Douglas Motorsport continued their winning ways last weekend as the Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship visited the sweeping curves of the ultra fast Thruxton circuit in Hampshire.
Series leader Stuart Middleton qualified second, just .001 off pole position in a typically close fought Ginetta Junior session. Team mates Daniel Harper and Enzo Fittapaldi fared less well, qualifying in 14th and 18th positions respectively.
Typically, Middleton grabbed the lead on the opening to set up what was described as one of the best races of the season as Will Tregurtha immediately challenged. The pair, working their way clear of the pack, repeatedly ran side by side through the fastest sections of the track, arriving to the chicane on the last lap door handle to door handle. Middleton held his nerve though, to cross the line just .168 seconds ahead of Tregurtha. In their wake, Harper had uncorked one of his trademark charges and managed to climb as far as seventh, before a spin dropped him back to fifteenth. Crucially though, his fastest lap was less than a tenth away from that of his winning team mate. Fittipaldi had not tested at the high speed track but continued to reduce his lap times, coming home in seventeenth place.
In race two, Middleton again led with Tregurtha in pursuit. A safety car bunched up the pack early on though and allowed Dave Wooder to join the leading duo. Middleton was bundled back to third but as he challenged to regain the lead, he was edged wide at Goodwood corner and dropped well back. Finishing in ninth place, Stuart and the team could take some consolation in the fact that he claimed fastest lap, with second fastest being team mate Harper. The young Northern Irishman had damaged his bumper on lap one and finished in eleventh with a hugely improved Fittipaldi right on his bumper in twelveth, having come all the way from the back.
Stuart Middleton, Douglas Motorsport “ “It’s obviously great to have won again and to be leading the championship still, but we should’ve been challenging again for the win in race two. We had the pace to win the race and I proved that with fastest lap at the end. Oulton is next and another good circuit for us, we had good pace there last year and I was on for third until I had an unfortunate spin. It’s another track I enjoy driving so I’m looking forward to it and aiming to do well..”
Wayne Douglas, Team Principal, Douglas Motorsport “It is always good to get a win, but realistically we should have won two races today. Stuart still leads the championship though, Daniel was as quick as ever but unlucky and I am delighted to see Enzo continue to improve.”
The next rounds of the Ginetta championships take place at Oulton Park in Cheshire over the weekend of 4th/5th June
Images from Jakob Ebrey.