Jamie Caroline became the second rookie winner of the weekend at Thruxton in the Ginetta Junior Championship, emerging victorious in an overtaking-filled encounter that goes down as an early contender for race of the season.
With slipstreaming the order of the day in the nine lap race, the lead changed hands multiple times and ended up being fought all the way to the chequered flag.
A great start off the line saw Ben Pearson seize the advantage heading into Allard for the first time, with poleman Jack Mitchell also losing ground to Lando Norris and Caroline at Cobb and Seagrave respectively.
Norris ran wide at Goodwood though, allowing Caroline past for second, and a lap later the HHC Motorsport made the same mistake, this time losing five places to Mitchell, James Kellett, Jamie Chadwick, Dan Zelos and Jack Rawles.
Caroline was quickly focusing his attention on taking the race lead meanwhile, and got ahead of Pearson with a great move at Goodwood on lap three, with Mitchell following him through at Church for second.
As three fought for the lead, a three car battle also developed for fourth, with Kellett and Chadwick swapping places a couple of times as Zelos watched on. They soon joined onto the train behind the leader as the battle for the win heated up.
Mitchell replicated his move at Church from a couple of laps previous to take the lead on lap five, however some movement on the exit allowed Pearson to storm past both to regain the lead, with Mitchell dropping to third at the chicane.
Caroline led the challenge to Pearson again, and a great cutback out of Seagrave saw him draw alongside the leader, and after sticking it out around Noble, he made the move stick into Goodwood.
As Chadwick slipped to the back of the six car train heading into the final lap, her JHR Developments team-mate Zelos moved into podium contention past Kellett at Goodwood.
Earlier in the last lap, Mitchell had taken second from Pearson at Allard and the Airwaves Racing driver mounted a challenge for a fifth win of the year into the final chicane. An optimistic dive around the outside only resulted in a spin though.
This meant TCR’s Caroline had a clear run out of the corner to the line for his first win, with Pearson taking his best result of the season so far in second. Zelos meanwhile followed up his victory in Round Five with his second career podium in third, just fending off Kellett to the flag.
Chadwick took fifth, while Mitchell recovered from his spin to card a top six finish. Ryan Hadfield secured seventh, while emerging from a last corner melee in eighth was Matt Chapman, with Pedro Cardoso having spun around Jack Rawles. Cardoso was later penalised with a seven second penalty to move him below Rawles to twelfth in the results, promoting Senna Proctor to ninth ahead of Norris.
Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/toca/2014/141803gij.pdf
Provisional Ginetta Junior Championship Standings (After Rd.6 of 20):
1. Jack Mitchell – JHR Developments – 166pts
2. Ryan Hadfield – R&J Motorsport – 130pts
3. Ben Pearson – R&J Motorsport – 126pts
4. Jamie Caroline – TCR – 125pts
5. Dan Zelos – JHR Developments – 108pts
6. Lando Norris – HHC Motorsport – 99pts
7. James Kellett – HHC Motorsport – 93pts
8. Jonathan Hadfield – R&J Motorsport – 89pts