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Fannin secures Maiden Win at Brands Hatch

Jody Fannin won his first ever Ginetta Junior race with victory in Round Five of the series around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit. The youngster took the lead early on and held off all challenges to record the first win, and the first podium finish, of his career.

It was Jake Hill who started on pole, as the Tolbar driver has done for every round so far this season. Fannin joined him on the front row, with Louise Richardson and Tom Ingram behind on row two. As the lights went out, Hill didn't get away cleanly, dropping him into the pack as they all headed towards Paddock Hill Bend for the first time. It was Hill who lost out at the corner, being muscled out wide, forcing him down the order. As they raced towards Druids, it was Fannin who emerged in the lead, followed by Ingram, Tom Howard and Chris Swanwick. Hill lost further ground as he slid wide at Graham Hill Bend, before contact with reigning champion Sarah Moore further round the lap dropped him further back, also resulting in Moore having to retire. At the front, the top four were joined by Richardson and Alex Austin, with the group of them beginning to break away, while Hill had dropped as far back as fifteenth position.

Richardson's race was going to come to a premature end though, after being forced to retire to the pits. Just behind the front group, contact at Paddock Hill Bend between Seb Morris and Adam Bonham in seventh and eighth resulted in Morris ending up in the gravel trap, causing the safety car to be deployed and the field to bunch back up, much to the annoyance of the front group who had broke away.

After a few laps behind the safety car, Fannin controlled the re-start to hold on to his lead. Behind, there was a change of position for second, with Howard pulling off a slick overtake to get past Ingram at Paddock. After dropping down the order early on, the man on the move was Hill, with moves on David Moore and Alex Austin on the same lap moving him into the top five. His charge continued on the next lap, getting past Swanick midway through the lap to move into fourth position.

As they entered the final lap, Swanick was to lose another spot to David Moore, dropping to sixth in the progress. The big loser was Austin though, with a mistake at Paddock Hill putting him in the gravel and out of the race. Back at the front, despite the best efforts of Howard behind him, Fannin held on to cross the line for victory. Howard came home second, with Ingram gaining his second podium finish of the season in third. Hill finished fourth on the road after a great recovery drive, but his celebrations were short lived after he was later excluded from the results after being judged at fault for the lap one incident with Sarah Moore. This moved her brother David up to fourth, with Swanick getting fifth. A tough race resulted in only 10 finishers, with Jake Giddings, William Foster, Max Coates, Adam Bonham and Brad Bailey rounding off the results.