Dan Harper has been crowned the 2015 Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner, beating over sixty other drivers to win a fully-funded season in next year’s Ginetta Junior Championship.
Harper follows in the footsteps of the likes of 2015 British GT4 champion Jamie Chadwick, 2013 Ginetta GT5 Challenge champion Oliver Basey-Fisher and current Junior star Stuart Middleton in winning the Scholarship, following three days of intense competition at Bedford Autodrome.
23 drivers made it through to today’s (28th October) final, with the field being whittled down to twelve before a final three battled it out, with Harper emerging victorious ahead of Harry King and Seb Priaulx.
“It’s been a fantastic week for me, I’ve really enjoyed every moment of it,” said the 14 year old Northern Irishman.
“I still can’t believe I have got this far and won! Thank you to all the staff who have helped me this week, especially the instructors who have brought my driving on so much in so little time. I’m now looking forward to putting everything I’ve learnt into practice.”
The preliminary days saw the mammoth 65 driver entry take part in driving, media and fitness assessments, before the top 23 were taken through to the finale, where they received one more run to impress the judges.
The group was then cut to twelve drivers, who completed three times laps without instruction, before the final three completed a hot lap alongside Ginetta factory driver Mike Simpson, with Harper coming out on top.
Judging the competition was three-time Ginetta champion Tom Ingram, 2011 Ginetta GT Supercup champion Adam Morgan, 2015 Supercup race-winner Bradley Smith and former Junior and Supercup front-runner Jody Fannin.
“A very tough few days for all the Ginetta Junior Scholarship drivers, with rain and changeable track conditions putting added pressure on our finalists,” commented chief instructor Ingram.
“It was a very close call between the final three, with each quite deserving in their own right. In the end, I think Dan is a very worthy winner, and I look forward to watching his first race at Brands Hatch in 2016.”
Some famous racing names were amongst those in action, including Seb Priaulx, son of three-time WTCC champion Andy, Jordan Collard, son of BTCC race-winner Rob and brother of reigning MSA Formula vice-champion Ricky, and Enzo Fittipaldi, grandson of two-time F1 world champion Emerson and brother of 2014 Formula Renault BARC champion Pietro.
The final twelve drivers were Harper, King, Priaulx, Collard, Fittipaldi, Tom Wood, Luke Newman, Tom Canning, Max Bird, Ryan Owst, Mark Kimber and Alex Quinn.
Kieran Wragg, Michael Kemsley, Harry Foster, Myles Apps, Jack Davidson, Callum Hawkins-Row, Matthew Hopcraft, Elliot Harvey, Luke Browning, Percy James and Toby Goodman also made it through to the final day.
“Once again the Ginetta Junior Scholarship has unearthed a whole host of talented racing drivers from a range of motorsport backgrounds,” added Ginetta Championships Manager Ashley Gallagher.
“It’s unfortunate that we can only choose one winner at the end of such a great competition and we wish each of our entrants all the best in their motorsport career.”