Triple top five for Richardson Racing at Zandvoort
The Richardson Racing team enjoyed another strong weekend on track as the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge headed for Zandvoort for the annual ‘flyaway’ meeting of the season. The Corby-based outfit headed for the famous Dutch circuit on a high after an impressive performance in the previous round at Donington Park ended with Dorset teenager Josh Malin securing his maiden victory in the series. On what was his first outing at the circuit, Josh wasted little time in getting up to speed and topped the times in the second of two free practice sessions on Friday before the real action kicked off with Saturday morning’s qualifying session. A hotly contest session saw Josh post the eighth quickest time, leaving him with work to do heading into the opening eight lap race of the weekend. Having climbed into the top six on lap one when the lights went out, Josh battled hard on track with Geri Nicosia, Connor Grady and Danny Harrison before eventually taking the flag in fifth spot – setting the second fastest race lap in the process. Eighth on the grid again for race two, Josh slipped back a place on the opening lap but was then able to start his fight-back through the field, climbing up into seventh by the third lap. Josh maintained his position through to the final lap when he was able to get ahead of Grady and David Ellesley to once again finish in fifth spot. The grid for race three would be determined by the result of race two, leaving Josh to start from the third row of the grid. Maintaining his position in the early stages, Josh would lose a place to Ellesley before battling back ahead and would post the fastest lap of the race as he looked to fight his way onto the podium, eventually ending the race with a third straight fifth place finish. Josh’s next outing in the series will come next month when the GT5 Challenge joins the support package for the British Touring Car Championship for the second time this season at Snetterton. “I’d never been to Zandvoort before and I loved the circuit – it was such an exciting track to race on and I enjoyed some good battles across the weekend,” he said. “Things started well in practice but when qualifying came around, we didn’t quite get it right and although I gave it my all, eighth was the best we could manage on older tyres. “I had hoped for more given out pace in practice but I just kept my head down in the races and to come away with P5 in all three is good as it means I’ve picked up a decent haul of points for the championship to maintain my position towards the sharp end. “Having looked back at my race footage afterwards, this weekend has shown me that I need to be more decisive when it comes to making my way forwards in the races and when there is a chance to make a move, I have to take it.
"When I was racing in Mazdas previously, I was able to eye up a move and plan what I wanted to do, but with the Ginetta, it’s all so close that you have to take your chances when they arrive or the pack ahead has the chance to break away. “It’s all part of the learning curve in my first year but hopefully when we get to Snetterton for the next round, I can push for some more podium finishes to close the gap to the top three in the standings.”