2011 Ginetta Junior Championship Season Review


Seb Morris (Centre) Emerged From The Pack To Become 2011 Ginetta Junior Champion – Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

 

Seb Morris was crowned the 2011 Ginetta Junior champion after a tremendous season in the one-make series, the Hillspeed driver taking eleven wins in a year that saw the emergence of some superbly talented young drivers.

The opening half of the season was all about Morris, the 15 year old taking seven of the first ten wins, but as the year wore on his dominance was consistently broken by a group of hard charging rookies, including George Gamble, Charlie Robertson, Niall Murray and Sennan Fielding.

Morris stamped his authority on the series from the off, taking a double win at the opening rounds at Brands Hatch, before repeating the trick next time out at Donington Park. The Donington meeting marked the emergence of Robertson and Murray as drivers to watch in the series, the duo each taking their maiden podium finish, whilst also enjoying strong starts to the year were Tollbar Racing team-mates William Foster and Tom Howard, the duo taking five podiums between them in the opening four races.

Morris’ winning streak was to end at Thruxton, where the opening race saw him dramatically passed by Gamble on the last lap at the final corner. Morris returned to the top step of the podium in the next race though, with Gamble settling for second. The Thruxton weekend also saw popular privateer Max Coates take a double podium, which would turn out to be the highlight of a tough year for the Yorkshireman.

Oulton Park was next and Morris re-asserted himself at the top with two more wins, while Robertson, Gamble and Murray shared the other podium places between themselves. Croft hosted the final rounds before the summer break and marked the first meeting in which Morris did not record a win, with Gamble winning the opener before HHC Motorsport’s Robertson secured his maiden win.

George Gamble and Charlie Robertson Impressed Throughout 2011 – Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography

 

After seven weeks away, the series returned at Snetterton around the new 300 circuit and saw Morris reassert his dominance with two more wins. Robertson and Gamble each took seconds, while Jake Giddings and Struan Moore made their first trips to the podium of the season. Knockhill saw Morris add another win to his tally, before Gamble took his second win of the season, while Hillspeed’s Moore took two more podiums to continue his impressive run.

The opening race at Rockingham proved to be Morris’ eleventh and final win of the season, the Welsh racer unable to return to the top spot in the final five races. Robertson took the other win, while Murray took two podium finishes, as did Fielding, the TJ Motorsport driver’s first of the year. The penultimate meeting at Brands Hatch saw Morris take two podiums to secure the 2011 title a weekend early, Hillspeed’s second consecutive title win, with Robertson and Murray sharing the wins, while Coates took his third and final podium of the campaign.

The final meeting of the year took place at Silverstone and with the destination of the championship already sorted; the drivers fought it out for the final wins of the year, producing two thrilling races. Emerging for his maiden win in the opener was Fielding, while Murray won the last race of the season to complete a great run of six consecutive podiums for the Irishman.

Irishman Niall Murray Ended The Year In Style – Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

 

Final 2011 Ginetta Junior Championship Standings: 

Position

Driver

Team

Points

1

Seb Morris

Hillspeed

562

2

Charlie Robertson

HHC Motorsport

437

3

George Gamble

TJ Motorsport

383

4

Niall Murray

Beacon Racing

356

5

William Foster

Tollbar Racing

310

6

Max Coates

Privateer

309

7

Sennan Fielding

TJ Motorsport

285

8

Tom Howard

Tollbar Racing

248

9

Brad Bailey

TJ Motorsport

239

10

Jake Giddings

FML

227

11

Myles Collins

Westbourne Motorsport & HHC Motorsport

208

12

Struan Moore

Hillspeed

195

13

Declan Jones

Kelvin Jones Motorsport, Westbourne Motorsport & TJ Motorsport

172

14

Patrick McClughan

Kelvin Jones Motorsport & HHC Motorsport

159

15

Oliver Chadwick

JHR Developments

144

16

Mikey Day

HHC Motorsport

109

17

Eric Morris

Rollcentre

61

18

William Palmer

Hillspeed

46

19

Andrew Watson

HHC Motorsport

28

20

Finlay Ratcliffe

Privateer

22

21

Christie Doran

JHR Developments

8

 

TCF’s Top Five Drivers Of 2011:

  1. Charlie Robertson – Charlie didn’t let the fact he was the youngest driver in the series faze him all year and once he was up to pace in the car, the 14 year old showed just how much talent he has. Three wins, vice-champion and top rookie prove what a great season the HHC Motorsport driver has had. Definite early favourite for 2012 title.
  2. Niall Murray – The Irishman had never visited any of the tracks before this season and due to the cost of travelling over from Ireland wasn’t able to test throughout the year. The Beacon Racing driver overcame these issues and was superb all year, particularly his impressive run of six podiums in a row at the end of the campaign.
  3. Seb Morris – Morris was a class apart at the start of the season, using all his knowledge and experience from 2010 to hit the ground running. However once the rookies found their feet, Hillspeed’s Morris didn’t look as dominant and had his feathers ruffled a couple of times.
  4. George Gamble – The first driver to beat Morris in 2011, Gamble’s pass on the final lap at Thruxton will live long in the memory. Maybe wasn’t quite about to challenge for wins as much as he’d have liked, particularly at the end of the season, but the TJ Motorsport driver will be happy with three wins under his belt.
  5. Sennan Fielding– The youngster headed into the year with slight pressure on his shoulders as the Ginetta Scholarship Winner, but this didn’t affect him and once he got over a tough initiation in the series, with his TJ Motorsport car getting battered and bruised at the start of the season, Fielding proved his pace with a double podium at Rockingham then a maiden win on the final weekend.

    Seb Morris Celebrates His 2011 Title Success – Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography