Sennan Fielding has enjoyed a first season car racing in the Ginetta Junior Championship, the TJ Motorsport driver picking up three podium finishes, including a maiden win during the campaign. The Checkered Flag caught up with Sennan on the final weekend of the year at Silverstone to reflect on his season.
Sennan joined the series after winning the 2010 Ginetta Junior Scholarship, the prize for which was a fully funded drive in the full championship. The win was a big achievement for Sennan, the 15 year old overcoming many over talented youngsters, and it came at just the right time for him.
Fielding commented: “It was really important thing to win. We entered it not expecting to actually come out winning, as I'd never driven a car before. We went to it looking for experience, so to end up winning was brilliant, that was our racing sorted for the year, as we weren't sure what we were going to do at the time, as we were still looking for funding and looking at different routes.”
Being the Scholarship winner meant Fielding went into the series with a little bit of pressure to do well and the first half of the year saw him show many glimpses of real potential, but problems with contact on track and experience meant the results didn't quite come, Fielding picking up just two top six finishes.
The second half of the year saw the Chesterfield-based driver really come to the front, challenging for podiums at most meetings, though he's still ended up without the results he deserved due to contact from rivals taking him out of strong finishes.
Fielding reflected: “I think we've improved over the year, which is the main thing. We've not always been at our best where we could have been, but I know that now we are definitely one of the front contenders. Like Brands Hatch last race, we were the quickest all weekend, from Friday to Sunday. We walked away with the lap record, but unfortunately we didn't finish the races.
“I was hoping for a better start to the year. There has been a lot of contact through the year and we've been trying to get that sorted, as the contact has cost us a few podiums and good finishes. It's been frustrating, but you can take the positives away from races like them. We learn from mistakes and make sure they don't happen again.”
It was at Rockingham and Brands Hatch, the two meetings prior to Silverstone, that Fielding really proved his potential. At Rockingham, the teenager overcame a tough qualifying session to fight his way through to two third place finishes, his maiden series podiums. Brands saw Fielding comfortably the fastest runner in free practice, before two top three qualifying positions, however this time the races didn't go to plan, with just a single ninth place finish to show for the pace.
Fielding said: “Rockingham was a good meeting though with two podiums. We started off quite slow, didn't have the pace over the weekend, so we really had to work for them in the races. I can really take a lot away from Brands also, being the quickest and I was leading the first race before I got taken out.”
TCF proved to be a lucky charm for Sennan at Silverstone, as hours after we spoke to him, he went and won the first race of the weekend, his maiden Ginetta Junior Championship win. The victory will put him in confident mood heading into the winter and 2012, but just what he'll be racing in next year is yet to be decided.
Sennan concluded: “We're just hoping to do anything really, I don't mind as long as I'm racing. We're just trying to find sponsorship throughout the winter now and get a few test days in before next year, to see what we can do.”