Quinton Hazell-backed (QH) driver Stuart Middleton made an ideal start to his KICK Start Energy Ginetta Junior Championship season at Brands Hatch after winning a rookie podium place in his first race.
Middleton, this year’s Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner, finished 4th overall in the first round, and 15th in the second,placing him 7th in the championship.
After qualifying in 3rd, Middleton finished round one in 4th, behind Billy Monger, Senna Proctor, and fellow rookie driver Patrik Matthiesen.
‘We seem to have really good pace,’ says Middleton of his first competitive drive in his QH-liveried Ginetta G40. ‘It’s encouraging to know we’re up there with the fastest cars. I wasn’t really expecting to finish so high up the grid, so we’re all really pleased.’
Despite the occasional shower over the weekend, the Brands Hatch Indy circuit stayed relatively dry for the Ginetta Juniors’ races – although they weren’t without drama.
In the second round, Middleton was in contention for 1st, having moved into 2nd from 3rd after the first corner. Unfortunately, the 15-year-old had contact around the following hairpin, causing him to spin off. Damage to the car was minor, but a slow puncture slowed his progress, as did an unruly bonnet blocking his view – its holding pins sheered off by the impact.
Despite falling to the back of the pack, Middleton still managed to weave his way up to 15th. He currently stands 7th overall in the championship.
Marium Ali, Marketing Director for QH, says: ‘We knew Stuart would be fast after we saw him testing, but his performance in the opening rounds show what a talent he is – and how deserving he is of his scholarship. We are all very proud to see him driving so professionally while bearing the QH flag.’
The next rounds of the KICK Start Energy Ginetta Junior Championship will be held at Donington Park on 18 and 19 April, 2015.