Seb Morris has made it three wins out of three in the 2011 Ginetta Junior Championship, with victory in the first race of the weekend at Donington Park. The Hillspeed driver led from lights to flag to increase his lead at the top of the championship.
Morris started on pole for the race, joined on the front row by HHC's Charlie Robertson. A good start for both saw them run side by side on the approach to Redgate for the first time, but Morris benefited from the inside line to hold his place.
This left Robertson's door open, with Irishman Niall Murray pouncing to slide into second ahead of Robertson and Tollbar's William Foster, while behind, a move by George Gamble on Brad Bailey at the Old Hairpin saw him move into fifth.
A great battle for second began, with Murray having to defend hard from Robertson. This bunched up the pack, with TJ Motorsport's Gamble using it to his advantage, making a move on Foster at the Old Hairpin on lap two for fourth.
Behind, a battle for sixth between Tom Howard and Scholarship winner Sennan Fielding ended in tears, with both finishing the race in the gravel trap at the final chicane. The main beneficiaries of this were Max Coates, the privateer moving up to sixth and a recovering Jake Giddings, who was up to eighth after starting eighteenth on the grid because of mechanical woes in qualifying.
The incident at the final chicane saw the introduction of the safety car, cutting the hefty lead Morris had built thanks to the fighting behind him. After three laps the racing began again, with a strong restart for Morris seeing him maintain his lead, while behind, a mistake from Murray at Redgate allowed Robertson and Gamble through, dropping him to fourth.
Robertson began to break away with Morris, leaving a strong tussle for third between Gamble, Beacon Racing's Murray and Foster. It was Murray who made the move first, drawing alongside Gamble at Redgate, leaving them running side by side down the Craner Curves.
With both braking too late for the Old Hairpin, the duo ran wide and bunched up the pack as they re-joined. A smart move by Coates saw him run around the outside of them all at the approach to McLeans, jumping up to third, with Giddings also benefiting to take fifth behind Murray.
Frustrated at losing his podium place, Murray hit back immediately, passing Coates at Redgate on the next lap for third, while behind a spin for Giddings saw him undue all his hard work and drop back down the field, with Coates dropping two places when avoiding him.
At the front, Morris had built up a huge advantage and took the win a few laps early when the red flag appeared after TJ Motorsport's Bailey went off at the final chicane. Robertson and Murray completed the podium, both picking up their maiden top three finishes in Ginetta Juniors.
Foster finished fourth, ahead of Gamble and Coates, with series returnee Finlay Ratcliffe a strong seventh. Mikey Day and Patrick McClughan were next up, with a recovering Giddings tenth. Hillspeed's Struan Moore was next, ahead of Westbourne Motorsport's Myles Collins, Eric Morris and Declan Jones.