McKenna Takes Ginetta GT5 Challenge Title At Donington

North East racer Scott McKenna clinched his first major National championship by securing the British GT-supporting Ginetta GT5 Challenge title at Donington Park, as he looks towards a step up into GT racing in 2020.

The Yorkshireman went into the final three races of the ultra-competitive one-make series leading the championship after six wins and 10 podium finishes, knowing that a solid and consistent weekend would be enough to seal the deal for himself and fellow North East team, Xentek Motorsport.
Saturday’s qualifying session set the tone as McKenna briefly held the top spot in the closing minutes around the popular Leicestershire circuit, only to be bumped down to second place on the grid by Gordie Mutch by 0.147s in a tight session.
The opening race of the weekend was Scott’s first chance to clinch the championship, and he duly completed his goal in a race that was stymied by a lengthy safety car interruption.
Surpassing the G40 of pole man Mutch heading into the chicane for the first time, McKenna settled into second place behind a charging Geri Nicosia, the latter moving by the Xentek Motorsport racer at Redgate on lap two. Behind, a four-car incident took time to clear, meaning the race ended behind the safety car after just one lap of racing.
Second place was enough to put the title out of reach for his competitors, leaving Scott free to celebrate with his friends, family and sponsors on an emotional podium as Ginetta GT5 Challenge champion, including father Andrew, mother Alison and brother Ben.
Not willing to risk an incident and any potential points penalty that could come the following day, McKenna opted out of competing in the second and third races of the weekend, but his objective had been achieved.
Scott McKenna (#27 Xentek Motorsport):
“Honestly, words can’t describe it. Every time I go to talk about it I start crying! Three years have made up to this and without my family there and my sponsors, we would not be here. To be here now having just won the championship, I’m lost for words, and a lot of the hard work was done earlier in the season.
“I can’t explain how much it means to me, my Mum, my Dad, my brother and all those that have helped me. It’s mad. I let the others do what they want, just to get it done and get to the end. It’s been an amazing season. Just a huge, huge thank you to all of the people and sponsors that have supported me.
“All of the people at Xentek Motorsport have been brilliant and loyal to me, and we’ve put everything into this to achieve our dreams – I can’t thank them enough. I also had a test in a McLaren British GT car recently, and that was something else. It’s something we’re looking towards, and what I want to be doing a lot more of next season!”

McKenna Closes On Ginetta Title With Snetterton Win In Front Of BTCC Crowd

North East racer Scott McKenna added another victory in front of the TV cameras as he closed in on the ultra-competitive Ginetta GT5 Challenge championship title at Snetterton.

The Yorkshireman made use of a fresh set of tyres to add his sixth win of the season in the first of two races at the Snetterton 300 circuit, in front of a packed crowd as the one-make series supported the British Touring Car Championship.
McKenna lay down an initial marker in qualifying by being the first driver to dip into the 2m06s bracket, sealing pole position for the first race which took place later that Saturday. The teenager was beaten away from the grid by a fast-starting Josh Malin, who again held the advantage on the restart after a multi-car shunt behind them resulted in a second-lap stoppage.
McKenna gave chase, and made his move at the start of the third lap to slide into the lead of the race, utilising fresher rubber to stretch his lead and add win number six of his season.
In front of the ITV4 cameras the following day, McKenna and four of his closest rivals put on an entertaining show for the flocking fans in Norfolk.
In the mix throughout from his front row start, McKenna climbed from fourth to second in the early laps after losing ground at first, and soon gave chase to leader Malin as he probed for a way by. A bold move around the outside of his Ginetta G40 rival at the high-speed first right-hander almost paid off, but he instead fell behind eventual winner Geri Nicosia after the latter nudged his way through in the latter stages.
McKenna kept in touch in the thrilling five-car squabble, slipping behind Adam Smalley to finish fifth on the final lap as all involved jostled it out for the podium spots.
A crucial points finish meant the Xentek Motorsport driver takes a 57-point championship lead into the final three races of the season, held at Donington Park on 14/15 September and supporting the British GT Championship.
Scott McKenna (#27 Xentek Motorsport):
“It was a risky, but smart overtake to win the opening race, and the car felt mega. The pace was good enough over a lap in the races. All cars change, whether it be track, tyre or air temperature, and all the rest of it can change the way the car feels. Some of those uncontrollable variables happened in the second race, and I’ve just got to work on those things that I can change myself to take advantage.
“A forceful overtake from a following driver meant I fell from second to fifth, but we’ve increased our championship lead over the weekend which is the important thing. We’ve not quite come away with two podiums, but our objective has been achieved, and now it’s in our hands to go and seize.
“It’s really, really good being inside the BTCC paddock this time. The crowd is so cool; seeing all the people there on the banks after you’ve finished the race – that’s really cool to see, and I hope it looked good on TV!”
You can watch highlights of Scott’s entertaining second race on ITV Player.

