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Category: Ginetta Junior Championship

Pedro CardosoBrazilian teenager Pedro Cardoso, one of South America’s premier young motor racing talents, will make his graduation into car racing on UK soil this year after signing a deal with title-winning team Hillspeed to contest the 2014 Ginetta Junior Championship.

The hugely promising 14-year-old, who hails from Brasilia, has racked-up numerous title victories in his young karting career and will make history as the first Brazilian to compete in Ginetta Junior when he debuts in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship support category in March.

In 2013, Cardoso won the Sao Paolo State Championship, triumphed in the prestigious Sao Paolo Karting Cup for the third year in succession and was also Vice-Champion of the Brazilian Rotax Junior Max Karting Championship.

Cardoso first came to prominence at the tender age of nine-years-old when he won the 2008 RBC Grand Prix of Kart and Brazilian Grand Prix of Kart titles. In 2010 the rapid youngster won the Sao Paolo Karting Cup for the first time and reclaimed the crown in 2012, along with the Brazilian title, as well as enjoying a victorious run in the Florida Winter Tour series.

“This is a very important moment for my career and I believe Hillspeed will help me improve a lot throughout the year”, said Cardoso, “It’s a very accomplished top team so I am in the best company I could be.

“I was very happy when I tested with the team in December and I believe I can deliver good results, although I know we will need to work hard together. This [Ginetta Junior] is a great series, as well as a great team, and I am very excited to start working with all the guys at Hillspeed.”

Chairman of Ginetta Cars, Lawrence Tomlinson, is thrilled to welcome the first South American driver into the Ginetta Junior Championship and is looking forward to seeing how the youngster progresses throughout his maiden season.

Tomlinson commented: “It’s great to have Pedro joining the Ginetta Junior Championship for 2014, his commitment to the series further highlights the BTCC supporting series as a platform for drivers across the globe to begin their motorsport career in front of a mass audience.”

Hathersage-based Hillspeed, of course, has enjoyed tremendous success in the ranks of Ginetta Junior since first entering the category in 2010. Winning the main season title with Tom Ingram and the Winter Series crown with Seb Morris, the following year Morris claimed the main Ginetta Junior title and the squad has since continued to be a race-winning and championship challenging force.

“Everyone at Hillspeed is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Pedro in his first season of car racing, he’s a highly rated young driver and an incredibly exciting talent”, said team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “Brazil, and South America as a whole, has always been such a hotbed of motor racing talent and we’re confident Pedro has what it takes to be a very successful competitor in Ginettas.

“Our aim is to help Pedro quickly become a front-runner and we’re certain he will begin the season very competitively. It’s going to be a tough challenge for a 14-year-old in his first season in cars, but he has a fantastic network of support. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Pedro’s manager, Geraldo Rodrigues, for putting the deal together – it’s a great start to the New Year for Hillspeed.”

Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent will host the opening two rounds of the 2014 Ginetta Junior season over the weekend 29th/30th March.

Matt ChapmanTalented 14-year-old karting graduate Matt Chapman will make his car racing debut in the Ginetta Junior Championship this year, having signed a deal with top team Total Control Racing to contest the high-profile Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship support category.

Announcing the agreement on Thursday, 9th January, at the Autosport International Show at Birmingham’s NEC, the biggest annual dedicated motor racing exhibition in Europe, the Wednesbury squad is delighted to have secured the first driver signing for its maiden season in the Junior series.

Chapman, who hails from Oxford, has made rapid progress since debuting in karting only two short years ago. Starting out in the Comer Cadet British Championship in Formula Kart Stars, the youngster stepped up to the Mini Max class in 2013 in the Super 1 National Championship.

Last year he got his first taste of a Ginetta G40 ‘Junior’ car during selected test outings and Chapman also entered the Ginetta Junior Scholarship, only just missing out on the prize of a fully-funded drive in the 2014 championship after embarking on an intensive shoot-out featuring 60 young drivers.

