The weekend’s second Ginetta Junior race was won by Tollbar's Jake Hill, who claimed his first win of the season with a dominant performance from pole position.
As in the first race, the quick starting Richardson looked to go round the outside of Ingram for third at Allard, giving Hill the chance to pull away from the chasing pack.
While the youngest drivers on the TOCA package were fighting for position, Hill took advantage of the perfect opportunity to pull away, and by the end of lap four the Tollbar Racing driver had built up a lead of one and a half seconds over his nearest rivals.
Ingram, the race one winner was struggling and was slowly falling down the field with a slow puncture which he picked up on the warm up lap. Speaking about his problems Ingram said afterwards: “I could feel something was wrong, but didn't know exactly what or how it would affect the car at high-speed, It was particularly difficult in left-hand corners – the car just wouldn't turn in properly. Going through the last chicane I could never turn in sufficiently, so I had to go straight over the kerb instead. There was nothing I could do about it, though, so I just had to do the best I could.”
“It was a very clean and fun fight with Sarah with a lot of place-swapping, but there was no way she was going to beat me! Both times that I re-passed her I had got a good run coming out of the previous corner and didn't want to waste the momentum I had, so I went straight up the inside and tried to get the move done as quickly as possible. In the circumstances and given the problem we had, fifth was a very solid result.”
Lap five saw the battle for the final spot on the podium intensify as David Moore looked to pass Richardson, who in turn was looking to find a way past the FML car of Alex Austin. This meant Swanwick had an opportunity to break away from the chasing pack and start to close down the gap to Hill.
The battle for the lead between Hill and Swanwick saw them nose to tail at the Club chicane, Swanwick having picked up a great run through the fast right hander's at Village and Church.
Up at the Complex on lap seven, all of Swanwick’s great work was undone as contact with Hill caused the Team Parker Racing driver to spin out, and this in turn held up Richardson. Behind Hill, Austin and Moore completed the top 3, with Richardson fourth. Following the leading quartet was an entertaining battle between Ingram and 2009 Champion Sarah Moore, the two of them fighting over fifth place, with a recovering Swanwick behind the pair of them, and the penultimate lap saw Swanwick pass Ingram, before dropping back on the final lap.
Speaking after the race, the delighted race winner Hill said: “This weekend has been a great start to the year and today's race was absolutely brilliant. After the contact with Chris (Swanwick) I wasn't as fast but the car held on well to the end, thanks to the team for giving me such a good car. Last year was a real struggle for us but 2010 is a whole new start, I'm so happy.”
Alex Austin, who had never sat in the car before this weekend said: “I struggled during Saturday's race but today was definitely a leap forward for me. I went for the championship last year but I had a lot of bad luck during the second half of the season so this year I'm determined to improve on that and challenge for the title.”
Third place finisher David Moore commented on his race, saying: “It was a good race; I was quite far back to start with but managed to come through quite well. Towards the end I had some trouble with the gearbox so I was glad to hold on to third really. It's a good start to the year for me so hopefully we can build on this and maybe challenge for a win later in the season.”
After the opening rounds of the 2010 season, Jake Hill has a slender three point Championship lead over Tom Ingram, with David Moore a further three points back.
- Jake Hill – 58 Points
- Tom Ingram – 55 Points
- David Moore – 52 Points
- Chris Swanwick – 46 Points
- Alex Austin – 46 Points
- Louise Richardson – 44 Points
Round 2 results:
- Jake Hill – 9 laps in 14:12.120s
- Alex Austin @ 2.494s
- David Moore @ 3.983s
- Louise Richardson @ 5.914s
- Tom Ingram @ 8.255s
- Sarah Moore @ 9.006s
Jake Hill set the fastest lap on lap three with a lap of 1m33.034s.
Photo credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography