Posted on Tue 25th Sep, 2018 in: Team News
Lucky Khera and Lee Frost produced star performances on their Ginetta GT5 Challenge debuts with an AM class victory each as W2R Motorsport brought the 2018 campaign to a close on a high at Donington Park this past weekend (22/23 September).
The Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup regulars showed superb speed as they got to grips with Ginetta G40 machinery for the first time, battling at the front of the AM class field alongside Adrian Campbell-Smith, who would unfortunately miss out on the class title.
Competing as part of the exciting British GT Championship season finale weekend, it was Khera who stormed to the top of the class timesheets during a wet qualifying session to take pole by three tenths of a second from Campbell-Smith, while Frost was not far behind in fourth.
In the opening race of the weekend on Saturday afternoon, Khera held the class lead early on before slipping to second place, which he held to the flag. That marked a sensational podium finish on his series debut, a feat replicated by the impressive Frost who took third.
Frost would finish in the middle of a W2R Motorsport sandwich in 21st overall, with Pro class contender Will Dyrdal ahead and Campbell-Smith hot on his heels, their close-fought battle culminating in the trio taking the chequered flag split by just six tenths of a second.
In Sunday’s opening race, a superb opening lap from Khera saw him climb up to a great eighth place at one stage, before eventually crossing the line in eleventh overall for his maiden AM class victory, while Frost ran second throughout to complete a W2R Motorsport one-two.
Campbell-Smith was battling for a top six class finish when he unfortunately got caught up in an incident outside his control, while Dyrdal also had a tough race as an issue heading to the grid took him to the pitlane and he could only join the race a lap down, leaving him at the rear of the field.
The final race of the season sadly proved to be one to forget for three of the W2R drivers, with Khera and Dyrdal both caught up in a huge multi-car incident on lap one that led to a red flag stoppage, while Campbell-Smith was once again taken out in someone else’s incident.
Frost would enjoy a successful race after the restart though as he produced an outstanding drive to take a lights-to-flag victory, albeit by less than two tenths of a second after fending off the attentions of series regular Nick Halstead in a great duel for victory.
The final championship standings show Campbell-Smith only missed out on a second consecutive Ginetta GT5 Challenge AM class title by a heart-breaking three points, while Dyrdal concluded his maiden season in the series with a top 20 championship finish.
W2R Motorsport’s Ben Hyland: “I couldn’t be more impressed by the way Lucky [Khera] and Lee [Frost] came in and adapted to the championship. To immediately be straight on the pace in their first times racing a Ginetta GT5 was outstanding, especially with Lucky taking pole.
“They were a pleasure to work with, immediately understanding the cars and providing great feedback. They loved every second of the weekend, came back from each session absolutely buzzing and enjoyed some thrilling, close racing on track on their way to some deserved silverware.
“Adrian [Campbell-Smith] has been a class act this season, in the top two on pace all year and only retirement’s outside of his control changed that. He has honestly had such rotten luck and this weekend was a clear example of that unfortunately.
“He pulled out a great lap in qualifying to secure second and converted that into a good result with fourth in race one. Those would sadly be the highlights of the weekend though, as he was so unfortunate to be the innocent party getting caught up in other’s incidents in two races.
“To lose out on the title that way is devastating, but Adrian should come away from this season immensely proud of what he’s achieved, getting three pole positions and six wins. He will learn from this year’s highs and lows and come back even stronger in 2019.
“It was a pretty tough weekend for Will [Dyrdal], who didn’t get to test ahead of the meeting and that certainly put him on the backfoot. He did a solid job considering in qualifying, but unfortunately some issues with the car would hold him back in races one and two.
“Will certainly has bags of raw pace and potential, while his drives from P25 to fifth at Thruxton and P27 to P13 at Spa showed he has the racecraft to go with it. He’s been held back by his lack of testing, but considering the circumstances he’s had a really good maiden season.
“As a team, this season we have proved we can battle at the front of the field in both the Pro and Am classes. It’s been a challenging season that’s for sure, it didn’t go our way quite a few times, but that’s how it goes in motorsport and we’ve all learnt an awful lot.
“We’ve been one of the biggest and busiest teams on the Ginetta ladder, but that hasn’t fazed the team who have put in a fantastic effort this season and the car preparation has been spot on. It’s the people that make racing so enjoyable and we’ve got a fantastic bunch here. Roll on 2019.”