The 2012 Ginetta Junior Ireland Championship kicked off at Kirkistown last weekend, with Jake Byrne starting the season in perfect style with both the victories.
Series returnee Byrne fired a warning shot to his rivals in qualifying, grabbing the first pole of the season from fellow returnee's James Fleming and Andrew Clarke, with rookie Jack Finlay and Sophie Byrne completing the top five.
A great start saw Fleming take the lead at the beginning of the opening race, however pole man Byrne fought back on the second lap and regained the lead around the outside at Colonial, the due followed closely by Clarke. Despite the best efforts of Fleming, Byrne was able to cross the line for the opening win of the season, with Fleming second and Clarke completing the podium. Finlay took a strong fourth in his first race, with Sophie Byrne completing the top five.
With the race two grid formed from the fastest lap times in race one, it was Clarke who lined up on pole, with Byrne joining him on the front row. A poor start for Clarke gave Byrne the lead and his race got worst soon after as he spun at the chicane under pressure from Fleming. Fleming took the fight to Byrne, while behind Clarke recovered to fourth behind Sophie Byrne, however a spin dropped her back and cost her a podium finish. At the front, Byrne held on to take the win ahead of Fleming, with Clarke third. Championship rookie Dylan Curley took fourth, with Sophie Byrne once again completing the top six.
The Gearboxman.com and The Grid.ie sponsored championship continues with Rounds 3 and 4 at Mondello Park on 14/15 April.