McKenna Matches Motorsport Heroes With Zandvoort Double

In-form North East racer Scott McKenna channelled his motorsport heroes to take another step closer to the Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge title, with a brace of wins at Zandvoort.

Carrying the helmet colours of his late motorsport hero, Ronnie Peterson, who finished second at the Dutch venue in what would ultimately to be his final F1 race in 1978, McKenna quickly adapted to the picturesque circuit on his maiden visit to Zandvoort.

Qualifying offered a glimpse of McKenna’s frontrunning pace, the championship leader from Stokesley, North Yorkshire, lining up third fastest on the grid ahead of the weekend’s three races.

From then, a tense trio of encounters pitted the Xentek Motorsport youngster in combat with title rival Adam Smalley, who narrowly pipped McKenna in the opening contest on Saturday. McKenna kept the leader honest in the closing stages, having grabbed second place from Gordie Mutch late in the race after a clean fight between the pair.

The Donington winner finished a close 1.6s adrift to maintain his title authority, but he hit back strongly in race two to take victory after an entertaining duel with Mutch, Geri Nicosia and Smalley – the latter demoted to third afterwards by stewards for a collision with Mutch.

McKenna’s winning cushion was a mere 0.191s as less than a second covered the top four, and it would soon get even better for the Xentek driver.

A Sunday double was completed with a hard-fought victory in race three from pole position, McKenna fending off his rivals from the front at the slipstream-friendly circuit. The reward was sealing his second win of the weekend by a narrow 0.064s from Smalley, as the pair took the chequered flag side-by-side at the track which will host the Dutch Grand Prix once again next year.

McKenna therefore extends his championship lead to almost 50 points with two meetings remaining, riding the purple patch of having claimed five wins in the last eight races.

The next of those is back in the UK at Snetterton’s 300 circuit in Norfolk, supporting the British Touring Car Championship on 3/4 August which will be shown live on ITV4.

Scott McKenna (#27 Xentek Motorsport):
“It was absolutely incredible to race at Zandvoort; not only to race, but to cross the line first in the last race of the weekend was a very surreal experience. My heroes have raced at Zandvoort and to do the same was something I’ll never forget.
“I had a good battle with Gordie and eventually passed him to finish second in race one, then it was exactly the same scenario on track in the following race. In the final race I had to defend for the entire race from start to finish. We won by such a tight margin and going side-by-side over the line at Zandvoort was an experience I’ll not forget!
“Our full focus is now on Snetterton and what we can do in order to optimise our performance, win races in front of the fantastic BTCC crowd and further extend our championship lead.”

