Jack Mitchell will be crowned the 2014 KICK Start Energy Ginetta Junior Champion this weekend at Brands Hatch, barring the most incredible turnaround in the championship’s history in the final two races of the season around the GP circuit.
Mitchell came within a whisker of wrapping up the title a meeting early at Silverstone two weeks ago. After taking a long-awaited seventh victory of the year in race one, the JHR Developments racer needed a podium finish to confirm himself champion, but finished fourth.
With chief title rival James Kellett winning that race to add to a second place finish in the opener, the gap between the two now lies at 57 points with 74 left to play for at Mitchell’s home circuit.
When the category’s dropped score ruling is taken into the equation though, Mitchell heads to Brands Hatch needed just a solitary point from the meeting to take the title, with Kellett having to take every point on offer, with Mitchell scoring nothing, to take the crown.
Realistically, the championship could well be decided in qualifying on Saturday before a racing lap has even been completed. With a point on offer for each pole position, Kellett will need to add two more poles to his double at Silverstone or Mitchell will be champion.
While Kellett won’t give up on the title until it’s mathematically impossible for him to win, the reigning Rookie Cup and Winter Series champion’s main focus will be on holding off his HHC Motorsport team-mate Lando Norris for the vice-champion’s position.
Norris followed Kellett home in race two at Silverstone for the team’s sixth one two finish in ten races, leaving the recently crowned CIK FIA KF World Karting champion 24 points adrift of his team-mate.
Those two go to Brands as the in-form drivers in the series having shared eight of the last ten race wins between themselves, and their fight for the vice-champion’s spot could well go down to the final race of the weekend.
Alongside Norris, the other stand-out rookie of the 2014 season has been Dan Zelos. The JHR racer added an eighth podium finish of the season at Silverstone, six of those coming in the last nine races, and he could well take the spotlight from the top three and add to his two wins so far at Brands.
R&J Motorsport are set to complete their first season in the series with Ryan Hadfield near-assured fifth overall in the standings after taking regular top six finishes throughout the campaign, with a maiden category win the target for Brands.
Team-mate Ben Pearson is on course for sixth overall meanwhile after a return to form at Silverstone saw him lead a Junior race for the first time, the second year driver unfortunate to miss out on a first podium finish since Thruxton in May.
One driver regularly picking up podiums is Jamie Chadwick, the former Ginetta Scholarship winner having five third place finishes to her name. She is determined to finish the campaign with a higher finish and will hope to replicate her brother Ollie’s double race win in the Brands season finale last season.
Jamie Caroline heads into the meeting hoping to end a mixed first season with a second win of the campaign, while impressive rookies Alex Sedgwick and Jonathan Hadfield have maiden outright podium finishes in their sights, as does second year racer Jack Rawles.
Senna Proctor, Matt Chapman, Billy Monger, Harry Mailer and Flashman Finneran will all be aiming to add more top ten finishes to their resume, while Lewis Brown, Benjamin Wallace and Esmee Hawkey could break into the top ten fold for the first time.
The weekend’s potentially decisive qualifying session is scheduled for 14.00 on Saturday, with the opening race following later that afternoon at 16.55. The final round of the year follows on Sunday at 12.12.