Harry Mailer chalked-up two more hard-fought points scoring results during rounds three and four of the Ginetta Junior Championship season at Donington Park over the weekend, 18th/19th April, with a best of 12th position in the opening race on Saturday for leading team Hillspeed.
Despite two contact-heavy encounters, which caused problems for Mailer and rookie team-mate Benjamin Wallace, the Hathersage squad ended its ‘home’ race meeting satisfied with the pace of both its drivers – and sure of improved results had it not been for some overly robust action.
While Mailer managed to match his season-best in the weekend’s opening race, Wallace’s hopes of scoring in both encounters were spoiled late-on during round four on Sunday after contact dropped him out of the top 20. He therefore concluded the event with a best of 19th place from race one.
“It’s been a tough weekend for Harry and Ben, they both received more than their fair share of contact in the races and so it was a challenge to get to the finish in all honesty”, commented Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “Qualifying didn’t go as we wanted it to and when you’re out of position from the start in a championship as tight as this, you’re always at risk.
“Harry raced very well, he produced some good pace and could certainly have taken his first top 10 of the year if things had been a bit smoother. Ben picked up his pace well, he lapped faster than he has before at Donington and was just a bit unfortunate in the races. There’s much more to come.”
Qualifying wasn’t as Hillspeed hoped with Mailer posting the 17th fastest time and Wallace ending up 22nd on the timesheets, but the race pace and eventual results in round three for both drivers showed the performance potential.
Mailer gained three places at the start and was into the top 12 on lap two before breaking into the coveted top 10 halfway through Saturday’s race with some superb driving. Although nudged back to 15th position a couple of laps from the end after a tight battle, Mailer grabbed two places on the final tour to finish in 13th spot. Post-race he was elevated into the top 12 after a rival was penalised.
Wallace made good progress initially to move inside the top 20 but after being delayed by a collision in front of him at the chicane on lap three, the outcome of which pitched him into a spin, the rookie found himself back down in 22nd place.
Determined to make up the lost ground, he recovered well and managed to move back into 19th place before the chequered flag on lap 11, lapping within just 0.4 seconds of the pace produced by his more experienced team-mate
For round four, Mailer lined-up 12th on the grid and after holding station on lap one he was edged back a place on lap two by category race winner Jamie Caroline. Embroiled in a tight seven car battle just outside the top 10, Mailer raced strongly but was edged back to 14th position following contact on lap four which put him wide off the circuit. He was then nudged back to 15th before the finish.
Wallace began the second encounter in 19th place and after a tight first lap, through which he was elbowed down to 21st position, he began to mount a fightback and was into the top 18 by the end of lap four. Gaining another position on lap five, he potentially looked set for his best result of the year but contact two laps later dropped him to 23rd place where he ultimately finished.
Rounds five and six of the Ginetta Junior Championship will take place on 9th/10th May at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire. One week earlier, on 2nd/3rd May, Hillspeed’s BRDC Formula 4 Championship squad will return to action for the second event of its season at Rockingham in Northamptonshire.