The Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship visited Croft circuit last weekend, once again supporting the BTCC and racing in front of capacity crowds as well as live TV cameras.
In qualifying, Stuart Middleton produced a stunning lap for pole. Not only was he the only driver to break the 1m 40s barrier, but he became the only driver to qualify on pole twice in 2016 in this ultra competitive class. Rookie class leader Daniel Harper impressed once again with seventh, whilst Enzo Fittipaldi, as predicted by team boss Wayne Douglas, continued to improve with 10th on the grid.
In race one, Middleton made no mistakes to take an impressive lights to flag win, crossing the line 8 tenths of a second ahead of his nearest challenger for his fourth win of 2016. This also put the Douglas Motorsport driver back at the head of the title standings. Team mate Harper had another great run, shadowing runner up Seb Priaulx for the duration to take his fourth overall podium of the season. Fittipaldi was embroiled in a hectic race for 10th, eventually crossing the line 13th and sixth of the Rookies.
In race two, Middleton again made the perfect start to lead the pack away, whilst team mate Harper snatched second from Priaulx on the opening lap to make it a Douglas Motorsport 1-2 at the head of the field. Harper shadowed his team mate all the way to the flag for a superb result- Middleton increasing his championship lead and his younger team mate taking Rookie Cup honours once again. Fittipaldi finished 12th and fourth Rookie.
Race three, however, was a very different affair, as Douglas Motorsport were about to find out, with both Middleton and Harper being tagged and spun out on the opening lap. Middleton and Priaulx touched with the series leader being eliminated from the race immediately whilst Harper was knocked well down the order. Douglas Motorsport honour was to be upheld however, by the ever improving Fittipaldi who drove superbly to come home home eighth and take his maiden Rookie Cup victory, with the recovering Harper just behind.
Wayne Douglas, Team Principal, Douglas Motorsport “The first two races were exactly what we worked for. Race three? Well, sometimes that’s just motor racing. Overall it was a good weekend for us and I am delighted with Enzo’s first Rookie Cup win and we now lead both the overall championship with Stuart and the Rookie Cup with Daniel.”
The next rounds of the Ginetta championships take place at Snetterton over the weekend 30/31 July
Images from Jakob Ebrey.