Pepe Massot secured Hillspeed its first win of 2012 with a stunning maiden car racing victory at Snetterton, ending an eleven month winless streak for the team in the Ginetta Junior Championship.
16 year old Massot, who had taken four podiums in the first half of the season, was in the right place at the right time to profit from contact between Charlie Robertson and Oliver Chadwick to storm into the lead of Round Eleven, the Spaniard going on to lead the remainder of the race to win by over three seconds.
“It’s very exciting and I’m very happy I’ve done this at the first race my mum has been to see – it’s really special” said Massot, who went on to finish fifth in race two despite steering damage, “At this circuit it’s really important you have to wait, study things and then attack. We benefited from the incident with [Charlie] Robertson and [Ollie] Chadwick but on the last two laps I could pull away.”
“It was fantastic for Pepe to take his first win, we’re absolutely delighted for him”, said Hillspeed’s Richard Ollerenshaw, “He was running very strongly in a good third but we could see fireworks were coming up ahead, when they did he was there in the perfect position to capitalise. In race two he was hit a couple of times unfortunately which damaged the steering but fifth was a decent result.”
For the first time since April, Massot had the benefit of team-mates to work with in the series, with Keith Donegan and Freddie Lee joining the team towards the end of the mid-season summer break.
Both drivers were to suffer from overheating problems, an issue which struck several drivers during the event. This restricted Donegan to a ninth place finish in the opening race, with 14 year old Lee one place further back. The debutants second race went badly when early contact resulted in a collision with the barriers and retirement, though Irishman Donegan was able to climb through to finish seventh, claiming second place in the Rookie Cup behind Massot.
“Unfortunately we encountered quite a few problems with overheating on Keith’s car, we battled an issue with the water temperature all weekend and did as much as possible to prevent it impeding the power too much”, added Ollerenshaw, “The problem badly affected Keith in qualifying and we continued to work on it for the races where he did a really good job in the circumstances.
“It’s been a massive learning curve for Freddie this weekend, coming from club racing onto the BTCC package is a massive step and there was a huge amount of information to take in. He did a good job though, was great to work with, and we hope to see him back out for Knockhill.”