Ginetta JuniorOllie Chadwick Blog

Ollie Chadwick Blog: Damage Limitation

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Problems in qualifying left Chadwick fighting back on the season opening weekend (Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

Firstly, I’d like to say a big hello to all of my readers!

This year I have re-joined the Ginetta Junior Championship – my second full season of racing the G40.

I am again with the successful JHR Developments team for 2013. My sister Jamie, who won the 2013 Ginetta Junior Scholarship, at just 14, also joins me to complete its two-car line up.

I have to admit to being slightly disappointed with last season, but I feel I redeemed myself in the Ginetta Junior Winter Series where I narrowly missed out on the title.

I had hoped to carry some of that momentum to Brands Hatch for the opening round of the 2013 campaign and I think going quickest in both free practice sessions was a clear indication of my and my team’s ability and intentions for the forthcoming season.

However, that glory was short-lived as a clutch failure in qualifying robbed me of any times so I had to resort to ‘damage limitation’ – starting at the back for both races. That’s never easy but, strangely, the conditions played into my hands in the opening race.

Round 1 was held in treacherous, sleety conditions. From the back of the grid, it was an extreme case of not losing touch with the front runners, and a determined, white-knuckle drive through the field resulted in an acceptable third place finish.

I thought a repeat performance was on the cards for Sunday’s Round 2. However, this time it was dry, so we took a risk by increasing our tyre pressures and, although this helped my pace in the early stages, getting up to 4th, the car became more of a handful as the laps wore on and I eventually slipped back to a disappointing 6th.

But lessons were learned and I know I have the pace and race-craft to close in on the Championship lead at Donington Park this coming weekend (20/21 April). This historic  circuit poses a completely different challenge to Brands Hatch’s short Indy configuration and, while outright race wins have to be the target, the key to achieving this year’s title will be putting the whole package together and having a consistent season. I’m confident about our chances at Donington but, as we found at Brands Hatch, nothing is certain in motorsport!

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