James Kellett has been crowned the 2013 ATL Racing Fuel Cells Ginetta Junior Winter Series champion after making it four wins in four races with a pair of victories on day two at Snetterton.
With confidence high after a scintillating 27 second victory in race two on day one, Kellett was the driver to beat on day two, starting with a pair of pole positions in the morning qualifying session.
A poor getaway for the pole-sitter though meant he dropped into the pack as they went into Riches for the first time, with fellow front-row starter Ben Pearson leading the way from Jack Rawles and Jamie Chadwick.
It was a short-lived tenure out front though, with an off track moment dropping him to the back of the field, with Rawles briefly in front before Chadwick passed him later in the lap.
It was quickly a four way fight for the lead, with a recovering Kellett and Jack Mitchell joining in. Kellett passed Rawles at Hamilton for second on lap two, with the latter slipping another spot to Mitchell a lap later.
Kellett was soon onto Chadwick’s rear bumper and a strong run down the Bentley Straight allowed him to take the lead at Brundle on lap three. From there, the 2013 Rookie Cup winner pulled away to take his third consecutive win by four seconds.
Chadwick took a comfortable second, six seconds clear of Mitchell in third. Rawles maintained fourth to the flag, with Ryan Hadfield fifth having ran there throughout. William Taylforth battled well from fourteenth on the grid into sixth by lap three, however a spin on the Bentley Straight a lap later dropped him an eventual finish of eleventh.
This promoted Pearson up to sixth, the R&J Motorsport driver setting the fastest lap of the race on his recovery drive following his opening lap dramas. Harry Hardy and Alex Reed were next up, both having a relatively quiet race after their opening day heroics, with Luis Gonzalez-Martinez and Dan Zelos completing the top ten ahead of Taylforth.
The start to race two went much more to plan for Kellett, the HHC Motorsport ace leading away from pole position. Rawles held second initially, but spun back to ninth on the opening lap, giving Pearson the spot from Hadfield, Mitchell, Reed and Chadwick.
Ahead, Kellett stormed away, leading by 1.3 seconds at the end of the opening tour. The 15 year old built this advantage to over five seconds at one stage, before cruising to the flag to secure the win, and with it the championship, by 3.5 seconds.
Pearson ran second comfortably early on, and although a hard-charging Mitchell closed up late on, it wwasn’t enough to make a challenge for the place. Mitchell therefore was left to cross the line third behind Pearson, with Hadfield fourth after falling behind Mitchell on lap two.
Chadwick had grabbed fifth from Reed on lap three, but a problem on the final lap dropped her back to eighth at the finish. Hardy therefore finished fifth ahead of Rawles and Talyforth on the road, though was later dropped behind Rawles in the results with a three second penalty for gaining an unfair advantage. Behind Chadwick, Hardy and Gonzalez-Martinez completed the top ten.
Kellett’s success makes it four successive Ginetta Junior titles for HHC Motorsport, who took the main title in 2012 with Charlie Robertson, and the 2012 Winter Series honours and 2013 main title with Harry Woodhead.
Kellett receives 50% off entry into the 2014 Ginetta Junior Championship for winning. Pearson finished second overall in the points, receiving £1,000 of Ginetta parts credits for doing so, while third overall and the ‘Hard Charger’ prize for most positions gained over the weekend for Mitchell earnt him four sets of 2014 specification Michelin tyres.
Kellett will now be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Woodhead, and 2010 Winter champion Seb Morris, and use his Winter success as a platform for a title-winning campaign next season.
“Winning two titles in my first year of racing is amazing,” said the 2013 Rookie Cup winner. “It’s been a great weekend for myself and the team and the prize will certainly help us as we try to do the same in 2014.”