proved to be one of the leading lights as he produced a superlative string of laps to clinch pole position for races one and two.
Faced with a clear track ahead of him as the lights went out for race one, the Stockport-based teenager battled for the lead on the opening lap and once he established himself out front, he didn’t put a wheel wrong to claim a commanding victory.
Managing the gap to chief title rival and team-mate Will Jenkins in the opening exchanges, Haughton put the hammer down in the second half of the contest to pull clear of the chasing pack and take the chequered flag by more than three seconds.
Race two saw Haughton narrowly miss out on clinching another victory. Holding the lead at the start, Haughton embarked on a pulsating back-and-forth duel with Jenkins which had everyone on the edge of their seats.
Dropping to second on lap five, the teenage racer filled the mirrors of Jenkins for the remainder of the contest and despite a late safety car prompting a dash to flag, second place was to be result he came away with.
The weekend’s third and final contest proved to be action-packed and filled with drama. Starting from the outside of the front row, Haughton wasted no time in latching onto the back of Jenkins and so began their latest tussle for supremacy.
Captivating those watching trackside and online, Haughton finally found his way into the lead at Stirlings and went on to take victory. Unfortunately, officials later penalised him to the tune of 20 seconds having deemed him to have caused a collision when taking the lead, dropping him back to eighth.
Harley Haughton: “Overall it’s been a really positive weekend! We were the fastest car on the track from the get-go and the whole Elite Motorsport team worked hard to make sure that stayed the case throughout.
“To come away with not only a double pole position but a win and a second place is just mega; and it now means we’ve been able to maintain our lead in the championship heading into the finale next month.
“It’s set to be a close showdown at Donington Park and I’ve got one simple target now: to bring it home. We’ll rest up, reset and then make sure we are as best prepared for whatever comes at the final round.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.