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Category: Ginetta Junior Championship

Charlie Robertson - RockinghamGinetta Junior Championship leader Charlie Robertson enhanced his cushion at the top of the driver standings to 23 points at Rockingham over the weekend, 22nd/23rd September, after racing to a pair of second place finishes – boosting his tally of podiums for the year to 11 from 16 races.

Dominating qualifying by taking pole position for both outings, robust action in each encounter meant the 15-year-old was unfortunately prevented from adding to his recent run of wins. He did, though, out-score all of his rivals and also posted a new lap record – bettering his own benchmark – with a time of 1m33.807 seconds (74.45mph).

“Overall it’s been a good weekend, collecting as many points as possible is the aim and we’ve done that”, said the HHC Motorsport driver, “We had the pace to take a win this weekend, so I am a bit disappointed about that, but hopefully we can carry on the momentum of being on the podium at Silverstone and the final round at Brands.”

Beginning the weekend strongly in practice, Whyteleafe-based Charlie was in a league of his own in qualifying and took the top spot on the grid for round 15 by a full 0.4 seconds before adding the round 16 pole position, 0.2 seconds clear of chief rival Sennan Fielding.

Making a good start to Saturday afternoon’s race, the Investigo and Ria Capital Markets-supported racer held the inside line through Turn One of the Rockingham Oval but at Deene he was shuffled down the order to fifth as several drivers cut across the dirt on the inside of the hairpin.

Instantly setting about regaining the lost ground, Charlie took fourth place at Tarzan mid-lap and then piled on the pressure to Harry Woodhead in third. On lap two though, at the exit of Tarzan, contact occurred between Charlie and the recovering Fielding which dropped the HHC racer to sixth.

Reeling off some sensational laps, determined to get back into the podium placings, Charlie was into the top three by lap six and closed down second placed Keith Donegan’s 1.5 second advantage to nothing before passing the Irishman on the penultimate lap. Over the final couple of miles, the series leader closed down Ollie Chadwick but just missed out on the win by a mere 0.3 seconds.

“I got a pretty decent start but I’m not sure what happened at the hairpin – in the driver briefing we were told you couldn’t use four wheels off the track there but some of them did so I ended up back in fifth”, said Charlie, “On lap two I tried to pass [Harry] Woodhead into Tarzan and then Sennan [Fielding] got the cut back behind, but on the exit he ran me out of road and clipped my wheel.

“That put me back to about sixth, so I had to focus on the front and just try and work my way back through. I could see Ollie [Chadwick] ahead so I just pushed as hard as I could. With maybe another couple of laps I could have had the win, congratulations to Ollie though, he drove really well.”

In round 16, the Caterham School pupil maintained the advantage of pole and led until lap three when Fielding launched an attack up the inside at Deene. Charlie, wanting to avoid all contact, didn’t dispute the move but on the exit his car was leant on quite heavily. Even so, he was able to hold second and remained in close company to the finish – again missing the win by only 0.3 seconds.

The MSA Academy driver, who has confirmed he will graduate to single-seater racing in 2013 in the newly announced BRDC Formula 4 Championship, will be back in Ginetta Junior action just a couple of weeks from now at Silverstone National Circuit over the weekend 6th/7th October.

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

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Pepe Massot - Rockingham PodiumGinetta Junior Championship front-runner Pepe Massot secured yet another Rookie Cup victory for reigning champions Hillspeed during round 16 at Rockingham on Sunday, 23rd September, although contact at the final corner on the last lap robbed the Spaniard of a deserved outright podium finish.

While qualifying didn’t quite go according to plan for the 16-year-old, starting eighth on the grid for both encounters, Massot delivered two excellent race performances – in particular Sunday’s outing in which he scythed his way through into the top three only to be knocked back to fifth.

Climbing into the top six on the opening lap of round 16, the first year racer piled on the pressure to the drivers ahead and quickly took fifth before a tight battle over fourth ensued with Ollie Chadwick and Harry Woodhead.

Glued to the tail of Chadwick’s Ginetta G40, with Niall Murray only fractionally ahead of both in third place, Massot remained patient and out of Brook Chicane on lap six he benefitted from terrific drive to get the inside line through Turn Four of the Rockingham Oval.

