Jack Mitchell survived a race-long onslaught from James Kellett to complete his Oulton Park double, making it six wins in the first eight races of the 2014 Ginetta Junior Championship for the runaway championship leader.
Mitchell was joined on the front row by Ryan Hadfield, who looked to make a challenge into Old Hall for the first time. His outside line left him compromised on the exit though, with Kellett squeezing past into second, while Jamie Chadwick slipped to fifth behind Ryan’s brother Jonathan Hadfield.
The front three quickly broke away into a race of their own, leaving Jonathan fending off Chadwick and Lando Norris behind. Chadwick dived past at Lodge on lap two, with Norris following past.
Hadfield lost further ground to Jack Rawles on the next lap at Island, however both past Norris a corner later after an attempted move on Chadwick backfired. Later in the lap Rawles lost ground though, losing four places after being shuffled wide at Lodge.
Ahead, a fastest lap for Kellett moved him right onto the rear bumper of the race leader. The HHC Motorsport ace made a few attempts at moves, but with points scoring the key at this stage as he rebuilds his title challenge, he settled for second.
This ensured Mitchell took the win, albeit by just a narrow 0.200 seconds, in the process extending his championship lead to 66 points over Ryan Hadfield.
“After Thruxton I was really down, we only got fourteen points and it was a bad results,” Mitchell told TCF. “We’ve done some testing since then though and it’s all paid off this weekend with the double win. James [Kellett] has put a lot of pressure on me this weekend in both races, and in that one it was just about defending my lines and making sure I didn’t make any mistakes.”
“It’s been an amazing weekend,” added Kellett, who took fastest lap in both races. “I was a little disappointed at the start of the season, so to come to here and get two podiums, and two fastest laps, is great, and there’s been a definite improvement in the car and me.”
Ryan had been unable to mount a real challenge on the two ahead, with third giving him his third podium of the season. Chadwick meanwhile was trying to make inroads on the front three, but with a three second gap to Hadfield, she was left in a lonely fourth.
Behind her, the battle for fifth went down the final lap, places having changed multiple times every lap. Jamie Caroline stormed through to take the spot after a drive through from sixteenth on the grid, but post-race he was excluded.
This promoted Alex Sedgwick to a season’s best fifth ahead of Rawles and Norris, the latter having lost ground on the final lap. Senna Proctor, Billy Monger and Matt Chapman completed the top ten.
Jonathan Hadfield recovered from contact with Caroline to end up eleventh, while his R&J Motorsport team-mate Ben Pearson had a nightmare race, multiple spins dropping him to sixteenth.
Thruxton race-winner Dan Zelos meanwhile fought back to twelfth after losing loads of time running across the Cascades grass after avoiding a spinning car ahead.
Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/toca/2014/142303gij.pdf
Provisional 2014 Ginetta Junior Championship Standings (After Rd.8 of 20):
1. Jack Mitchell – JHR Developments – 238pts
2. Ryan Hadfield – R&J Motorsport – 172pts
3. Jamie Caroline – Total Control Racing – 171pts
4. James Kellett – HHC Motorsport – 155pts
5. Ben Pearson – R&J Motorsport – 144pts
6. Dan Zelos – JHR Developments – 136pts
7. Jamie Chadwick – JHR Developments – 120pts
8. Wlliam Taylforth – HHC Motorsport – 103pts
9. Lando Norris – HHC Motorsport – 102pts
10. Jack Rawles – Tollbar Racing – 100pts