Double Ginetta GT Championship victory for Ella Lloyd at Snetterton
Scoring 100 points across the three races at Snetterton, Ella Lloyd claimed her largest points haul in the Ginetta GT Championship after taking two victories and a second place.
Ella Lloyd claimed her largest points haul in the Ginetta GT Championship after taking two victories out of three races at Snetterton. Driving in the GT5 Pro category, Lloyd qualified second before claiming victory in the first two races of the weekend. Showing excellent defensive skills in a number of close battles, Ella missed out on a hattrick of wins by just two tenths of a second to claim a runner-up result in race three.
Ella has shown phenomenal speed during the course of the 2023 season and although results did not fall her way during the Ginetta G-Fest, she was aiming to bounce back at Snetterton, a track at which she enjoyed one of her best qualifying performance at during the 2022 Ginetta Junior Championship. Lloyd participated in both the pre-event tests on Thursday and Friday, claiming the fastest GT5 Pro time across both days.
Confidence was high for Ella heading into qualifying, a session in which she has been extremely dominant across the season to date. Despite her impressive testing benchmark, Lloyd improved by a further three tenths of a second in qualifying to set a 2:07.914 which was the second fastest time in GT5 Pro. Ella only set five timed laps in qualifying compared to polesitter Sam Harvey’s nine and with tyre limitations and three races ahead, this was an important decision.
Making a superb start from the front row of the grid, Ella immediately claimed the lead from Harvey and opened out a gap of 2.4 seconds after the first lap. Maintaining a sizeable lead at Snetterton is a challenge with the slipstream effect proving significant and this enabled new second place driver Luke Garlick to begin closing in. By lap six, Lloyd’s gap had been cut to just half a second and with spots of rain also beginning to fall, she was going to need all her defensive skills to hold on for a sixth victory of the season. Despite the lead pair running nose-to-tail in the final two laps, Ella did superbly to hold on and take the top step of the podium in the opening GT5 Pro race at Snetterton.
Lining up on pole position for race two, Ella lost out on the initial start to Will Rochford but ended the opening lap just two tenths behind her rival, remaining within striking distance. A brilliant battle broke-out among the top-4 drivers in the first half of the race, with Lloyd and Rochford side-by-side across the line at the beginning of lap four. Ella came out on top before swapping the lead with Garlick and reclaiming first position on lap eight. Heading into the final lap just three tenths of a second ahead of her closest challenger, the Xentek Motorsport driver defended superbly to claim her seventh win of the season.
Aiming for a historic hattrick of victories in race three, Lloyd once again enjoyed a close battle with Rochford in the opening stages before taking the lead on lap two. With the top-4 drivers once again running nose-to-tail for the majority of the race, one small mistake could prove costly, however Lloyd maintained her composure and set a personal best time on lap eight in an attempt to build a gap. On the penultimate lap, Garlick was able to find a way past and despite Ella’s best efforts, held onto the victory by a slender margin with Lloyd finishing in second.
Converting her speed into two race wins was richly deserved for Lloyd who was the star of the GT5 Pro class at Snetterton. Ella led the most laps across the meeting and came within two tenths of a second of being the first GT5 Pro driver to sweep the weekend in the Ginetta GT Championship this season. Scoring 100 points across the three races allowed the Xentek Motorsport driver to close to the gap to championship leader Luke Garlick to 46 points with nine races remaining in the 2023 season.
The Ginetta GT Championship drivers are next in action at Cadwell Park, a new circuit to the majority of the drivers with three races taking place across the weekend of 22nd/23rd July.