Running into lap seven alongside Murray with Chadwick on the outside, the Hillspeed racer grabbed third place with some great driving into Turn One but on the final lap contact dropped Massot back to fifth behind both rivals.

In Saturday’s race, the Barcelona-born driver moved into the top four by the end of lap two and although slipping to fifth behind recovering championship leader Charlie Robertson – who dropped back on the second tour after contact with Sennan Fielding – Massot grabbed fourth back at Tarzan on lap seven, from Woodhead.

“We’re happy to see Pepe on the podium with a Rookie win but there were some questionable driving standards again this weekend, definitely costing him an outright podium in race two”, said team principal Richard Ollerenshaw.

“In qualifying he missed the opportunity to hook his laps up but he raced very impressively. Moving up to third from eighth on the grid in race two was outstanding and he managed to pass every car along the way without the slightest bit of contact. At the last corner of the final lap though, he was blatantly taken off – we’re incredibly disappointed nothing was done about that after the race.”

Team-mate Freddie Lee, in only his third weekend of racing in Ginetta Junior, produced two very impressive drives in rounds 15 and 16 and concluded the weekend with a best result so far of seventh place in Sunday’s encounter – just 0.6 seconds shy of the coveted top six.

Beginning race two from ninth on the grid, having qualified within 0.3 seconds of Massot, the 14-year-old climbed into eighth on the first lap and instantly tagged-on to Oli Basey-Fisher ahead while defending well from Keith Donegan behind.

As the mid-pack closed up into the second half of the race, with a train of five cars developing, there was nothing between the quintet and Lee was unfortunately shuffled back to ninth on lap five. Quick to recover though, the Hillspeed racer grabbed eighth place back at Brook Chicane on the sixth tour and then brilliantly nabbed seventh on the final lap.

In race one, the Chelmsford rookie held ninth early on and after pressuring the group ahead he managed to take eighth place from Basey-Fisher on lap six. Defending well with some great racecraft as his rival tried to hit back, Lee was then able to pull clear over the last couple of laps to maintain the position and take fourth in the Rookie Cup.

“We’re very pleased with Freddie’s performance this weekend, it’s the first event he’s done where he’s had chance to test before the race meeting and that preparation really paid off”, commented Ollerenshaw, “He’s really starting to get to grips with the car and raced very strongly all weekend which was fantastic to see, we’re really very impressed with his progress.”

Rounds 17 and 18 of the Ginetta Junior Championship will take place at Silverstone National Circuit in Northamptonshire over the weekend 6th/7th October. At the same event, Hillspeed will also have its Protyre Formula Renault BARC squad in action for the final two rounds of that championship.

2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd16):
4th Pepe Massot, 297pts; 14th Freddie Lee, 53pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Charlie RobertsonRockingham International Sportscar Circuit hosts the resumption of the Ginetta Junior Championship this coming weekend, 22nd/23rd September, where new points leader Charlie Robertson aims to increase his advantage at the top of the driver standings.

With just six races remaining on the 2012 calendar, spread over a short five week period, the season is entering a crucial phase and the youngster from Whyteleafe in Surrey is currently enjoying a great run having won the last three races back-to-back – meaning six victories for the year.

Charlie’s second season of car racing has certainly had its ups and downs – through no fault of his own it should be noted – but he has recovered from each set-back more determined and more focused than ever, resulting in his return to the top of the standings last time out at Knockhill.

Racing to a pair of sensational lights-to-flag wins in rounds 13 and 14 of the championship, and in the process turning an 18 point deficit into a four point advantage over his chief rivals, the 15-year-old Scottish ace was elated to secure a double victory on home soil.

Determined to edge further clear in the ultra-tight battle for the Ginetta Junior crown during rounds 15 and 16 at Rockingham a few days from now, the Investigo and Ria Capital Markets-backed racer is aiming to extend his recent winning streak.

“Rockingham should be great, I really can’t wait to be back in the car and to try and continue where we left off at Knockhill”, said the HHC Motorsport driver, “It was an amazing weekend, winning both races at my home track with so much support from friends and family was fantastic. We’ve had quite a lot of bad luck this year but, even with that, we’re leading the championship again which is great.”

