29/06/2022

2022 Ginetta Race Report: Croft

Yorkshire’s own Croft circuit played host to the latest rounds of the 2022 Ginetta season this past weekend (25/26 June), with the Juniors and GT5 Challenge producing some enthralling races.

The annual visit to the Dalton-On-Tees circuit marked the home event for both Ginetta and Millers Oils – the two Yorkshire companies continuing their successful technical partnership into a fourth consecutive year in 2022.

The Ginetta Junior Championship’s talented grid of 14 to 17 year old drivers served up two fantastic races in front of a large trackside crowd and the live ITV4 television cameras. It was two rookie drivers, Sonny Smith and Will Macintyre, who shared the race wins.

Having set the pace in qualifying on Saturday, Smith impressively fought back from seventh place at one stage to record his maiden win in the opener. Macintyre then superbly soaked up a lot of pressure from three drivers behind, including Smith, to secure his second win of the year in race two.

That result has propelled Macintyre into second in the points standings. The championship lead also changed hands on Sunday, as a double podium for Harri Reynolds moved him top at the expense of Josh Rowledge, who coupled a podium result with an unfortunate retirement.

Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner Alisha Palmowski showed great pace in her Millers Oils backed Ginetta G40 to qualify a seasons’ best fourth overall. Amongst the other rookies to impress over the weekend were class podium finishers Kanato Le and Luke Watts.

The GT5 Challenge meanwhile was making its final appearance of the season alongside the British Touring Car Championship. With only two events to go after Croft on their 2022 calendar, it was a pivotal weekend for the drivers holding title aspirations.

The star of the show, just as he had been in the previous event at Thruxton, was Harley Haughton. A stunning performance saw him take maximum points on offer, converting a double pole position from qualifying into two race wins as he led every lap and set the fastest lap in both outings.

Extending his current run to four wins in a row has moved Haughton into the championship lead at the expense of Will Jenkins, who took a best result of fourth at Croft. Joining Haughton on the podium over the two races were Mikey Doble, Sam Smith, Connor Grady and Will Orton.

In the championship’s Am class, Chris White strengthened his title bid with his sixth and seventh wins of the campaign. He twice went from third on the grid to victory, as Paolo Santi, Karim Sekkat and Bal Sidhu also went home with class silverware.

The Ginetta season has now paused for its summer break, with the action continuing in five weeks’ time (30/31 July) as the Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup and Ginetta Juniors compete at Knockhill in Scotland.