Oli Basey-Fisher - Donington ParkGreat Finborough teenager Oli Basey-Fisher continued the excellent start to his maiden season of car racing action at Donington Park over the weekend, 14th/15th April, with a well deserved top four result during the fourth round of the 2012 Ginetta Junior Championship.

As at Brands Hatch during his category debut a couple of weeks ago, the 16-year-old Scholarship Winner was in the front-running fight in both of the Donington races but a robust opening encounter led to a highly unfortunate retirement on lap eight.

Putting the disappointment behind him and bouncing back superbly in Sunday’s televised race, the Tollbar Racing with WIRED driver overcame a couple of tough early laps to slice his way back into podium contention in round four – missing out on a rostrum place by just 0.2 seconds.

His lap times, particularly in race two, were very impressive with a quickest of 1m22.135 seconds just a single tenth of a second shy of the fastest of the race. In terms of the championship standings, Oli rounded-out his second weekend in car racing eighth overall with 51 points.

“It was disappointing not to finish the first race and we could have had second in race two”, he commented, “Fourth is still good though, it’s good points after retiring from race one – I’m pretty happy with that really.”

Qualifying sixth fastest for Saturday’s race, just 0.2 seconds shy of pole position and the second fastest Rookie to boot, Oli held his placing well during the opening exchanges but slipped behind second-year racer Sennan Fielding to seventh on lap two.

Remaining glued to the rear of Fielding’s Ginetta G40, Oli challenged through the left-hander at Schwantz Curve but his progress was hampered with a spin at the exit of the Old Hairpin on lap four following contact from Pepe Massot.

Recovering outside the top 10 and with a mountain to climb, the Century Logistics supported driver sat in 11th place during a two lap Safety Car period but his hopes of making up the lost ground were ended on lap nine at Redgate when he was pushed wide before being collected by Nathan Harrison – ruling both drivers out on the spot.

Determined to bag as many points as possible in round four on Sunday afternoon, Oli lined-up fourth on the grid due to pole-sitter George Gamble having withdrawn from the race following a major collision in the opening encounter, shortly after the one which accounted for Oliver.

Getting a little too much wheelspin off the line, he was shuffled back to seventh early on before rapidly fighting back into the top five and then reclaiming fourth on lap six. Following a tangle at the chicane between Charlie Robertson and Niall Murray, the door opened for Oli to nip through and take second place – unfortunately though, it was short-lived and he slipped to fourth.

Concerned mid-race he may have picked-up a puncture, all turned out to be ok thankfully but Oli had to settle for fourth albeit just 0.2 seconds away from the podium and only a second shy of the runner-up spot.

“It was a bit of a hectic race but I kept out of most of the trouble”, he said after round four, “When I ended up in second, there was a bit of a commotion out of the final corner. My mirror was bent round to the side so I couldn’t see where anyone was on my right-hand side, so I kept to the left and that meant I dropped to fourth.

“After that I thought I had a puncture, the whole car started wallowing down the Craner Curves so I lost some pace there but then it cleared up and I found more pace again. Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite get back to second but I can’t complain with fourth.”

Next up for Oli is, potentially, his greatest challenge of the entire 2012 season with rounds five and six of the Ginetta Junior Championship taking place at Thruxton in Hampshire a fortnight from now over the weekend 28th/29th April. Renowned as one of the most demanding tracks in the UK, Thruxton also carries the distinction of being the fastest track on the entire championship calendar.

2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd4):
8th Oli Basey-Fisher, 51pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.