Dyson Cleans Up In Dramatic Ginetta Junior Opener


Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Rookie driver Harry Dyson has taken his first ever Ginetta Junior Championship victory in dramatic fashion during an action-packed opening race of the season at Brands Hatch.

The JHR Developments ace was back in sixth during the early stages of the race, but the reigning Winter Series Rookie champion rose to the front in tricky wet conditions as the leaders hit trouble.

It was Sebastian Priaulx who led the field into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time after securing a double pole position in qualifying, but he would lose his lead to Tom Gamble on lap three.

That began a close-fought battle for the lead that would continue for the remainder of the race, with the duo joined at points by both Daniel Harper and Harry King.

2016 Rookie champion Harper had started back in fifth, but after gaining a position into Paddock on lap one, he then slipped past King at the same corner five laps later.

Harper would eventually shrug off the attentions of King and focus on pressuring the two ahead, but his challenge was short-lived as the safety car was introduced.

That came after a spin into the gravel at Clearways for Scott McKenna, who had been in the thick of a thrilling battle with Dyson over fifth position.

After a short safety car period, the action would not resume as planned when a moment for Kiern Jewiss before the restart left him beached in the gravel too.

When the green flags eventually flew again, there were only a handful of laps left, but those would prove to be dramatic enough as the rain began to fall again over Brands.

With the heavens opened on the final lap, Priaulx saw his opportunity to take the lead and an inspired move around the outside of McLaren and Clearways nearly paid off.

Priaulx had got his nose ahead of his JHR Developments team-mate Gamble heading past the pit entry, but contact between the two sent them both spinning.

Picking his way past to take the most unexpected victory was Dyson, who had one lap before got ahead of King at Surtees after seeing Harper suffer a spin during the previous restart.

King would come through to second position ahead of Tom Wood, with Priaulx recovering to fourth at the flag whilst Gamble would fail to make the finish.

Connor Grady took fifth for Douglas Motorsport ahead of Scholarship winner Adam Smalley, who had previous impressed with a three abreast move into Paddock, and Charlie Digby.

Harper produced a stunning late fightback to climb from seventeenth after his spin to eighth at the finish, whilst Matt Luff completed the Rookie podium in ninth overall.

Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/file/?f=TOCA/2017/171303gij.pdf