McKenna Moves To Top Of Ginetta GT5 Table With Thrilling Donington Win

North East racer Scott McKenna continued his fine form by clinching a third victory in the most recent Ginetta GT5 Challenge meeting at Donington, moving to the top of the standings as a result.
A thrilling contest on Saturday went the way of the 17-year-old from Stokesley, North Yorkshire, who made it three victories on the spin after a fine brace earlier in the month at Silverstone.
Battling older tyres all weekend, McKenna then fought to a brace of solid fifth place finishes on Sunday to cement his title push, moving into the lead of the championship for the first time.
Sharing the bill with British GT at the full-length Donington Park GP circuit in Leicester, the Xentek Motorsport youngster earned another pole position ahead of the weekend’s triple header after a tight qualifying session, hindered by traffic late on as times began to tumble.
Later that Saturday, McKenna took the fight to fellow front row starter Geri Nicosia in a tense eight-lap opening race. Part of a five-car lead battle, the two title protagonists swapped places on numerous occasions in the final laps, McKenna making the crucial move stick at McLeans on the last tour to make it three wins on the bounce.
Starting seventh on the grid for race two on Sunday morning, McKenna held his ground on older rubber and advanced to sixth place on the road, promoted to fifth after a technical infringement excluded the winner.
The final race was another hotly-contested encounter. Starting from fifth, McKenna used his ice driving experience on worn tyres to haul himself into the lead battle and finish a strong fifth, keeping title rivals Adam Smalley and Gordie Mutch in sight.
A purple patch in form for McKenna now vaults him into the lead of the GT5 Challenge Drivers’ Championship, while Xentek Motorsport grabbed the Teams’ Championship lead with three meetings remaining. The next of those is a visit across the waters to Zandvoort in Holland on 6/7 July.
Scott McKenna (#27 Xentek Motorsport):
“We got a good lap in that put us on pole, but we didn’t get a second quick time in down to traffic which is just bad luck. Race one was such a good battle. The last three laps; it was just Geri and myself overtaking each other – it was proper racing. I got a better exit out of the Old Hairpin, then had to out-brake him which was risky, but it worked. Then it was defend, defend, defend like my life depended on it!
“We started fifth for the last race and I was hanging on, as we went on older tyres all weekend. We’re trying to work it out so we can use brand new tyres for the rest of the season. It bit us back [at Donington], as the tyres level off after heat cycles, and I had to graft to get those fifth place results.
“It’s more points at the end of the day and it was massive for us. We’re in a good position now for Zandvoort and Silverstone. Hopefully the next few rounds will be strong for us.”

Double Delight For Scott McKenna At Home Of British Motorsport

North East racer Scott McKenna enjoyed a weekend to remember at Silverstone, taking an emphatic double win in the British GT-supporting Ginetta GT5 Challenge to break his 2019 victory duck.

Battling changeable conditions at the Home of British Motorsport, the 17-year-old from Stokesley, North Yorkshire, took a brace of dominant victories in the ultra-competitive one-make series to close in on the championship lead.
The weekend started in difficult weather conditions for qualifying around the full-length 3.6-mile GP circuit, but that did not deter McKenna from sharing pole positions with Gordie Mutch to grab his opportunity ahead of the two races.
Chasing his first win of the season, the Xentek Motorsport youngster duly delivered in the opening race on Saturday, grabbing the edge thanks to a better start before mastering the drying conditions on slick tyres. McKenna – carrying the helmet colours of the late Formula 1 racer Ronnie Peterson – finished seven seconds clear of a fierce battle for second, a feat he looked to repeat in the 20-minute second encounter on Sunday.
Drier conditions threatened a closer contest at the slipstream-friendly circuit, but a lightning start and consistent string of early laps were all McKenna needed to stamp his authority. Dropping front-row starter Mutch, he proceeded to pull clear of the battle for second between Geri Nicosia, Danny Harrison and Josh Malin to clinch another triumph by five seconds.
With a British GT seat on his radar, the double win moves McKenna to within 15 points of championship leader Nicosia, on a weekend where fellow title contender Adam Smalley struggled after a time penalty was applied to his second race result.
McKenna will look to continue his strong run of form at the next meeting at Donington Park, held over the weekend of June 22/23.
Scott McKenna (#27 Xentek Motorsport):
“From my perspective, it was like I’d gone testing all weekend. We’re now being really consistent. In race one we literally got the perfect start, and that was it. One thing I heard from the commentators was that they said the real damage seemed to be done by my first few laps in both races.
“Qualifying was probably the worst conditions I’d ever driven in and something I’d never experienced before, so it was more a task of trying not to crash, but it couldn’t have gone much better. The first race looked wet, but about half an hour before the race the sun came out and we put slicks on it. That played into our hands because we’d done no wet testing until Friday.
“It was exactly what happened in the second race too. I dropped Gordie Mutch off the start and that was it – I didn’t look back. It’s massive points and I think the key now is that as long as we stay consistent and stay ahead of Geri and Adam, we’ll chip into the lead. I don’t need to start taking risks, just be clever.”