MORRIS WINS GINETTA JUNIOR WINTER TITLE FOR HILLSPEED
Outstanding young motor racing talent Seb Morris made history at Pembrey Circuit in South Wales on Sunday, 14th November, by sealing the 2010 Ginetta Junior Winter Championship in winning style at the tender age of just 14 -- the Hillspeed team's third title triumph in 2010.
Morris, a pupil at Kings School in Chester, took two victories and a further second place from the four races contested at the 1.45-mile track over the course of the rain-affected weekend to further underline his potential as a true star in the making in the ranks of British motorsport.
Having won the main 2010 Ginetta Junior Championship crown with Tom Ingram and the Protyre Formula Renault BARC title with Alice Powell already this year, Hathersage-based Hillspeed went into the Ginetta winter series knowing it had a great chance of success and Morris delivered in style.
"Seb did a fantastic job this weekend, we're absolutely delighted to have won our third title of the year -- it's been an incredible 2010 for Hillspeed", said team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, "He's made history by winning the title at such a young age and it proves the talent we've always known he's had. Seb has a huge future in motorsport, we can't wait now for next season!"
The Welsh-born youngster, who resides in Marford and is backed by Liberty Properties Plc, went into the last of the four races tied for the lead in the championship with Max Coates while experienced Ginetta Junior racer David Moore was also within just three points of the duo.
Setting up a tantalising final round, Morris grabbed the lead on the opening lap from pole-sitter Adam Bonham and built a cushion of 1.6 seconds prior to the Safety Car being deployed. When the race resumed on lap 11 after a lengthy cautionary period, Morris continued to control things at the front before a stoppage was declared on lap 12 -- therefore seeing him take the title with a fine win.
The Hillspeed ace got his campaign off to a fantastic start in round one on Saturday, 13th November, with an excellent victory from third on the grid -- his first ever win in cars. Taking second on lap two, he passed Moore for the lead on the fourth tour before stretching out to a winning margin of five seconds. He also posted the fastest lap of 1m10.216 seconds (74.64mph) on the final tour.
Round two was a less straightforward affair for the 14-year-old. Moving into the top three on lap four, having started on the second row of the grid, Morris dropped to eighth on the subsequent tour following a moment but he mounted a good fightback to take fifth on the penultimate lap. Once again, he proved his pace with the fastest lap of 1m09.489 seconds (75.43mph).
Lining up second on the grid for round three on Sunday morning, Morris held position and remained there to the finish to set up the thrilling climax to the championship. By taking victory in round four, the result also marked his second career win in cars.
Rookie Wagner takes maiden BARC Class victory during final round Running side-by-side with its Ginetta Junior operation at Pembrey this weekend, Hillspeed's Scottish single-seater rookie David Wagner earned his maiden BARC Class victory during the final round of the 2010 Formula Renault Winter Championship on Sunday afternoon.
Adding to double podium success from the opening event at Snetterton in Norfolk during the previous weekend, the Glasgow driver added two more rostrum visits to his tally at Pembrey with an excellent win in the last round on a tricky, drying track surface.
Tyre choice would prove critical in the final encounter of the Winter Championship and Hillspeed made the correct decision by opting for wet-weather rubber. Wagner fought his way through very well from fourth in class on the grid to win by a second from champion Josh Webster. In doing so, he ends his maiden car racing championship second in the points.
Team-mate Howard Fuller, meanwhile, took a fine third place finish in class to end the winter series third in the driver standings with his second podium of the weekend and third rostrum result of the championship. In the end, just five points separated the Worcester Park racer from Wagner.
Wet-weather largely dominated the second day of the action at Pembrey with Fuller taking fourth place in round five with Wagner back in sixth. On Saturday though, conditions were better and in the first race Fuller took a deserved podium in third place, with Wagner sixth, while round four delivered the opposite result -- Wagner grabbing a third place finish with Fuller in sixth.
Overall, both drivers have enjoyed a good campaign over the course of the last two weekends and produced the result Hillspeed had aimed for from the start -- second and third in the championship standings behind experienced Formula Renault BARC runner Webster.
Richard Ollerenshaw said: "We've been very pleased with the performances David and Howard have delivered throughout the winter series. The last race was all about tyres and we made the right call to go with wets. We're delighted David took the class win and also finished runner-up in the points. With Howard securing third in the championship too, it's as much as we could have asked for."