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.
McKenna said: “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.”
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.
“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”, he added. “I don’t need to start taking risks, just be clever.”
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.