Billy Monger says he looks back on the 2015 Ginetta Junior Championship with positive feelings, despite an “up and down” campaign which saw technical issues blunt a challenge for the drivers title.
Moving to JHR Developments for his sophomore season in the championship, Monger immediately showed his potential with the opening win of the season at Brands Hatch, which looked set to be two from two before some last corner drama.
Podium finishes followed at Donington Park, Thruxton and Croft, before Monger set the pace at Snetterton in August, with a first category pole position being converted into a top two double including a second victory of the campaign.
That proved to be the highlight of a tougher than hoped second half of the season though, with just one more rostrum visit following during the Brands season finale as Monger brought his season to a close in fifth in the championship standings.
“Just like Junior racing, my season has been really up and down,” Monger told TCF. “That was shown on the opening weekend at Brands, when we started the season off perfectly with a win, but then should have had two were it not for a bit of misfortune in race two.
“We’ve had quite a few technical issues this year, and we should have been in the battle for the title with Senna [Proctor] and Jamie [Caroline], but problems at Knockhill and Rockingham, and then penalties at Donington and Oulton, have put us out of contention.”
Despite the troubles, Monger says he is pleased with his pace and progress over the course of the season, with his tallies of two wins and seven podium finishes over the year only being beaten by the championship top two.
He reflected: “We’ve definitely had the pace this season, at Snetterton for example we put it on pole by half a second, the biggest pole margin of the season. I’ll come away from the season knowing that at times I was the fastest driver out there and that’s given me a lot of self-confidence.
“There’s a lot of positive feelings at the end of the year, there’s been a big improvement on last season, and hopefully we can go on to bigger and better things next year.”
With his Junior experience under his belt, Monger feels he is ready to move on to pastures new in 2016: “I’ve loved my two years in Ginetta Juniors, but to further my career I feel like now is the time to move onto higher things,” he concluded.
“I’d like to stay on the TOCA package, but we’re not sure which championship we’d like to move into yet. Hopefully we’ll be able to get our budget sorted soon and see what we can do.”