Ginetta Junior Challenge set for Donington thriller Tom Ingram has secured his position at the top of the Ginetta Junior Championship at the expense of early-season top dog Jake Hill as the championship heads to Donington Park this...
Ginetta Junior Challenge set for Donington thriller
Tom Ingram has secured his position at the top of the Ginetta Junior Championship at the expense of early-season top dog Jake Hill as the championship heads to Donington Park this weekend.
Two double-wins, at Silverstone and Knockhill, have secured Tom Ingram's place at the top of the Ginetta Junior Championship that, earlier in the year, looked as though it was heading Jake Hill's way.
It's been a fascinating year in the Ginetta Junior Championship: first, a new car made it a level playing field for everyone and the new G40 has helped to deliver great racing. Then, a number of second year drivers were joined by a list of impressive rookies, while new teams have entered the championship to produce another level of competition. Oh, and factor in ambitious teenagers who know no fear behind the wheel and the ingredients have been in place for a superb season.
It began when Ingram won at Thruxton but Jake Hill (Tollbar Racing with WIRED) scored the win in race two. Indeed, for the opening six meetings of the year, Hill scored the win in race two and looked as though he was heading for the title as he continued to rack up points. However, Tom Howard (TJ Motorsport) bagged a win at Rockingham and Jody Fannin (TJ Motorsport) hit form at Brands Hatch and won again at Oulton Park. Then Louise Richardson (TJ Motorsport), who has taken over Sarah Moore's mantle as the fastest female on the grid, scored a tremendous win at Snetterton that has not just proved how competitive the championship is, but has also increased the number of drivers able to take points away from Hill. Jake has also suffered some bad luck as well: at Silverstone he was caught up in someone else's drama and suffered damage and at Knockhill he was pressured by Ingram (Hillspeed) in race one and was delayed by a battle with Richardson in race two. Hill is still capable of scoring points and is not out of the hunt yet, but he has to make up 59 points with jut four races to go.
Jake is just four points back from Louise Richardson who has had an impressive season in the new G40s. Always competitive, she has displayed feisty racecraft all season and her victory at Snetterton was well deserved. At times, Louise has made life hard for herself by falling down the order and needing to play catch-up, but another win before the end of the season is a real possibility.
Others to impress include Howard and rookie Fannin, plus Maverick Domene (Tockwith), who raced well at Knockhill who has been the top rookie this season and whose results have been getting better all the time. If he can carry his Knockhill form into this weekend's races, he will be a top six candidate. Seb Morris (Hillspeed), another newcomer, has gone well and the intake to this year's junior school has been impressive. In contrast, the Moore family has had a tougher time than in 2009: reigning champion Sarah (Eurotech Racing) has had her share of bad luck but hasn't looked as comfortable in the new cars as in the earlier G20 Junior, while her team-mate and brother, David, has had some encouraging races but has still to score a maiden win.
Alex Austin (FML), Adam Bonham (Team Parker Racing) and Jake Giddings (FML) have all raced well and should be up near the front, while Ryan Ratcliffe (Piranha Motorsport) has also shown flashes of speed.
The question here, though, is whether Hill can get his championship bid back on track.
Free practice for the Ginetta Junior Championship takes place at 11.45 on Saturday September 18th with qualifying at 16.10. Both races are on Sunday, over nine laps, and run at 11.25 and 16.25 with action covered live on ITV4.