Lando Norris took his second win in the Ginetta Junior Championship with a stunning drive in the second race of the weekend at Snetterton, an enthralling battle with team-mate James Kellett and Dan Zelos going right to the flag.
Norris started the race from the front, however a slow getaway for the pole-man allowed his HHC Motorsport stablemate Kellett to storm into the lead heading into Riches for the first time, with Norris just fending off Zelos for second.
The front three quickly broke away from the field behind and started a race of their own. After running in formation for the first two laps, it all changed on lap three when Kellett ran wide coming out of Riches.
That allowed the opportunistic Norris to dive down the inside Montreal, with Zelos following him through to demote Kellett to third. The reigning Winter Series champion fought back straight away though, and passed Zelos a couple of corners later at Agostini.
As the race headed towards its conclusion, Kellett couldn’t have been closer to the rear of Norris’ car, but the leader produced a superb defensive display to ensure his team-mate didn’t have any opportunities to pass.
The front three ran nose-to-tail to the finish, with less than four tenths of a second separating them at the chequered flag.
While the front three had a race of their own, for championship leader Jack Mitchell it proved to be a rather lonely race. The JHR Developments ace slipped to fifth at the start behind the fast-starting Jack Rawles, who stormed from eighth on the grid to fourth, but Mitchell was soon back ahead.
By that point the front three were clear away in the distance though, and despite setting the fastest lap of the race on lap four, he could only get onto their tail on the final lap and was left to settle for fourth.
Mitchell left behind a titanic scrap over fifth place that featured over six different drivers over the course of the race. Rawles held the spot onto lap two, but was soon under pressure from Ryan Hadfield after he produced a great move around the outside Jamie Chadwick at Montreal.
Chadwick aimed to fight back with a replica of the move a lap later, however the JHR racer found herself bundled wide at the exit of the corner. That allowed Jamie Caroline though, and he gained more ground later in the lap by passing Hadfield and Rawles down the back straight.
Through till the end of lap three, the racing was relatively clean, but the battle broke down on lap four. Hadfield ran into the back of Caroline into Montreal, with the bunching up from that leading to Chadwick unfortunately turning around team-mate Alex Sedgwick at Agostini, the pack behind being forced onto the grass in avoidance.
As Hadfield dropped back with damage, Caroline emerged from the drama to end the lap in fifth and with the action simmering down over the final two laps, the Total Control Racing ace held the spot to the flag to end the weekend on a high after a race one disqualification.
Rawles took sixth, his fourth top six finish of the season so far, while Senna Proctor continued a strong recent run of form with seventh. Chadwick’s busy race ended with her in eighth, while a late move from William Taylforth saw him finish ninth ahead of Ben Pearson – fifth to ninth separated by just 1.108 seconds at the flag.
Sedgwick recovered from his spin with a thirteenth place finish, while Ryan Hadfield ended up seventeenth in his battered and bruised G40. His brother Jonathan Hadfield and Lewis Brown were the only retirements meanwhile, after contact in the pack at Montreal on lap one turned Hadfield around into the innocent Brown, causing extensive damage to the front of both cars.
Provisional 2014 Ginetta Junior Championship Standings (After Rd.12 of 20):
1. Jack Mitchell – 338pts
2. James Kellett – 259pts
3. Lando Norris – 238pts
4. Ryan Hadfield – 228pts
5. Dan Zelos – 223pts
6. Ben Pearson – 198pts
7. Jamie Caroline – 185pts
8. Jamie Chadwick – 180pts
9. Jack Rawles – 146pts
10. Alex Sedgwick – 134pts