Charlie, who was declared one of the top three Motorsport News ‘Fast 50 – Drivers to Watch 2012’ at the beginning of the year, is quite rightly regarded as one of the UK’s top motor racing prospects and, as such, the MSA Academy driver will arrive at Rockingham determined to cement his status.

“I really want to win both races at the weekend”, he added, “It’ll obviously be tough and it’s really close at the top of the championship between me, Niall [Murray] and Sennan [Fielding]. The most important thing though is two big scores, at this point of the season consistency is everything.”

Following officially timed testing at Rockingham on Friday, 21st September, an additional free practice session will take place at 09.00 on Saturday, 22nd September, ahead of qualifying at 11.00 and round 15 at 14.40. On Sunday, 23rd September, round 16 will commence at 12.10 and will be screened live on ITV4, in High Definition on ITV4 HD and with online streaming at www.itv.com/btcc

2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd14):
1st Charlie Robertson, 369pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Nathan Harrison - ThruxtonHillspeed’s Nathan Harrison consolidated his top six placing in the Ginetta Junior Championship at a wet and windy Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire over the weekend, 28th/29th April, with a best finish of fifth – second in the Rookie Class – during a rain-lashed sixth round of the campaign.

While qualifying didn’t go fully to plan for either Harrison or team-mate Pepe Massot, both first-year drivers produced superb performances in incredibly difficult race conditions to each secure healthy points finishes.

Starting Saturday afternoon’s race from the fifth row of the grid, an outing in which the Clerk of the Course ruled all drivers had to compete on treaded tyres due to the inclement weather, 15-year-old Harrison progressed into ninth on lap one before usurping Keith Donegan for eighth at mid-distance.

Massot, meanwhile, wasn’t able to capitalise on his top four starting slot and slipped to fifth initially before being edged back into sixth on lap five. As the race neared its conclusion on lap 10, the fight for sixth closed up with the Spaniard just ahead of then points leader Sennan Fielding and Harrison.

Heading up Woodham Hill on the approach to Club Chicane for the final time on lap 11, the trio ran almost three abreast into the braking zone. While Massot held on to sixth and second in the Rookie classification, Fielding didn’t get the best drive out of the corner and that gave Harrison all the invitation he needed to grab seventh on the line by a mere 0.088 seconds.

Non-stop rain on Sunday morning led to a fully wet track for round six with Harrison lining-up on the fourth row in seventh place ahead of Massot in ninth. With no let-up in the rain or the harsh winds, officials elected to begin the race from behind the Safety Car and when racing proper started on lap three, Harrison moved into the top five before challenging for fourth at Allard next time around.

Running fifth for the remainder of the race, the Oxfordshire driver did come under pressure from William Palmer during the closing stages but held firm to retain his hard-earned fifth place finish by 0.4 seconds – second in the Rookie class.

Massot, hampered by a heavily steamed-up windscreen caused by an issue with the demister on his Ginetta G40, slipped to eighth place early on but did battle into seventh before being edged back to eighth by Fielding who was recovering after an earlier moment. Added to his round five result, the finish enabled car racing rookie Massot to conclude the weekend back in the championship top 10.

“We’ve had exceptionally difficult circumstances this weekend but we’re very pleased with the performances of both Nathan and Pepe in incredibly tough conditions”, said team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “Other than the official test a few weeks ago, this was Nathan’s first visit to Thruxton while Pepe hadn’t even seen the track before going out into free practice on Saturday!

“Nathan did a fantastic job with two very strong drives, the weather was terrible all weekend and he coped well with the challenges it presented. Pepe too had a strong weekend but he did struggle with visibility in race two as the heated windscreen packed-up, we’re not sure if it was caused by a fuse or a relay issue. All in all, it’s been a positive weekend and we’re now looking forward to Oulton Park where we’re aiming to have a third car back out in the championship.”

Rounds seven and eight of the Ginetta Junior Championship will take place six weeks from now over the weekend 9th/10th June at Oulton Park Island Circuit in Cheshire. Before then, Hillspeed’s Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship squad will be back in action on 19th/20th May at Rockingham in Northamptonshire for the fourth and fifth rounds of its 2012 season.

