The 2020 Ginetta Junior Championship came to its conclusion at Brands Hatch earlier this month, once supporting supporting the BTCC . In what has been a significantly different calendar compared to other years, Tom took the challenge on with a very mature head.
The Belfast youngster has shown consistent improvement and flashes of race winning pace throughout the season which led to multiple podiums and fastest laps across a selection of UK circuits.
Tom headed into his final race weekend of the year holding 6th in the championship and 4th in the Rookie Championship.
Rain plagued the Ginetta sessions all weekend making it really difficult to stay on the black stuff – resulting in multiple qualifying laps being disallowed due to track limits – unfortunately including Tom’s. He would ultimately qualify P9 for race 1 and P6 for race 2.
The wet conditions would continue to play a significant role as the races unfolded with multiple yellow and red flags making it difficult for drivers to find a rhythm.
Race one opened with instant carnage and Tom played a blinder in avoiding contact. The safety car was deployed and Tom found himself 2 places up in 7th. He made a good restart and quickly took 6th before finding himself again following a train of cars behind the safety car just 1 lap into the restart. Because of this he was forced to relinquish the place gained and drop back to 7th. A typically charging drive saw him climb to fifth, with his fifth fastest lap of the season showing what might have been.
Race 2 would again be fought with flags due to the tricky conditions. The opening was almost instantly stopped as three drivers collided on the start line. Red flag – everyone return to the pits!
Tom got a good restart but again there was trouble and within the opening lap the safety car was deployed. By the time the racing was allowed to begin again there were only 4 minutes left and Tom was in 5th place.
Another driver attempted an ill advised move on Tom up the inside of Druids, but with the severe lack of grip ended up tagging the rear quarter of Tom’s Ginetta. Tom, showing great awareness, managed to catch what looked to be an inevitable spin and kept his car on the track. Having almost gone off in avoidance though, he dropped down to 7th and with so little time left in the race did not have enough time to catch the leading pack. With points totalled ,Tom finishes the season 6th in the hugely competitive Championship and 4th in the Rookie series. A great result in his first ever season of Ginetta Junior.