IT WAS important for Geri Nicosia to regain momentum in round four of the Ginetta GT5 Challenge at Donnington Park last weekend.

It is the first of two visits to the track this season, both being run on the full international circuit, and his main rival Scott McKenna was full of confidence having won both races in round three.


leapt to the head of the times during qualifying on Saturday but McKenna pipped him to pole position on the final lap.

With the second-fastest times defining the grid for race two,


would start race one in second place but the second from pole with his rival back in sixth spot.

A typically great start saw Nicosia edge ahead of McKenna but, with the first corner (Redgate) cutting back on itself, the Princess Risborough-based star tucked in behind as they ran bumper-to-bumper down the 100 miles-per-hour Craner Curves.

Coming out of the Old Hairpin, Nicosia drove round the outside of his rival to take the lead, which he would maintain until the penultimate lap when McKenna showed his hand.

Nicosia took the advantage once again before the end of the lap but McKenna re-took the lead and the 20-year-old could not recover.

Nicosia had to settle for second place and a loss of six points to his rival - the championship lead now down to 12 points.

Nicosia, who attended the Sir William Borlase Grammar School, made another great start on Sunday morning, launching straight into a lead which he would not lose.

Josh Malin kept him honest until the final lap when Gordon Mutch found a way into second and help take the pressure off Nicosia, who completed the lights to flag win.

With rival McKenna coming in sixth place, the championship lead was now out to 29 points.

It all went wrong however when Nicosia's car failed the post-race checks on a non-performance enhancing technical infringement. The decision was appealed but declined.

Nicosia was disqualified from the race, hit with an additional 70-point penalty and forced to start the final race of the weekend from 27th place rather than pole.

The team managed to repair the car to fully comply - the issue having been a number of washers to make the bonnet fit without fouling the body.

Race three and Nicosia was on a mission. From 27th, he had moved up to 17th by the exit of the first corner, 14th by the end of the lap and 11th by the end of lap two.

He had briefly reached 10th position but gave back the place when he saw a yellow flag after completing the final overtake, and being unsure whether he might have missed one.

The yellow flag had denoted the deployment of the safety car which was on track for three laps, running down the time left for Nicosia to move further forward. There was time for three more laps, one less than he had expected.

Nicosia moved up to seventh place and was challenging for sixth as the flag came out to end the race.

Such was his pace chasing down the front runners that he set the fastest lap of the race for the first time this season.

Nicosia said: "Rules are rules. Neither the team or I was aware we had broken them and there was no advantage in the change. This badly damaged us, but we have eight races left and will go flat out to win them all."

Nicosia has fallen back to sixth place in the championship and 81 points adrift of leader McKenna but, with 35 points for a win and eight races to go, there is still all to play for.