2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd6):
6th Nathan Harrison, 92pts; 10th Pepe Massot, 64pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Oli Basey-Fisher - ThruxtonGinetta Junior Championship rookie Oli Basey-Fisher secured a pair of valuable points finishes on his first visit to the fastest circuit on the series calendar, Thruxton in Hampshire, over the weekend, 28th/29th April, with persistent rain and blustery conditions providing the sternest of tests.

Having never driven his Ginetta G40 in the wet before, the 16-year-old from Great Finborough in Suffolk faced a mountainous challenge throughout the third event of his maiden car racing season but took a sensible approach to rounds five and six to secure 11th place finishes in each race.

While Saturday’s free practice, qualifying session and race were all affected by poor weather, the rain and gusty winds worsened dramatically on Sunday to give the Ginetta Junior Scholarship Winner his steepest learning curve yet.

“Obviously, Thruxton is the fastest circuit in the UK so to race there for the first time under the conditions we had was a really tough challenge”, said the Century Logistics-backed driver, “It’s been the most difficult weekend so far but we scored points in both races so I’m happy enough with that.

“It was absolutely tipping down all weekend, Saturday was more changeable – wet in the morning, followed by a greasy session and then a dry session – while on Sunday it was nothing but rain all day long. Every session was a different challenge for me, a hell of a learning experience that’s for sure!”

Round five on Saturday took place on a drying track after earlier rain but, on the grounds of safety, officials decided the teenage racers in Ginetta Junior should run with wet-weather tyres. Lining up 11th on the grid, Oli had a good opening lap and climbed into the top 10 before eventually having to settle for 11th, and sixth in the Rookie classification, following a battle with Tom Jackson.

With heavy rain saturating the 2.36-mile circuit overnight, and no let up throughout Sunday, round six was unquestionably run with all cars having full wet set-up and treaded tyres. Officials chose to begin the action under Safety Car conditions so racing proper didn’t get underway until lap three.

Providing an even tougher challenge than Saturday’s slippery encounter, Oli again moved into the top 10 early on and held the spot until the start of the fifth tour when erstwhile championship leader Sennan Fielding made his way by. Holding 11th place to the flag, the Tollbar Racing with WIRED driver lapped well clear of round five challenger Jackson to claim an improved top five Rookie finish.

“I was lower down the order than I expected to be, or wanted to be, but I’ve certainly learnt a lot from it and it’s definitely been a worthwhile weekend”, said Oli, “I learnt so many things, I took a lot of advice from my driver coach Malcolm Smith – he’s helped me so much – and it was just a case of trying to remain as relaxed as possible, whatever the weather threw at us.”

Oli now has a six-week break from racing with the fourth event of the Ginetta Junior Championship season, rounds seven and eight, taking place over the weekend 9th/10th June at the picturesque Oulton Park Island Circuit in Cheshire.

2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd6):
1st Charlie Robertson, 144pts; 9th Oli Basey-Fisher, 71pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Charlie Robertson - ThruxtonCharlie Robertson stormed to the top of the Ginetta Junior Championship standings at a rain-lashed Thruxton over the weekend, 28th/29th April, with an utterly dominant performance – two race wins, two pole position starts and the fastest lap in both encounters.

Marking the first double-winning weekend of the 15-year-old’s short car racing career, the second year competitor was unchallenged in absolutely atrocious conditions which proved difficult for even the most experienced drivers on the entire Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship package.

“This has been the perfect way to bounce back from the troubles we had at Donington”, said the Investigo and Ria Capital Markets-supported star, “I was praying for rain after qualifying, I knew my wet pace was really good and so rain would be good for us in the races and I think I proved that with two wins out of two, my first ever double on the TOCA package. It’s absolutely fantastic.”

Setting the standard throughout the weekend, Charlie secured pole position for round five by a huge 0.8 seconds and his second quickest lap time of the session, determining starting positions for round six, was an even more impressive one second ahead of closest challenger Niall Murray.

Ahead of Saturday afternoon’s race, there was some debate as to whether slick tyres would be used but the Clerk of the Course made the decision all drivers should utilise wet-weather rubber on the grounds of safety with light rain in the air and a slippery track surface.

