Oli Basey-Fisher - RockinghamOli Basey-Fisher produced two consistently strong race performances at Rockingham International Sportscar Circuit over the weekend, 22nd/23rd September, to consolidate ninth place in the Ginetta Junior Championship standings and also showcase a marked improvement in his racecraft.

Driving for Tollbar Racing with WIRED, the 17-year-old was embroiled in closely contested battles in each of the races at the Northamptonshire track and displayed great composure and a good turn of pace as he secured a best finish of eighth place – fourth in the Rookie Class – during round 16.

Oli started the weekend strongly with a top five performance in wet conditions during testing on Friday, 21st September, and then produced the sixth fastest time during the additional free practice on Saturday morning. Qualifying though wasn’t quite as fruitful for the Great Finborough driver and he had to settle for 10th on the grid for both races – fifth best rookie in each instance.

Enjoying a good opening lap to round 15 on Saturday afternoon, Oli moved into eighth position and remained there until lap six when shuffled back to ninth by Freddie Lee. Determined to try and hit back immediately, the Suffolk racer heavily pressured the Ford Fiesta graduate but as they fought it gave William Palmer the opportunity to slice up the inside at Tarzan on lap eight.

Resulting in Oli being elbowed back to 10th place, on the penultimate tour at Deene Hairpin he hit back by re-passing Palmer for ninth and defended stoutly to the chequered flag on lap 10 to hold on by 0.2 seconds and also finish fifth in the Rookie classification.

“It was a fantastic race in terms of racecraft, we just weren’t in the sort of position we wanted to be or should have been really”, said the Century Logistics-backed driver, “That was really my own fault in qualifying, practice had gone well so things looked promising and the car was good but the times just weren’t there unfortunately in qualifying when it mattered.”

Although not getting the launch from the line he wanted at the start of round 16 on Sunday, Oli benefitted from an excellent first lap and by the start of the second tour the Silverstone Ginetta Junior Scholarship Winner had climbed three places into seventh.

The action in the midfield proved intense with Oli in the thick of some great racing along with Pepe Massot, Harry Woodhead, Lee and Palmer. Pressuring Woodhead for sixth place on lap five, Oli wasn’t quite able to carve open a passing opportunity and the next time around he instead was overtaken by Palmer into Deene.

Determined to fight-back, the first year car racer redoubled his efforts and on the final lap he managed to claw his way back into eighth position – fourth highest Rookie – as Woodhead in sixth bottled up the quartet of cars behind.

“It was a great race, my actual getaway from the line wasn’t that good as I hesitated a bit as the lights went out but the first lap was really good – I managed to pick my way through and grab a few places”, explained Oli, “Following Pepe [Massot] through, we both got a bit stuck behind Woody [Harry Woodhead] and I really should have tried to pass him a bit earlier.

“Unfortunately Will [Palmer] then came through and then the four of us started battling really hard amongst ourselves. I thoroughly enjoyed it though, it was a really great race and I learnt a lot of racecraft which is great to take out of it. Hopefully we can build on that for Silverstone.”

Rounds 17 and 18 of the Ginetta Junior Championship season will take place a fortnight from now over the weekend 6th/7th October at Silverstone’s National Circuit.

2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd16):
9th Oli Basey-Fisher, 199pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.