Hillspeed have confirmed their status as the team to beat in the Ginetta Junior Championship as Seb Morris picked up the 2011 title during the latest rounds at Brands Hatch, giving the Hathersage-based outfit their second consecutive Junior crown.
A double podium finish for Morris during Rounds Seventeen and Eighteen gave the 15 year old the championship title that has been coming all campaign, with Morris and the Hillspeed team dominating the whole campaign. With Tom Ingram's 2010 Ginetta Junior crown, Morris' 2010 Ginetta Winter Series success and now his main series victory, Hillspeed have the last three titles up for grabs since joining Ginetta racing in 2010.
Team Principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: “We're highly delighted to wrap up the championship at such a fabulous circuit. Seb having taken 11 wins, 14 podiums in total, really does speak for itself – it's been a fantastic season. To have won the championship in our first season in Ginetta Junior last year was incredible, to have now added a second back-to-back title is outstanding.”
Morris certainly didn't have it all his own way over the weekend though, with the Welshman having to work hard for both his podium finishes. Round Seventeen saw the teenager bundled down to sixth at the start, but working his way through the field, he got into the top three on lap six and took the lead a lap later.
The final lap saw Morris challenged for the lead by Niall Murray, with slight contact between the two. Morris crossed the line for the win, but was later penalised three seconds for the contact, dropping him back to second, though this was still enough to confirm him as champion.
Sunday's race once again proved to be a dramatic affair for Morris. Starting eighth, he fought through to a top four place, before benefitting from mistakes by two rivals ahead to take second. Pressuring the leader hard, Morris just missed out on victory, taking second.
Morris said: “It's been a great season, we've worked really hard for this”, said the new champion, “I can't thank the team enough, they do everything so precisely and have done a fantastic job this year. It's a proper team effort, I'm really happy we've done it.”
Morris' regular team-mate Struan Moore was unable to compete at Brands, but Hillspeed were running a second car for 14 year old racing rookie William Palmer. Making his second appearance of the season, Palmer took two more solid race finishes, including a hugely promising eighth place in the second race.
Ollerenshaw added: “William was outstanding to get eighth in only his second real race meeting. He's improving well each time he's in the car and it bodes very well for the future. We'll go to Silverstone aiming for another strong weekend for him and, hopefully, more podiums for Seb.”