Billy Monger feels consistent top five finishes will be the key to a title challenge in the Ginetta Junior Championship this season after getting his biggest points haul of the season so far in Rounds Five and Six at Thruxton.
Monger followed up a drive from tenth to fifth in race one with a superb second place finish, results he can add to a breakthrough victory in the first race of the season at Brands Hatch and a hard-fought third place in Round Three at Donington Park.
It could have easily been four podiums in the first four races though, with last corner contact whilst leading costing him in Round Two, while a time penalty for exceeding track limits dropped him from third to tenth in the Donington closer.
Despite those troubles, the results at Thruxton coupled with some troubles for some of his fellow front-runners means Monger has climbed to second in the standings. The JHR Developments racer sits eighteen points adrift of the lead, a deficit he plans to overhaul with consistent top five results.
“We’d liked to have been more consistent in the first two rounds, we had some bad luck at Brands Hatch and then at Donington I made a mistake that cost me a podium,” Monger told TCF.
“So from that we came into this weekend knowing we needed to be in the top five in every race, getting good points from every meeting in order to have a good shot at the championship, and we’ve done that this weekend so I’m delighted.”
Monger’s third podium finish of the campaign came in a thrilling second race of the day at Thruxton, the high-speed nature of the Hampshire circuit producing some epic slipstream racing that Monger found himself right in the middle of.
After climbing from fifth to second, Monger put race leader Sophia Floersch under immense pressure in the closing laps, but was unable to find a way past for a second win of the year.
“It was certainly an eventful race. Our aim for the race was to get a good start and try and get away with the front pack, which is what we managed to do,” Monger reflected.
“When the safety car came out I was in fourth and I was waiting for an opportunity to get past Stuart [Middleton], which I did into the complex on the restart. After the second safety car I managed to get right with Dan [Zelos] and Sophia [Floersch], and was able to pass Dan around the outside at Noble.
“I was looking for a way past Sophia, but she defended really well and I’ve got give her credit as I couldn’t find a way past her. Second place is a really good result in the end.”
Next up for Monger and the rest of the Ginetta Junior field is a trip to Oulton Park in Cheshire in four weeks time, and despite his track time at the circuit set to be limited ahead of the race meeting, Monger is optimistic of some more positive results.
He added: “I’m feeling really good for Oulton Park. We’ve done one test there, and as I’m got an exam on the Friday before the race meeting that’ll be all my running before the weekend itself, but I’m confident of running well there and hopefully we can two more good results.”