Part of the Ignition Sport management stable, headed by experienced international sportscar racer James Walker, the teenage Faringdon Community College student is hoping to make a strong start to his car racing career with TCR.

“I really enjoy driving the Ginetta G40 and can’t wait for the first race”, said Chapman, “I have a lot to learn, that’s why it’s important to work with people I trust to guide and teach me. With Lee Brookes’ experience of driving touring cars and the professional setup of TCR, I believe we will have the best chance of challenging for the Rookie Cup.”

TCR, of course, is widely regarded as one of the most successful teams in national motorsport and especially in one-make championships. Over the years, the West Midlands-based squad has been at the forefront of a variety of categories – not least the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup, Renault UK Clio Cup, SEAT Cupra Championship and Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship.

Adding involvement in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge a couple of seasons ago, TCR immediately became a front-running force and consistent championship challengers. Now, the Lee Brookes-led squad is aiming to do exactly the same in Ginetta Junior.

“I’m really pleased Matt will be starting his car racing career with TCR”, commented team principal Brookes, “We’re looking forward to helping him achieve his goals and after seeing how well Matt performed on the Scholarship day last year, I am sure he can quickly become a front-runner. We’re determined to make TCR’s first year in the Ginetta Junior Championship a successful one.”

Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent will host the opening two races of the Ginetta Junior Championship season over the weekend 29th/30th March.

Charlie Robertson - BTCC Toyota AvensisCharlie Robertson, the reigning Ginetta Junior Champion, had the opportunity to sample Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship machinery for the first time in his racing career at Silverstone on Tuesday, 5th March, with an outing in a Speedworks Motorsport-run Toyota Avensis.

Provided by Ginetta Cars Ltd as part of his prize package for winning the 2012 title, Charlie – who makes the move to single-seaters this year in the new BRDC Formula 4 Championship – thoroughly enjoyed his maiden test at the wheel of a BTCC car, describing the Toyota as a “serious bit of kit.”

Taking place as part of the annual Ginetta ‘Media Day’, the outing was not only the 16-year-old’s debut in a touring car but also his first ever run in a front-wheel drive racing car. Adapting without any troubles at all, the Whyteleafe-based youngster was certainly impressed by the Avensis.

“It was a really good experience and the car didn’t take too long to get used to”, he said, “The main thing for me was the size compared to what I’ve been used to in Ginetta Junior and to the Formula 4 single-seater I’ll be racing this year. It’s definitely a fast car and really good fun to drive.

“Compared to my first run in the F4 car last week, I think the BTCC car has similar power really but it has a lot of torque and is obviously much heavier. It’s a serious bit of kit, that’s for sure, and the run has given me a good insight into front-wheel drive and touring cars. Our focus is on single-seaters but this test has definitely shown me touring cars could be something to consider for the future.”

Charlie added: “I’d definitely love the chance to have another run in a touring car at some point and I must say a massive thank you to Lawrence [Tomlinson – Ginetta Cars Chairman] and all the guys at Speedworks Motorsport for giving me such a fantastic opportunity.”

The MSA Academy racer’s attention now returns to his preparations for the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship season and after a strong initial test outing in his HHC Motorsport-run MSV F4-013 last week, the Investigo-sponsored driver is counting the days until the campaign gets underway.

Officially timed pre-season testing will take place at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk on Tuesday, 23rd April, with Silverstone’s Grand Prix Circuit hosting the curtain-raiser to the brand new series just a few days later, over the weekend 27th/28th April.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Hillspeed Ginetta JuniorFormula Kart Stars racer Josh White has scooped a subsidised prize drive in the 2013 Ginetta Junior Championship with multiple title-winning team Hillspeed after emerging as the successful candidate from a scholarship ‘shoot-out’ featuring 12 of the best young competitors from the ranks of FKS.

Run as a joint venture between Hathersage-based Hillspeed, Formula Kart Stars and Ginetta Cars, the assessment put each of the shortlisted racers through their paces at the wheel of a Ginetta G40 ‘Junior’ car at Anglesey Circuit in North Wales – with 16-year-old White coming out on top.

