Okay, I had hoped for a brace of race wins at Donington Park’s round of the 2013 Ginetta Junior Championship. However, I’m not too disappointed about leaving the East Midlands with a couple of podium finishes and lying third in the championship standings.
The JHR Developments team and I got off to a very positive start at Donington. I was comfortably second fastest in the free practice sessions on Thursday and Saturday, and then backed that up in qualifying with a best time of 1m25.866s to start both races from the front row.
I was fairly confident about my pace heading into the third Ginetta Junior encounter of the season on Saturday. I had an entertaining race-long tussle with pole-man and current championship leader Harry Woodhead, but he defended well against me and I opted not to jeopardise anything with a risky overtake; he continuously ran wide, exceeding the track limits, so I expected him to be penalised.
In the end it was a safe result for us and I honestly felt I had the speed and race-craft to win it. So, keen to go one better in Sunday’s race, I immediately set about attacking Woodhead for the lead.
I attempted a pass out of Redgate corner on lap two, but a slight touch saw me lose momentum and eventually run out of road on the dirt at the bottom of the Craner Curves.
Unfortunately, I dropped back to ninth and had a catch-up job to do. However, I remained focused and managed to capitalise on a few incidents, as well as a Safety Car to surge back up to the podium places by the final lap.
However, a three-way fight into the final chicane ended with me being hit from behind, pushing Will Palmer and I off the track and enabling James Kellett to sneak through to take second, with me in a slightly disappointing third (not bad when I think back to how the race panned out).
Looking back at the first four rounds of the 2013 Ginetta Junior season, I’m really pleased with how I’ve raced. I’ve had my fair share of misfortune, but feel I’ve overcome the bad luck to achieve some respectable results. I’ve been fast, and made 40 overtakes in the first four races, the car and team are great and we’ve got a few areas we can improve upon, so I’m feeling confident.
There’s a bit of a deficit between me and Harry, but with 16 rounds remaining I’m not despondent and Hampshire’s ultra-high speed Thruxton circuit beckons in a fortnight’s time. There are still a lot of miles to cover before the end of the year.