George Gamble took two podium finishers as he led Hillspeed's assault on the opening rounds of the 2012 Ginetta Junior Championship at Brands Hatch, with his two rookie team-mates Nathan Harrison and Pepe Massot enjoying strong starts to their campaigns.
Gamble signed with reigning champions Hillspeed in the winter as he looks to mount a title challenge in his second season in the championship. The Nottingham-based racer got the Brands weekend off to a good start in race one, running second as the race headed towards its conclusion.
Gamble made a move for the lead on lap eleven but contact between himself and the leader resulted in Gamble being delayed and dropping to fourth. He quickly made his way back to third, before grabbing second place on the final lap.
The second race was a more sedate affair than the first, with 15 year old Gamble running in fourth place for the first half of the season. Looking for another podium finish, Gamble had to once again pass Fielding and this time he pulled out an impressive, contact-free move at Paddock Hill to take second once again and cap off a good weekend.
Karting graduate Harrison started the opening race in ninth position and after slipping to twelfth early on, he fought back superbly to break into the top eight at mid-distance, before moving up to cross the line fifth. A time penalty for a rival then promoted him to fourth, a superb finish on his car-racing debut.
Spaniard Massot ran within the top six early on, but was left disappointed after a spin at Paddock Hill saw him end the race in the gravel trap. Massot made amends in the second race though, progressing strongly through the field from last on the grid, getting up to seventh by the penultimate lap.
On that lap, Massot was bundled to eighth, but a superb overtaking move at Paddock Hill on the final lap saw him sling-shot past two cars and into a superb sixth place, taking the Rookie Cup win in the process. Harrison meanwhile claimed eighth place to end his debut weekend sixth in the championship.
Hillspeed Team Principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: “It's been a strong weekend for the whole team, we're very pleased with the start to the season we've had – some great results, very good performances from all three drivers and a lot of potential to build-on as the season progresses. George's pass at Paddock in race two was awesome, absolutely fantastic, and he deserved his two podiums.
“Nathan raced very well all weekend and showed some great pace, he's definitely one to watch as the year moves forward and we're delighted with his performances so far. It was a shame Pepe had an excursion near the end of race one, having driven very well indeed, but he certainly made up for it in the second race – what a great drive to win the Rookie Cup!”