Impressing a judging panel comprising 2010 Ginetta Junior Champion and former FKS ‘Old Boy’ Tom Ingram, 2011 Ginetta Junior title winner and current Ginetta Ambassador Seb Morris, Ginetta Cars’ own Mike Simpson and Hillspeed driver coach Matt Shawyer, Ilkley ace White is now busy preparing for his graduation to car racing.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the incredibly high standard and quality of drivers taking part in the Hillspeed and Formula Kart Stars assessment, said team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “We were only really able to select a winner after lengthy deliberation between the judging panel, there was a lot of promising talent on display and all involved did a terrific job.

“The judges took into account a wide variety of factors – it wasn’t about simply choosing the fastest driver on the day. Previous experience was a consideration, along with how well each of the drivers developed throughout the event and how well they reacted to instruction from the coaches.”

Ollerenshaw added: “We’re very much looking forward to working with Josh in 2013, he made some exceptional progress throughout the assessment and displayed a lot of potential. He’s most certainly a deserving winner and I’d like to take this chance, on behalf of everyone at Hillspeed, to thank all at Ginetta Cars and, of course, Carolynn Hoy and the team at Formula Kart Stars.”

White, who has been racing in the Junior Max class of the Formula One Management-backed FKS series this year, has an impressive CV with the highlight being championship victory in Mini Max in 2011. In the same season, he was also third in the ABkC ‘O’ Plate and fourth in the Kartmasters British Grand Prix. The Yorkshire youngster made his karting debut in 2006 in Cadets.

Reflecting on the assessment, FKS Executive Director Carolynn Hoy commented: “I am delighted to hear that, once again, our drivers have done us proud by displaying their talent behind the wheel of a Ginetta Junior.

“I was sure the competition for top spot was always going to be tight and would like to congratulate all the drivers on their performance. I am confident that Josh will continue to impress Hillspeed in 2013, and wish him and the team the best of luck in their championship campaign.”

Brands Hatch Indy Circuit will host the opening weekend of the 2013 Ginetta Junior Championship on 30th/31st March.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Charlie RobertsonBrands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit hosts the eagerly awaited Ginetta Junior Championship season finale next weekend, 20th/21st October, where Charlie Robertson will be aiming to claim his first car racing title at the tender age of just 15-years-old.

Despite holding a 25-point advantage at the top of the standings, and although there are only two races remaining in the hotly-contested 2012 title battle, the Whyteleafe-based youngster knows he can’t take anything for granted ahead of the visit to his local track.

Charlie has enjoyed a highly successful second season in Ginetta Junior, with a tally of six victories and six further podiums from the 18 races contested so far, but he has also endured more than his share of misfortune.

During the very first race of the season, the HHC Motorsport driver’s bid was dealt a cruel blow when a puncture while leading cost valuable points. At Donington Park, the second event of the year, he was unceremoniously punted out of round four but from there Charlie underlined his true credentials by hitting back in style with an utterly dominant double win at Thruxton.

With the exception of the visit to Oulton Park in June, the Investigo and Ria Capital Markets-backed driver has been on the podium at every circuit since and although he was again the victim of contact at Silverstone last time out he’s going into the championship finale with confidence sky high.

“It’s definitely been a tough season, we’ve had the pace to win from the first round but it’s been one of those years where we’ve had a lot of bad luck with one thing and another”, said the Caterham School pupil, “I’m really looking forward to Brands though, it’s a fantastic track, we’ll have some local support there and I’m feeling really confident we can get the results we need.

“It’s obviously nice to have the extra boost of a good lead in the championship but it could all change in the first race, you never know what can happen. We just need to focus on doing the best we can in qualifying, try to get on the front row to make things that bit easier and then take it from there.”

Charlie heads to Brands Hatch next weekend with a strong past record of success on both the Indy Circuit configuration and the Grand Prix layout. During last year’s event on the full 2.3-mile track, the MSA Academy racer took the third win of his rookie season en-route to becoming Vice-Champion.