Immediately stamping his authority on the race, the Whyteleafe driver opened up a 1.8 second lead on the first lap alone and set the fastest lap of the race the next time around before the treaded tyres started to lose performance. With no more rain forthcoming, the levels of grip reduced on the increasingly dry track but Charlie delivered an inch-perfect drive on the way to a 10 second victory.

So clear was the HHC Motorsport youngster’s dominance, not only was he the only driver to circulate in the 1m32 second bracket, he almost dipped below that barrier with a fastest lap of 1m32.099 seconds (92.09mph).

“It was quite hard to know which tyres to go on for race one, the Clerk of the Course said we should go on wets so that’s what we all did”, explained Charlie, “It was quite a hard race, as the track dried more the tyres started to go off and the car was sliding around a lot more but it was a good race.”

For the televised sixth round on Sunday, the action began under Safety Car conditions due to the continued presence of rain and a lot of standing water on track. Racing proper got underway at the start of lap three and Charlie made no mistakes as he quickly built a lead of over a second.

Reeling off a string of fastest laps, the best of 1m35.060 seconds (89.22mph) coming on lap six, the MSA Academy driver pushed hard to keep a good gap to title rival Murray and eventually won by two seconds. Starting the weekend fourth in the standings, Charlie now has a five point lead.

“I realised where Niall [Murray] was and I wanted to try and keep the gap or even stretch the gap, I kept pushing until the last few laps and then concentrated on making no mistakes to make sure the win was in the bag”, he added, “It really has been a fantastic weekend and the perfect 48th birthday present for my dad too!”

Charlie now has a six week break from competition with rounds seven and eight of the 2012 Ginetta Junior Championship scheduled to take place on 9th/10th June at Oulton Park in Cheshire.

2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd6):
1st Charlie Robertson, 144pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

George GambleGeorge Gamble has today, Monday, 16th April, confirmed his withdrawal from the Ginetta Junior Championship with immediate effect – calling time on his involvement in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship support series after the weekend’s second event of the season.

Following on from a major incident in round three at Donington Park on Saturday, 14th April, in which the 15-year-old’s Hillspeed-run Ginetta G40 was written off, the decision has been taken by George to pursue other opportunities rather than continue competing in Ginetta Junior.

The Nottingham-based 2011 Winter Series Champion was undoubtedly one of the title favourites this year but in the aftermath of Saturday’s multi-car accident – disagreeing with the parity of the judicial decisions taken and also the spare car ruling – he has chosen to leave the series immediately.

Instead, George is now looking towards a variety of other motor racing options, including a potential switch to single-seaters, although nothing is confirmed at this stage as he takes stock of the fall-out from the weekend’s action.

“I got taken out of Saturday’s race through no fault of my own and, as a result, we had a four car pile-up”, he explained, “Two cars in our team alone were written off and nothing was really done about it, I feel like it’s just been swept under the carpet so I’ve decided to look at other options.

“If I’d have gone out in a spare car for Sunday’s race I’d have lost 20 points straight away as a penalty, so it was pointless me going out. With two non-scores from the weekend, I wouldn’t be allowed any other mistake or DNF for the rest of the season. I’m not happy with how it’s all been handled, that’s the main reason we’ve taken this decision.”

Prior to this weekend’s event at Donington Park, George was second in the championship standings having taken two podium finishes at Brands Hatch during the season opener. Qualifying on pole for rounds three and four on Saturday, the Hillspeed driver was in the hunt for victory in the first race until contact to his rear quarter on lap nine led to an enforced spin and triggered a major collision.

His team worked tirelessly through the night on Saturday to ready a spare car for round four on Sunday, however, with no waiver regarding the 20 point penalty Gamble felt the only option was to walk away from the championship.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Charlie RobertsonGinetta Junior Championship racer Charlie Robertson took his second podium of the year at Donington Park over the weekend, 14th/15th April, during round three of the season – but the event ended in bitter disappointment for the 15-year-old when rammed into retirement from round four.

