Jake Hill continued his remarkable record of winning the televised Sunday race at each meeting of the season so far, with victory in Round 8 of 2010 Ginetta Junior Championship. The teenager clearly thrives on racing in front of the cameras and battled through the field to take the win and close the gap at the top of the championship standings.
It was Round 7 winner Jody Fannin who started on pole, with his TJ Motorsport team mate Louise Richardson alongside on the front row. Hill and championship leader Tom Ingram made up row two, with Tom Howard and David Moore behind on row three.
It was Richardson who made the better start, just getting her nose ahead of Fannin as they approached Old Hall, but with Fannin holding the inside line for the corner, she had to back off and slot into second as they headed down the Avenue for the first time. Behind, Ingram was able to slot past Hill into third, followed by Howard and Moore.
Hill quickly gained the place back on lap two, with a slick move at the Hairpin, allowing him to move onto the back of the front two. Behind, a good move by Moore at Cascades moved him ahead of Howard into fifth, though a mistake lost him the place back later in the lap, and another to FML driver Alex Austin.
A spin by Finlay Ratcliffe on lap three forced the employment of the safety car, bunching the field together. At the restart a lap later, Hill gained a run on Richardson and slid past at Cascades to take second place. Down the field, contact between Austin and Moore over sixth place caused the instant end of Austin's race, his car beached in the gravel at Druids.
The main action was emerging at the front though, with Hill looking to quickly get past Fannin. He made his move at Cascades on lap five and held on to it to take the lead of the race. It became a double whammy for Fannin, who subsequently got overtaken by Richardson at the Hairpin, slipping to third. He quickly fought back and re-took second place at the next corner, the Chicane. Hill attempted to make a break at the front, but was unable to shake off Fannin and Richardson, with the top three racing very closely.
Despite being put under large amounts of pressure, Hill was able to defend his position and hold on for the win, crossing the line only 0.6 seconds clear of Fannin, with Richardson just 0.3 seconds further back. Championship leader Ingram came home in a solid fourth place to gain some vital championship points, as well as continuing an impressive run of only finishing outside the top five in once all season. Howard came home fifth, followed by reigning champion Sarah Moore in sixth. After his earlier contact with Austin, David Moore rcovered to seventh, ahead of the impressive Jake Giddings and Max Coates, with championship returnee Carl Stirling rounding out the top ten.
As the series heads to the “home” of Ginetta Cars, Croft in North Yorkshire, for Rounds Nine and Ten of the series on June 19th/20th, Ingram continues to head the championship, though his lead at the top has been reduced to nine points by Hill. Two more podium finishes leaves Richardson just two points further back, with David Moore fourth and the impressive Fannin moving into the top five of the championship.