Adam Bonham once again led the way in a solid performance for Team Parker Racing at their home circuit of Donington Park in Rounds 17 and 18 of the 2010 Ginetta Junior Championship. Leicestershire based Bonham recorded a strong top six finish in the first race, before running in the lead battle in the second race before a mechanical problem robbed him of a nailed on top four finish.
Qualifying took place on a tricky, damp circuit, but Bonham coped with the conditions well to take sixth on the grid for race one and a strong fourth for race two. Race one started superbly for Bonham, a lightning start seeing him jump into second heading into the first corner, but contact from a rival saw him take to the gravel, dropping him down the order. He fought back well though to take a solid sixth place, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process to underline his pace.
Race two looked really promising for the youngster, seeing him part of a four car train challenging for the lead, fighting alongside title contenders Jake Hill and Tom Ingram. His race was to end in disappointment though, a snapped Alternator belt allowing coolant to pour out, with Bonham spinning on his own oil into retirement.
14 year old team mate Finlay Ratcliffe suffered a topsy turvy weekend in his Team Parker G40. A superb third fastest time in free practice was hoped to be a sign of things to come, but a spin into the gravel during qualifying halted his progress, leaving him 17th and last on the grid for both races.
A strong run in the first race, seeing him move through the field into the top eight, had a disappointing end, with a spin at the Old Hairpin causing damage to his car, with the team calling him into the pits to prevent any more damage occurring. With the car fully fixed for the second race, another superb run up the field, aided by a late safety car, saw him finish seventh on the road, with this later improved to sixth after a rival ahead received a post-race penalty.
Driver coach Danny Buxton commented on weekend, saying: “The weekend promised so much but it didn't quite deliver. What I'm really pleased about is that Adam responded well from a disappointing test day on Friday to show front-running pace all weekend.
“For the fourth meeting in a row he was running at the front. For him it was a weekend of what could have been – his raw pace promised so much.
“Finlay, after spinning off in qualifying, put in a blinding effort to get seventh. The cars were all bunched together for the last two laps and he was lunging left, right and centre. There isn't a mark on his car either.”
After strong showings at Donington, both Adam and Finlay will be looking to end the season on a high in the team's next appearance at Brands Hatch in three weeks' time, for the 2010 Ginetta Junior Season Finale. A podium finish is certainly not out the equation for Bonham, which would cap off a promising season for the youngster, while Finlay will be looking for a couple of solid top ten finishes to complete a good season.
Photo credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography