Ella Lloyd crowned Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT vice champion
Ella Lloyd completed an excellent season in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship by securing vice champion honours in the GT5 Pro category, having scored ten victories at seven different circuits.
Ella Lloyd completed an excellent season in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship by securing vice champion honours in the GT5 Pro category. Battling with rival Luke Garlick throughout the season, Ella narrowly missed out on the title following the season finale at Donington Park.
A pair of runner-up finishes in the first two races of the weekend left the Xentek Motorsport driver out of mathematical contention heading into the season finale. Nonetheless, it was an exceptional campaign for the young driver who scored ten victories at seven different circuits.
Arriving at Donington Park with the championship still within reach, small margins would be set to decide whether Ella would leave the weekend as the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Champion. Conditions were set to be changeable throughout the meeting and with heavy rain forcing the cancellation of Friday’s pre-event test.
The rain persisted into qualifying on Saturday, with Ella having previously shown excellent speed in challenging conditions during the season to date. Setting her quickest time halfway through the session, Lloyd claimed a stunning pole position by two tenths of a second. This secured her a valuable bonus point and saw her cut the gap atop the championship standings, although with dropped scores taken into account it would still be a tall order to claim the title.
A dry line had formed for race one, however it was treacherous off line and this was especially the case when on slick tyres. Ella was aware of the challenges and made a measured start to end the opening lap in second position. Clearing the ailing GT Pro car of Colin White, Lloyd could then set about chasing down her championship rival Luke Garlick.
A superb effort in tough conditions was thwarted by a spin on lap five which saw the Xentek Motorsport driver lose time and slip to fourth.
Ella’s pace remained strong and this allowed her to close in on the two drivers ahead and attempt to reclaim the runner-up position. Lap seven saw Lloyd overtake both Sam Harvey and Pablo Jequier to regain second as she also pushed hard to claim fastest lap. Taking the checkered flag in second, it was a great recovery drive from Ella who battled the challenging conditions to remain in championship contention.
Lining up second for race two, it was an action-packed opening lap which saw Ella spin at the Old Hairpin in an incident where championship rival Luke Garlick was forced into retirement. This incident dropped Lloyd to third, however with the safety car deployed, she was able to catch up to the leading drivers.
When racing resumed, the Xentek Motorsport driver overtook Will Rochford and moved into second position while targeting her 11th victory of the season. A three-way battle emerged for the race two win, with Ella crossing the line in second after a spirited defence from Rochford while hampered by a loose bonnet.
Despite this fantastic effort, Ella was now not in mathematic contention for the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT Championship title. As a result, she decided not to participate in the final race of the weekend but still claimed a total of ten victories across the season, with eight other podium finishes.
Developing her racecraft while battling for a championship, Lloyd has laid the foundations for a successful career and with extensive single seater testing now under her belt, she will be assessing her options ahead of the 2024 season.