During the Ginetta GT5 Challenge qualifying session Matt Chapman showed himself to be the ‘King of the Forest’ by taking pole position at the Belgian circuit, demoting championship leader Ollie Chadwick to second. Chapman pulled out quite a large gap to the chasing pack. The scheduled twenty-minute qualifying session was delayed but when it eventually got underway most of the cars left the pit lane in a group. Even though the track was littered with GT5 and GRDC+ cars there was still enough room for the competitors to fight it out between themselves for pole position on the 4.3-mile-long circuit.
Ollie Chadwick headed to Spa knowing all he needed to do was beat R&J’s Jonathan Hadfield on Friday to be crowned champion. Chapman lead the field by over two seconds on his first flying lap. Chadwick was only able to close to being a second off of Chapman’s time. It soon became clear to everyone that Chapman had the pace needed to claim pole at the Belgian circuit.
Jonathan Hadfield pushed his car to the limit and managed to take third with his brother Ryan Hadfield close behind in fourth. When the chequered flag came out it was Chapman on top of the times with a lap time of 2:48.456, joining Chapman on the front row would be championship leader Ollie Chadwick. The Hadfield duo locked out the second row with Jonathan ahead of Ryan. After showing impressive pace, one off entry Mohammed Elsminy finished in fifth with Ian Robinson being the quickest Am driver in sixth place.
In the GRDC+ class it was Adrian Campbell-Smith who claimed pole position. He will start one place behind Mark Davenport, whose session was ended in a cloud of smoke after his engine gave way halfway through the qualifying session.
©Fay Tilley 9th July 2016.