Stuart Middleton has expressed his pride at his achievements during his maiden Ginetta Junior Championship campaign, which he finished as the Rookie Cup vice-champion.
Middleton entered the championship as the latest Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner, and the 16 year old went on to enjoy one of the best seasons ever for a Scholar.
Running with Douglas Motorsport, Middleton stormed to three outright podium finishes and a maiden pole position en-route to seventh overall in the championship standings.
“While we missed out on the Rookie Cup, I’m still really proud of where we’ve ended up this season,” Middleton told TCF.
“I’ve done really well, certainly better than I’d hoped. I just kept my head down this season, concentrated on the job and I’ve managed to keep improving at a fast rate which is great.”
Middleton made an instant impact by putting himself on the front row in his first qualifying session at Brands Hatch, before going to take a finish of fourth in his opening race.
At Thruxton in May, he went one better in qualifying to stun the paddock with pole position, which he duly converted into third and fourth place finishes.
Following more top ten finishes, Middleton’s star weekend came at Rockingham in September when he stormed to a pair of second place finishes, narrowly missing out on a maiden win.
“Thruxton and Rockingham were two tracks that quite suited me,” he explained.
“They’re both really committed circuits, you’ve really got to commit through the fast corners and push the car around there. I seemed to click with them and I really enjoyed those weekends and the results we achieved.”
Middleton ended up with fourteen top ten finishes in twenty races, having qualified in the top five in six of the ten meetings for one of the best qualifying records on the grid.
The Quinton Hazell-backed driver feels his achievements are thanks to the work of the Douglas team, who had returned to the championship after a season away.
Middleton enthused: “They are really good guys in the team, they know their stuff and have got a lot of experience between them. They’ve really pushed me on this season and definitely made me a better driver.”
Middleton plans to be back in action during the Winter Series next month, and is looking to return to the championship next season for a title push.
“I’m now really looking forward to the Winter Series and next season,” he concluded.
“Hopefully we should be a title contender. We’re looking pretty strong so far, so we hope we can continue that in 2016.”