Following testing on Friday, 19th October, an additional free practice will be held at 10.20 on Saturday, 20th October, ahead of qualifying at 13.50 and round 19 at 16.45. On Sunday, 21st October, the potentially decisive final round will take place at approximately 12.10 and will be the second of the day’s races to be screened live on ITV4 and ITV4 HD with live streaming at

Provisional 2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd18 – inc. drop scores):
1st Charlie Robertson, 453pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

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.

Pepe Massot - Silverstone Ginetta WinnerHillspeed enjoyed a fantastically successful outing at Silverstone National Circuit over the weekend, 6th/7th October with Pepe Massot winning round 18 of the Ginetta Junior Championship and Kieran Vernon making a welcome return to the Protyre Formula Renault BARC podium.

Bouncing back brilliantly from a disappointing opening race in Ginetta Junior on Saturday, in which contact left Massot’s car with significant damage and a lack of performance which resulted in an 11th place finish, in Sunday’s televised race the young Spaniard secured the second outright victory of his maiden season in cars.

Qualifying third on the grid, the 16-year-old from Barcelona made a good getaway to round 18 and quickly snatched second place on the opening lap. Remaining in second until lap three, on the run into Becketts the Hillspeed rookie dived up the inside to grab the lead from Charlie Robertson.

With the lead quartet split by little more than a second, Massot had to keep an eye on his mirrors for the remainder of the 11 lap encounter but he defended superbly with great maturity and skill far belying his years.

On the final lap though, Andrew Watson made an attempted pass up the inside at Becketts – there was slight contact and Massot was pushed wide. Somehow though, he was able to regain second place on the run into Brooklands and superbly took the lead back at Luffield to claim the victory by 0.3 seconds.

Young team-mate Freddie Lee, in only his fourth race weekend in Ginetta Junior, unfortunately crashed out of race two on lap six after a small error under braking at Becketts which led to a tangle with Robertson.

In round 17 though, the 15-year-old managed to secure a top 10 finish – his fifth of the season – after a hectic outing in which he ran as high as eighth. Lining-up 11th on the grid, Lee progressed into ninth on lap three ahead of Massot after the latter incurred his significant bodywork damage.

Taking eighth on lap five, at the expense of Niall Murray who dropped back, Lee remained there until lap eight when Murray recovered his lost ground. He was then edged back to 10th on the final lap when usurped during the closing stages by William Palmer.

“Pepe produced an exceptional performance to win race two”, said Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “He raced fantastically well, defended fairly and when it looked as though he might be beaten he produced a sensational second half of the final lap to win – incredible. Freddie didn’t get the results he wanted but it’s clear for us to see he’s continuing to make very good progress.”

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Charlie Robertson leading at SilverstoneCharlie Robertson will take a provisional 25-point lead into the final two races of an unpredictable Ginetta Junior Championship season two weeks from now after a bittersweet outing at Silverstone National Circuit over the weekend, 6th/7th October.

Just missing out on his seventh win of the year in round 17 on Saturday by a mere 0.078 seconds, but nonetheless claiming his 12th podium of the campaign, the 15-year-old was then punted out of round 18 on Sunday – thankfully, though, it didn’t have a major impact on his championship lead.

While on overall scores the HHC Motorsport driver’s advantage has been reduced to 23 points, when the category’s ‘drop score’ ruling is applied Charlie’s lead increases by two meaning he will go to Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit a fortnight from now in the box seat.

“Being knocked out of the second race obviously isn’t the way I wanted the weekend to end”, said the Whyteleafe youngster, “The plan was to stay out of trouble, and pick up as many points as we could but there was nothing I could do about what happened – I was just hit from behind under braking and that was it. Luckily, with the race one podium, we’re still leading the championship.”

Charlie started off the weekend perfectly with pole position for both races and he made a great start to round 17 on Saturday afternoon, opening up a substantial lead of two seconds on the first lap and settling in to a comfortable rhythm at the front.

