Jamie Caroline seized the initiative in the 2014 Kick Start Energy Ginetta Junior Winter Series with a pair of victories on the opening day of action at Snetterton yesterday (8 November).
Despite being a late entry into the four-race series with reigning champions HHC Motorsport, his first outing with the team having competed with Total Control Racing in the main championship, Caroline led the way in the two six lap races on Saturday (9 November).
It wasn’t Caroline who set the pace in qualifying though, with Dan Zelos excelling in wet conditions to take pole position by over a second from Caroline and newcomer Patrik Matthiessen. Zelos’ advantage didn’t last long though, with Caroline storming ahead on the opening lap of race one.
That came shortly before the safety car appeared after fourth place starter Jonathan Hadfield and debutant Alex Day hit opening lap drama. At the restart, Caroline quickly established a small advantage at the front.
Despite Zelos sticking within four tenths of a second of the leader throughout, Caroline led the remaining laps to take victory, with Zelos second ahead of Senna Proctor, who ran half a second behind his JHR Developments team-mate throughout.
Behind, there was plenty of position changing. Matthiessen looked set to take fourth, but TCR’s Matt Chapman snatched the place on the last lap, while an on-going duel between Billy Monger and Geri Nicosia was also settled last time around.
Nicosia had taken sixth place from his adversary on lap four, but after they came to blows on the final lap, Lewis Brown and Harry Mailer were able to come through and complete the top seven having started sixteenth and thirteenth respectively.
Monger and Nicosia finished up eighth and ninth respectively, with Benjamin Wallace rounding out the top ten ahead of Sebastian Perez, Connor Grady, Charlie Fagg and Ben Green, with Flashman Finneran retiring on lap two.
The finishing positions for race one set the grid for the second race of the day, giving Caroline pole position and an advantage he would never relinquish. While he stormed to a lead of over a second on the opening lap, drama behind saw Zelos forced to pit at the end of the lap while Chapman retired.
That meant Proctor assumed second place, but despite his best efforts Caroline was able to storm clear for a 6.9 second victory. Proctor took a comfortable second, while Matthiessen completed the podium.
A stunning opening lap from Hadfield saw him rise from sixteenth on the grid to fourth on the opening lap, a position the R&J Motorsport man held to the finish ahead of team-mate Nicosia, who emerged in front from a race-long battle with Monger.
Brown took seventh ahead of Mailer, while Finneran bounced back from his race one retirement to climb from fifteenth on the grid to ninth at the finish. Wallace had completed the top ten on the road, but a five second penalty for exceeding track limits dropped him to twelfth behind Grady and Day. Perez and Fagg were next up, with Zelos left down in fifteenth ahead of Green.