The KICK Start Energy Ginetta Junior Championship rookie drivers appear to be one of the strongest crops to date, as newcomer Patrik Matthiesen claimed pole position for the first race of the 2015 season. Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner Stuart Middleton also impressed in his Quinton Hazell (QH) backed car, lining up in second place for the race start ahead of Billy Monger and Senna Proctor.
A blistering start for monger saw him carve his way through the pack on the opening lap to take the lead by lap two, whilst Matthiesen dropped to second and Middleton to fourth, with Proctor splitting the two newcomers.
The four drivers challenged each other throughout the opening encounter, but the end result saw the foursome remain in that order as the flag fell. Behind the four leaders was a different story – a gaggle of 17 Junior racers traded places over the final few laps.
Sophia Floersch led the bunch, defending from Jonathan Hadfield and her fellow rookie William Stacey –who set the fastest lap of the race –finishing in fourth overall despite multiple challenges from Hadfield.
With the race restricted on time due to the circuit curfew, the flag was brought out early, and with it Billy Monger claimed his first ever Ginetta podium and race win, joined by Matthiesen and Proctor on the main podium, whilst Matthiesen topped the rookie podium, with Middleton finishing second and Floersch third.
Race two was a far less reserved affair. Billy Monger started from pole following yesterday’s win, and once again enjoyed a textbook start as he headed into Paddock Hill Bend in the lead of the pack. However, an opening lap tangle between Esmee Hawkey and Rowan Bailey on the run out of turn one called for a red flag whilst the track was cleared.
On the restart, Monger was once again quick off the line, and opened up a gap of almost a second over Proctor – who passed Matthiesen on lap two – over the course of the opening laps. Starting from tenth place, Jamie Caroline was on a charge as he recovered to third before a brief safety car period for the stricken car of Dave Wooder who spun at Paddock Hill Bend as narrowly avoided being collected by his teammate.
Caroline snatched P2 from Proctor on the penultimate lap, but a challenge on Monger for the lead left the door open for Proctor to slice past the pair of them and take the race win for his own.
The result means that as we leave Brands Hatch, Proctor tops the championship leader board, three points up on Matthiesen (who leads the Rookie cup), whilst Caroline and Monger are tied in third.