By the start of lap four, the Surrey racer’s lead was almost three seconds but Andrew Watson then began to chip away at Charlie’s advantage. By lap 13, Watson was right behind the HHC driver and went for a move into Becketts which Charlie sensibly chose not to fight – wisely thinking about the championship with title rivals Sennan Fielding and Niall Murray much further back.

On the last lap though, Charlie was right behind Watson and heading into the complex for the final time they were side-by-side. Getting terrific drive out of Luffield and into Woodcote, Charlie almost pipped his rival on the line with a mere 0.078 seconds between them at the flag .

“I got a really good start and I was comfortable for the first half of the race but then I saw Andrew [Watson] starting to catch me and I knew he was quick, he was fast in the testing on Friday and was quick all weekend”, commented the Investigo and Ria Capital Markets-supported racer.

“When he did the move, there was a chance I could have tried to get him back straight away but I just didn’t think it was worth the risk. If I’d done that and made a mistake it would have cost me a lot more than it would have cost him, so I was happy to think of the championship and take second.”

Unfortunately for Charlie, round 18 didn’t follow the planned script. Shuffled back to third on lap one at Becketts, he hit back superbly on the run into Brooklands and moved back into the lead at the exit of Luffield. At that stage all looked well for a potential victory challenge but after running slightly wide at Becketts on lap three, he was bundled back to fifth place.

Then, just three laps later, Charlie’s race was over when contact from Freddie Lee, as he made an error under braking for Becketts, pushed the championship leader off into the gravel trap and a frustrating retirement. Even so, his title ambitions remain on course with only two rounds left.

Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent will host the season finale of the 2012 Ginetta Junior season a fortnight from now on 20th/21st October.

Provisional 2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd18 – inc. drop scores):
1st Charlie Robertson, 453pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Charlie RobertsonOnly four races now stand between Charlie Robertson and his bid to claim the 2012 Ginetta Junior Championship title and ahead of rounds 17 and 18 of the season at Silverstone next weekend, 6th/7th October, the series leader is focusing on maintaining his excellent run of consistency.

With five straight podium finishes from the last five races, including three victories, the 15-year-old has opened-up a 23 point advantage at the top of the driver standings and as the championship fight reaches crunch-time, Charlie knows continuing the recent momentum will be crucial.

“So far, the second half of the season has been really strong for us and we’ve scored a lot of points but it’s still pretty close in the championship and one bad result could change everything”, said the Whyteleafe-based youngster, “I still intend to go out there at Silverstone and try and win both races but the main thing is to keep finishing on the podium and picking-up as many points as we can.”

At Silverstone’s 1.64-mile National Circuit last year, which hosted the final event of the 2011 season, the HHC Motorsport driver enjoyed podium success on his way to securing the Vice-Champion’s spot in the title standings at the tender age of 14.

One year on, the Investigo and Ria Capital Markets-backed youngster has his sights set one place higher and two more podiums next weekend would go a long way to putting him in a strong position ahead of the season finale at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on 20th/21st October.

One important factor going into the final four rounds of the campaign will be the impact of ‘drop scores’ with each driver having to deduct their weakest two results from their final totals. Charlie currently has 28 points to subtract which means his ‘net’ lead is slightly reduced to 17 points.

“Silverstone is going to be so important”, added the Caterham School pupil, “We need to try and maintain the lead we’ve got and if we can increase it then that’ll be even better. I’m sure the championship will go down to the final race of the season and with drop scores as well you’re never sure what’ll happen.

“We know we’ve got a good car and we were competitive at Silverstone last year so I’m feeling confident and really looking forward to it – it’s always one of the biggest race meetings of the year with great crowds. Hopefully we can keep our good momentum going.”

Following officially timed testing on Friday, 5th October, free practice will take place at 10.25 on Saturday, 6th October, with qualifying at 14.45 and round 17 scheduled to start at 17.05. Round 18, which will be screened live on ITV4, in High Definition on ITV4 HD and streamed live online at the website, will take place on Sunday, 7th October, at 13.45.

2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd16):
1st Charlie Robertson, 432pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

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.