Will Jenkins Takes Brilliant Race Win On GT5 Challenge Debut
Will Jenkins scored a superb race victory and a double podium finish during a hugely impressive debut outing in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend (16-18 April).
Stepping up from Ginetta Juniors for his third season in car-racing, Jenkins headed into the meeting with a productive pre-season testing programme under his belt with Elite Motorsport and immediately hit the ground running in Cheshire.
In his first ever race meeting on Oulton Park’s full 2.69 mile International circuit, the Hopkins Motorsport, Asset Alliance Group, Corroconsult and Digraph supported driver started strongly with the fastest lap overall during official testing on Friday.
The 17 year old talent carried that pace across into qualifying the next morning, with a stunning performance seeing him post a lap over seven tenths of a second faster than anyone else to come away with pole position for the opening two races of the season.
Unfortunately the opening race that afternoon proved to be a short one for the Staffordshire racer, with a mechanical failure forcing him to pull off circuit after only a single corner of lap one. Putting that disappointment behind him, he was determined to fight back on Easter Monday.
Jenkins initially lost the lead from pole position at the start of race two, however he was quickly pressuring the leader and pulled off a slick move on lap four. Once in front, he produced a mature, faultless performance to pull clear of his pursuer and take a comfortable maiden GT5 victory.
That result meant the Stone based driver also started from pole position for what proved to be a shortened final race of the weekend. Emerging from a close fought opening corner in third place, Jenkins’ aim to regain lost ground was halted almost immediately by a red flag conclusion.
Will Jenkins: “I’m delighted to have had such a brilliant maiden weekend in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge. To top the timesheets in both testing and qualifying was really satisfying, and a great platform to build on in the races.
“The first race was naturally extremely disappointing with a rare mechanical failure, so hopefully that’s our bad luck done for the season already. To bounce back the way we did in race two is great and it was a really enjoyable race for me.
“Race three was a strange one and it’s frustrating to not get the chance to make back the places I lost at the start, but I can never complain about getting a trophy and some good points on the board. I’m ready to carry this momentum into Donington Park this weekend.”
There’s no time to rest for Jenkins, with the second round of the Ginetta GT5 Challenge season coming up this weekend (23/24 April). He returns to the British Touring Car Championship support package for three races at Donington Park.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.