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.