Patrik Matthiesen made his debut on the top step of the KICK Start Energy Drink Ginetta Junior Championship at Silverstone this weekend (26/27 September), whilst Senna Proctor closed the gap to championship leader Jamie Caroline to just 10 points with two races left to run.
Caroline and Proctor finished first and second in the first of the BTCC support races, with Caroline enjoying a 45 point lead ahead of the second race. However, a problem in the final stages for the championship leader allowed Proctor to capitalise on his rival’s misfortune and slash the gap at the top of the tables.
Kyle Hornby secured his maiden Ginetta Junior Championship pole position in the penultimate qualifying session of the year; the result marking the ninth different pole man in the nine sessions thus far.
Off the line though, it was championship leader Jamie Caroline who swept into the lead from second, whilst Senna Proctor piled on the pressure in third. Kyle Hornby was forced wide on lap two, leaving the door open for Proctor to take the position and onto the rear bumper of his championship rival.
Soon, Dan Zelos made his way into the melee up front, whilst Proctor found himself shuffled down the order by Dave Wooder and Matt Chapman. Not to let his title rival escape, Proctor got his head down and powered back into third, before retaking second place from teammate Zelos at Becketts.
In the remainder of the top 10, seven drivers were running nose to tail to be the best of the rest, with Wooder heading up the rookie class, just ahead of Patrik Matthiesen.
Matthiesen’s main challenger for the rookie title, Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner Stuart Middleton was down in 10thoverall, just ahead of Devlin DeFrancesco, with whom he battled right to the flag.
Also enjoying a great race, Ben Green worked his socks off to keep Rowan Bailey at arm’s length, whilst Seb Perez’s early progress, which saw him pick up three places in the opening two laps, was undone in the closing stages as Chapman and a recovering Monger swept by.
In race two, the championship protagonists lined up side-by-side on the front row of the grid, setting the stage for a great conclusion to the teenagers visit to Silverstone. And they didn’t disappoint.
It was Proctor who got the better start, leading into Copse for the first time, with Caroline taking his chances around the outside. As is often the case with juniors however, once you step out of the liner formation, you leave the door open for the rest of the field to sweep by.
Caroline dropped to the periphery of the top five and was left to claw his way back up the order. He was helped by an early safety car, deployed to recover the car of Devlin DeFrancesco who ended lap one beached in the gravel.
Whilst Matthiesen streaked away in the lead following the restart, the final two places in the top three were traded between Caroline, Proctor, Zelos, Brown and Wooder with each in with a shot of taking position. Caroline recovered to second, but contact on the final lap left him with damage to the rear, and forced him down the order into a disappointing 16th.
Kudos also goes to Kyle Hornby who enjoyed an absolutely storming race to climb from 15thon the grid into an impressive third overall at the flag, with the rookie taking his second podium of the season.
Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner Stuart Middleton also impressed, having started ninth but powering into fifth place at the flag in his Quinton Hazell backed car. Meanwhile, Wooder had to settle for eighth – despite looking strong throughout the whole race – a top five finish in round 17 compounded his best weekend to date.
With a maximum of 73 points left on the board at Brands Hatch, it’s going to be a clash of the titans as Jamie Caroline and Senna Proctor go head to head to take the 2015 championship title. Make sure you join us in Kent a fortnight from now!