Oli Basey-Fisher - Silverstone NationalSuffolk teenager Oli Basey-Fisher produced one of the very best outings of his rookie car racing season during the penultimate event of the 2012 Ginetta Junior Championship at Silverstone over the weekend, 6th/7th October – the 17-year-old securing his second biggest points haul of the year.

In both races at the Northamptonshire venue’s 1.64-mile National Circuit, the Silverstone Ginetta Junior Scholarship Winner was in inspired form and delivered a best finish of fifth place in round 18 on Sunday afternoon, finishing just 0.8 seconds shy of the podium.

Lining-up seventh on the grid for the second of the weekend’s encounters, Oli unfortunately slipped to ninth on lap one after losing a couple of positions at Copse Corner and was then shuffled back to 10th but he mounted a determined recovery.

On lap six, a tangle ahead at Becketts enabled the Great Finborough racer to neatly move up into the top six and that’s where he remained to the chequered flag. However, he was classified fifth due to a five second time penalty applied to William Palmer and also posted a superb personal best lap time just 0.2 seconds outside the fastest of the race.

Round 17 on Saturday was an all-action encounter for Oli, one in which he ran as high as third early on before just missing out on a top six finish on the final lap. Lining-up sixth on the grid, qualifying just 0.6 seconds shy of pole position and the third fastest of the Rookie Class runners, the Tollbar Racing with WIRED driver made a great start and avoided a lap one skirmish to move into third.

Pushed back to fourth behind Andrew Watson on lap two, Oli continued to race well but as the action became ever-more fierce he was elbowed down to sixth on the third tour. Climbing back into fourth place, profiting from close-quarters action between Niall Murray and Sennan Fielding, on lap four the Suffolk racer was again pushed back to sixth and then seventh at mid-distance.

Determined to try and get back into the top six, Oli redoubled his efforts during the final few laps and piled on the pressure to Rockingham race winner, and namesake, Ollie Chadwick who adopted a stern defence. On the penultimate lap, the Century Logistics-backed racer moved back into sixth as Chadwick slipped behind but Oli was then passed on the final lap by Murray so had to settle for seventh.

“It’s been a really good weekend”, said Oli, “Testing in the dry on Friday afternoon was really good, we showed some good pace there. That showed potential for the rest of the weekend, so I went into qualifying feeling confident and the car was feeling good.

“Qualifying was definitely the best we’ve done in a long time, I knew we could fight for the top five in the two races. I got an absolutely flying start to Saturday’s race, I moved up to third by the end of the first lap which was really good. I couldn’t quite hold it and got a little bit mugged, dropping to eighth, but we ended up seventh. It was a good race in terms of racecraft, I’m fairly happy with it.”

He added: “Race two was even better in terms of the end result, the start wasn’t as good though and I braked a bit too hard at Copse so lost a few places there. I managed to claw some places back though, and there were a few incidents ahead of me, I came through nicely and followed Sennan [Fielding] – we just ran out of laps but could have been right in that front mix. I’m really happy to be back in the top five though, a really strong weekend and now I can’t wait for Brands Hatch.”

Oli’s maiden season of car racing will come to a conclusion just a fortnight from now, over the weekend 20th/21st October, with the final two rounds of the Ginetta Junior Championship taking place at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent.

2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd18 inc. drop scores):
9th Oli Basey-Fisher, 235pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.