Heading into the second race meeting of the 2012 season aiming to challenge for a double victory, the HHC Motorsport driver qualified fourth fastest for Saturday’s opening encounter – just 0.176 seconds shy of pole position – and an improved third for the race two grid

Initially challenging for third place at the start of round three, Charlie was shuffled back to fourth but then seized third on lap three prior to the appearance of the Safety Car due to a Ginetta G40 off the circuit at Craner Curves.

When racing resumed on lap eight, the Investigo and Ria Capital Markets-supported youngster held his podium placing well before sailing past George Gamble and Niall Murray on the run into Redgate to grab the race lead.

At Coppice on the very next lap though, contact involving Murray and Gamble led to a multi-car collision and resulted in red flags and an early conclusion to the race. Thankfully, Charlie negotiated the chaos safely to complete the lap in the lead but with the final result declared on count-back from the end of lap seven, he was classified in second place – Gamble not included due to his non-finish.

During Sunday’s televised race, Whyteleafe-based Charlie ran in second initially but was bundled back to fourth on the opening lap. Close behind Murray for the next couple of tours, the pair got ahead of Nathan Harrison and at the end of lap four at the chicane Charlie nosed alongside Murray to try and take second but the Irishman closed the door – leading to contact.

Both recovered, Charlie in seventh and Murray in 10th position, but by lap eight the two drivers were back together. Heading down the flat-out Craner Curves, as Charlie assumed his usual line for the quick right-hander at the Old Hairpin he was unceremoniously shunted from behind by Murray and into a shocking high-speed retirement through the gravel trap.

Post-race, Murray was excluded from the results but the non-score for Charlie means the MSA Academy driver has slipped from third to fourth in the championship standings – 32 points adrift of the series lead.

“Saturday was a shambles”, said Charlie, “I really do feel I was the rightful winner of that race on the track and I don’t think the final declared result was the correct one. Race two wasn’t much better really, I got overtaken by [Niall] Murray and then I did a move on him into the chicane but he closed the door when I was down the inside for some reason.

“We both ended up dropping back and then he just went straight into the back of me at the Old Hairpin and took me out of the race. That’s a dangerous place to make contact with anyone, it’s the fastest place on the track – I thought I was going to hit the tyres but thankfully I didn’t. We should have had two podiums this weekend but, through no fault of our own, we lost a lot of points.”

Next on the schedule is a visit to the fastest circuit on the Ginetta Junior Championship calendar, Thruxton in Hampshire, for rounds five and six of the campaign on 28th/29th April.

2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd4):
4th Charlie Robertson, 70pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

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.

Seb Morris - 2011 Ginetta Junior ChampionMarford’s Seb Morris is celebrating yet another richly deserved accolade after being named the 2011 WRDA Welsh Young Driver of the Year during a special ceremony on Saturday, 19th November.

Following an utterly dominant title-winning season in the Ginetta Junior Championship, where he scorched to 11 victories and 16 podiums in total from the 20 races contested, the ultra talented driver’s year has been capped-off perfectly with the prestigious WRDA award.

Immensely proud of his Welsh heritage, the 15-year-old GCSE pupil – who studies at The King’s School, Chester – is now preparing to make the move into single-seater racing where he aims to graduate into either Formula Renault BARC or Formula Renault UK.

“It’s a real honour to be named the Welsh Young Driver of the Year and I’d like to say a big thank you to the Welsh Racing Drivers Association for their support”, said Seb, “We had a fantastic season in Ginetta this year, it couldn’t have gone any better, and to now be awarded this accolade really is the icing on the cake.”

Since graduating from a successful karting career in 2010, the Liberty Properties and Legat Owen backed racer has established himself as one of the UK’s top rising motorsport stars. Becoming a podium finisher in his maiden season in the Ginetta Junior Championship, Seb went on to claim the 2010 Winter Series title with two wins from four races.

Beginning the main Ginetta Junior season this year with a great chance to make it two title victories in succession, Seb was untouchable during the first half of the campaign and went on to win the championship one event early and with an eventual margin of 125 points over his closest challenger.

Reflecting on the WRDA’s decision to name Seb the Welsh Young Driver of the Year, club secretary Robert Allender commented: “We are pleased to honour Seb in this way. He clearly is a driver with a lot of potential and we hope he will continue to be successful.”

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.