Billy Monger has ended Jamie Caroline’s winning run in the Ginetta Junior Championship with a second victory of the season during a chaotic closing encounter at Snetterton.
Monger’s victory, which came at the head of a JHR Developments one-two-three with team-mates Senna Proctor and Dan Zelos, has moved him right back into the title battle after points leader Caroline was left in eighth following both a grid penalty and a track limits time penalty.
Monger just fended off Patrik Matthiesen to maintain his pole position advantage into Riches for the first time, and that meant he just managed to avoid the trouble that unfolded behind at Montreal, as Matthiesen spun himself around the front of Alex Day into the pack.
Proctor emerged from the chaos in second ahead of Will Tregurtha and Caroline, while further drama behind at Agostini saw Sebastian Perez hit the back of Ben Green, which in turn spun around Kyle Hornby and led to the latter’s retirement.
Caroline was the man on the move on lap two, passing Tregurtha for third around the outside into Riches before dispatching Proctor in style at Brundle. Caroline briefly looked to battle Monger for the lead, but a challenge back from Proctor on lap four allowed the leader to pull clear.
Proctor got past through Williams heading onto the back straight, before Caroline squeezed back ahead into Brundle once again. A run wide at Riches on the next lap though dropped Caroline to fifth behind Proctor, Zelos and Tregurtha.
Caroline fought back past Tregurtha at Agostini on lap five, but the rookie was undeterred and made a move into Brundle on the final lap – with slight contact between the two sending Caroline across the grass, from which he was able to recover back ahead in fourth.
In front, Monger had streaked clear to take victory by over five seconds from Proctor, who had Zelos right in his mirrors in the closing stages as the local man bounced back from a tough recent run of form with a return to the podium.
“There was quick a lot of pressure in the first few corners and I nearly got collected in the chaos behind,” said Monger. “I managed to make a little gap, but then Senna and Jamie started to reel me in, so I knew I had to pick the pace up and find that extra bit of momentum to get that gap so I could relax in the last couple of laps. I’m delighted.”
Caroline finished fourth on the road despite battling with not one but two slow punctures on his G40J, however a five second penalty for exceeding track limits dropped him eighth post-race, promoting Tregurtha to a well-earned best result of the season so far.
Lewis Brown took fifth, while there was a maiden top six finish for Geri Nicosia ahead of Day and Caroline. Jonathan Hadfield completed a tough weekend in ninth, while Charlie Fagg took a first top ten finish in only his fourth Ginetta race.
TCR trio Matt Chapman, Cameron Roberts and Dave Wooder were next up, only Devlin DeFrancesco splitting them in thirteenth, while Stuart Middleton rose eight places from his grid slot to take fifteenth ahead of the battle-scarred Matthiesen.
Perez’s early race misdemeanours ended with him retiring halfway through the race, with William Stacey joining him and Hornby on the retirement’s list after colliding with Matthiesen during the Montreal melee on the opening lap.
Full race results can be found here.