Rookie Pepe Massot took his fourth podium of the Ginetta Junior Championship season when he finished second during round nine at Croft and with it has closed to within a single point of the top four drivers in the championship.
The Hillspeed driver then added to his tally of strong performances by finishing in fourth place in round ten, narrowly missing out on yet another podium. In doing so, the 16-year-old claimed the Rookie Class victory in both races and finishes the first half of his debut year in cars with a collection of silverware to his name.
Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: “We're really pleased with Pepe's performance yet again this weekend. Croft is another circuit he had never seen until he arrived for the practice on Friday so to do what he has is, once again, exceptional.”
Qualifying on the Saturday was affected by inclement weather conditions, which resulted in the Spaniard managing to post just one true quick lap before the rain set in and made the previously tricky conditions impossible. Despite that setback, Massot was able to start round nine from an impressive second on the grid.
When the lights went out for the first race, Massot made a strong start to the race and was able to apply significant pressure to leader Sennan Fielding. However, after being practically glued to the young leader's rear bumper for several laps, Massot soon became a target for the car of Charlie Robertson behind. Robertson made his move on lap six, diving up the inside of the Spaniard into Clervaux but hit the kerbs and so the Hillspeed car was able to retake second position. From then on, Massot had the edge on his pursuers and finished the race with a three second gap over Robertson. That meant Massot took his third second place of the year and his third podium in a row.
The second race brought much of the same pressure, yet the young driver did not crack. He started in fourth place and held his position throughout the race, finishing an agonising 0.3 seconds away from third place, and with it, his fourth podium appearance on the bounce. However, he did take his second Rookie Class win of the weekend by a sizeable margin and his fastest lap was a mere 0.1 seconds shy of the fields' best effort.
Ollerenshaw said: “The rain in qualifying meant we only had one good lap so to be on the front row of the grid for the first race and the second row for race two wasn't bad going. Pepe didn't crack at all in either of the races despite serious pressure from some very experienced drivers, plus he was still able to attack Sennan [Fielding] in the first race as well.”
With a seven week break in the championship until the season recommences at Snetterton in August, Ollerenshaw added: “It's been a great way for us to end the first half of the season.” The Summer hiatus also provides the ideal chance for Hillspeed to fill their vacant second seat for the rest of the championship.