Matt Chapman took his and the Total Control Racing team’s maiden Ginetta Junior Championship podium finish in the final race of the season at Brands Hatch GP.
The 15 year old was finally able to convert his raw pace into a top three finish during a frenetic encounter around the iconic Grand Prix layout, climbing through from ninth on the grid.
Avoiding an incident in front of him at Druids on lap one, Chapman headed into an early safety car period in eighth, before gaining two spots when there was more contact ahead after the restart.
Drive-through penalties for two front-runners then promoted him to fourth, with a great move on Stuart Middleton following to put Chapman in third.
Setting the fastest lap of the race on lap five, Chapman was ready to challenge for second when the red flags brought a premature end to the race due to another accident.
“I’m really happy,” said Chapman, who completed the season in the championship top ten.
“At the start of the weekend it really didn’t look like we’d be in a position to try and be on the podium, after qualifying it looked like we’d be mid-pack and race one was a disappointment as we were involved in some contact and ended up ninth.
“We knew we could go somewhere from ninth on the grid in race two, but we didn’t know we’d get to the podium. It was really busy, there was some contact on the first lap but then we managed to slice through the field and make overtakes when it was necessary. Fastest lap was a bonus too, it feels so good to get my first podium and we can feel confident now for whatever we do next year.”