Stuart Middleton kicked off his final race weekend of the year in style at Snetterton today (07/11/2015) as he took a pair of wins in the opening day of the KICK Start Energy Drink Ginetta Junior Winter Series.
Having qualified second, Middleton translated his front row start into his first ever car racing win in race one. It wasn’t all plain sailing though, as a storming start from Billy Monger saw the JHR Developments driver snatch the lead off the line.
By the time the cars had reached Agostini for the first time, Middleton was in the lead as Monger ran wide and dropped down the order to 15th. Pulling out nine seconds over the rest of the field, the outgoing Ginetta Junior Scholar was unassailable for the remainder of the six lap race.
The battle for second saw Will Tregurtha in prime position after lap one, but Charlie Fagg made a move stick on lap two and held onto the place until the flag. It didn’t come easy though, as Tregurtha and pole man Lewis Brown stuck with him for a good three laps, until he was able to break the tow.
With Grady in a comfortable third, rookie driver Harry King continued to impress on his debut. Having started sixth, he took full advantage of an excursion for the two HHC Motorsport drivers ahead to take fourth on lap five.
King did come under pressure from Seb Perez, who started 11thbut drove brilliantly to move into fifth by the penultimate lap. However, the recovering Dave Wooder (who dropped five places on the opening lap) swept past on the final tour, taking with him Max Bird, Lewis Brown and Alex Day.
Seb Priaulx finished his debut race as third placed rookie driver, just ahead of fellow newcomers James Roe Jnr, Jordan Dempsey and Anthony Ayres.
In race two, it was Fagg who got the better start. He streamed into the lead and forced Middleton backwards and into the clutches of Grady and King. However, by lap two, Middleton had reclaimed the lead at Oggies.
With the leader down the road, it was once again the battle for second that dominated the commentary. Fagg held the position for much of the race, but Tregurtha and Monger (who had gained 10 places in the opening four laps) stayed within touching distance, before Tregurtha snatched the position on the penultimate lap.
Grady retained fifth from King and Perez, whilst behind, Nicosia, Day, Priaulx, Dempsey and Wooder had a fantastic fight over eighth. Priaulx consistently picked up positions from lap one to four, before losing out to the recovering Day and Wooder on the final lap.
As the flag fell, Middleton celebrated a second win, whilst King took a consecutive Rookie class victory. Tregurtha – who was strong here during the main series – celebrated his second position, whilst Monger was content in third having also taken the day’s ‘Hard Charger’ award.
Provisional standings are below, with a second qualifying session and further two races set for tomorrow.
1 Stuart Middleton 71
2 Charlie Fagg 52
3 Connor Grady 46
4 Harry King 40
5 William Tregurtha 40
6 Dave Wooder 35
7 Billy Monger 34
8 Sebastian Perez 28
9 Lewis Brown 26
10 Alex Day 25
11 Max Bird 23
12 Geri Nicosia 23
13 Rowan Bailey 17
14 Jordan Dempsey 15
15 Sebastian Priaulx 13
16 James Roe jnr 13
17 Frank Bird 8
17 Anthony Ayres 5
17 Charlie Digby 3