After an opening weekend at Brands Hatch dominated by double race-winner Jack Mitchell, the 2014 Ginetta Junior Championship returns this weekend at Donington Park with the chasing pack hoping to earn their opportunity to mount the top step of the podium.
Twelve months ago, eventual champion Harry Woodhead backed up a similarly dominant first weekend with two more victories at Donington Park as part of a ten race winning streak over the first half of the season.
While ten-in-a-row may be beyond Mitchell’s wildest dreams at the moment, the 16 year old will certainly be targeting another double victory this weekend in his Airwaves Racing-backed JHR Developments-prepared Ginetta G40J.
Aiming to stop him will be James Kellett, who returns to Donington with fond memories of the circuit after securing his maiden outright podium finish and first Rookie Cup win at the corresponding meeting last year.
It wasn’t the all-conquering start to the season many were expecting from Kellett at Brands three weeks ago, with second place in race one followed by an opening lap incident and late spin in race two that left him fifteenth, so he will be aiming to showcase just what he can do this weekend.
Also hoping to bounce back from the aforementioned incident at Brands will be Jamie Chadwick, the former Ginetta Scholarship winner having been caught up in the accident and forced into retirement.
The JHR Developments ace did show her potential though with a hard-fought podium finish in race one. Her brother, Ollie, scored a double podium at Donington last season, and Jamie will be aiming to at least replicate that feat and get a strong haul of points from the weekend.
Fellow podium finishers at Brands, R&J Motorsport pairing Ryan Hadfield and Ben Pearson will certainly be aiming to add to their respective tallies at Donington, while Jack Rawles will be aiming for a maiden top three finish having matched his career-best of fourth at Brands.
It’s not just the second year drivers to be watching at the front of the field though, with a talented group of rookie racers making their main Junior debuts at Brands, with three of those, Jonathan Hadfield, Dan Zelos and Lando Norris, particularly standing out.
Hadfield and Zelos took the two Rookie Cup class wins in the races, both with overall fifth place finishes, while Norris starred in qualifying with two third place starts. All three will be hoping to break onto the overall podium at Donington.
With Ginetta Scholarship winner Alex Sedgwick and fellow finalists Matt Chapman and Jamie Caroline also showing glimpses of their potential at Brands, as well as fellow rookies Pedro Cardoso and William Taylforth, the two races at Donington are sure to be hugely competitive once again.
The action begins with a busy Saturday (19 April), with free practice at 10:55 followed by qualifying at 15:15 and race one at 17:40. Race two, televised live on ITV4, takes place on Sunday (20 April) at 12:17.