Oulton Park victory for Richardson Racing in Ginetta GT5 opener
Richardson Racing enjoyed a winning start to the new Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge season at Oulton Park, with second year driver Josh Malin marking himself out as a contender for the 2020 championship crown. On the back of an impressive rookie campaign that saw him finish fifth in the championship standings and secure his maiden race victory, Josh went into the season opener with his focus firmly on kick-starting his title challenge in fine style. The rising star was immediately the driver to beat on track as he stormed to pole position around the picturesque Cheshire circuit, setting a best time a quarter of a second clear of his nearest challenger. The opening race would be held later on Saturday afternoon, with Josh slipping to second on the opening lap behind former Richardson Racing driver James Taylor. A lengthy Safety Car period prevented Josh from making a move to reclaim the place, with just two laps of action remaining when the race finally got back underway. Eager to start the the season with a win, a brave move for position on the final lap saw Josh get ahead to secure victory by just two-tenths of a second. Starting the second race of the weekend from third on the grid, Josh found himself part of a four way fight for the lead of the race with Taylor, Jonny Wilkinson and Gordie Mutch having made up a spot on the opening lap to run behind Taylor in second spot. Seeing his chance to make a move for the lead going into the final corner on lap three, Josh clashed with Taylor as the two turned into Lodge - with Taylor suffering a spin and Wilkinson managing to briefly get alongside Josh on the exit of the corner. Holding the inside line into turn one, Josh was able to keep his place ahead of Wilkinson and would lead the remainder of the race to secure his second victory of the weekend. However, he was later handed a ten second penalty for the collision with Taylor - which dropped him to seventh place. Starting the final race of the weekend from the same position, Josh moved up into the top six in the opening laps of the race and was chasing down the leading pack when he suffered a moment at Druids and went off track across the gravel whilst trying to make a move on Jesse Chamberlain for fifth spot. Just nudging into the tyre barrier, Josh was able to return to the circuit well down the order and would cross the line in 15th place.
"We’ve been so quick all weekend, and that is the big positive for us to take away from Oulton Park as clearly we know we are going to be right in the mix," he said. "Qualifying on pole was great and having lost the lead at the start of race one, I was determined to get it back and start with a win. "Going into Shell Oils, I got a run on James and decided to go round the outside and it was great to pull off a move like that, particularly for the win. "Unfortunately, we’ve lost out through a few incidents on Sunday and that's a shame because potentially we could have taken a hat-trick of wins away from Oulton Park. However, we have one win under our belts and hopefully we can kick on and add more."