Oliver Chadwick has taken first ever win in the Ginetta Junior Championship in Round 15 at Rockingham, the 16 year old taking victory in a race that saw controversial early contact between championship leader Charlie Robertson and chief rival Sennan Fielding.
Robertson began the race from pole with Fielding alongside, the front two getting fairly equal getaways. Behind, a great start for Chadwick saw him dive down the inside into the Deene hairpin, squeezing his way through into the lead.
Keith Donegan followed him through into second, with Harry Woodhead getting past Fielding at Chapman Curve for third. Robertson had been shuffled down to fifth at the opening bend, but found his way past Fielding at Tarzan to end the first lap fourth.
Robertson was quickly on to Woodhead’s tail and a forceful move at Tarzan on lap two saw him take third. The move slowed them both up though and Fielding drew himself alongside down the school straight. Contact whilst running side-by-side with Robertson sent Fielding across the front of the HHC Motorsport driver’s car, resulting in contact with the barrier.
Fielding was able to continue, but a quick trip to the pits to remove his damaged bonnet left him thirteenth and far adrift of the main pack, whilst Robertson slipped to sixth in the melee. The Scot began his fight back on the next lap, passing Andrew Watson for fifth, before sliding past Pepe Massot at Tarzan for fourth a lap later.
Behind, struggling down in seventh was his fellow championship rival Niall Murray, the Irishman unable to make further progress through the field, having slipped to tenth on the opening lap after slight contact with Massot at the final chicane forced him wide.
As Chadwick comfortably lead Donegan at the front, Robertson continued to force his way back through the field, getting into the podium positions with a move on Woodhead at Gracelands on lap six. A carbon-copy move three laps later saw him take second, leading him with just over a lap to try and seal a sensational comeback by passing Chadwick for the lead.
Chadwick held on though, crossing the line 0.332s ahead to secure his first ever win in the Ginetta Junior Championship. Robertson finished second to extend his championship lead, setting the race’s fastest lap in the process, while taking a maiden podium finish in third was Donegan.
Massot finished fourth ahead of Woodhead, while Murray passed his Douglas Motorsport team-mate Watson late on for sixth. Taking eighth after a great early battle with Oliver Basey-Fisher was Freddie Lee, with Basey-Fisher just taking ninth after another exciting scrap, this time with Will Palmer. Tom Jackson and Elliot Paterson were next up, with Fielding finishing a lonely thirteenth.