Harper Takes Sensational Maiden Win In Donington Closer

Dan Harper has become the fourth different winner in the opening five Ginetta Junior Championship races with victory in a thrilling inaugural reversed-grid encounter at Donington Park.

The victory created history in the championship, with the Northern Irishman becoming the first Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner to take an outright success in their maiden year.

It was Cameron Roberts who was placed on pole position for the final race of the first triple-header meeting of the season, and the JHR Developments racer held his lead into an early safety car period.

That came after Dhyllan Skiba shot into the gravel trap at the Old Hairpin as he tried to avoid the spinning Anthony Ayres in front, the latter able to continue racing at the restart.

Roberts’ advantage was short lived as the action resumed, with Will Tregurtha immediately forcing his way past going into Redgate, with Harper following through into second down the Craner Curves.

An early man on the move behind was Lewis Brown, who worked his way up two positions to seventh prior to the safety car, before quickly climbing into the top five on the restart lap.

Brown would soon become a factor in the fight for the lead, with battling between Tregurtha and Harper allowing a five car train to form at the head of the pack.

Harper took the lead for the first time at McLeans on lap six, but Tregurtha got back ahead at Redgate on the next lap, with Geri Nicosia moving up to third ahead of Roberts and Brown.

A busy couple of laps saw Nicosia briefly move into second before Brown stormed through to take the position, and he and Harper edged clear to duel for the victory.

Brown got ahead at Redgate on the penultimate lap, but Harper fought back through into McLeans and went on to take his maiden win by just shy of three tenths of a second.

Behind Brown, Tregurtha broke clear of the squabbling pack to complete the podium, with Dave Wooder rising to fourth ahead of Roberts – Nicosia slipping to ninth in the closing stages.

Max Bird and Seb Priaulx completed the Rookie Cup podium in sixth and eighth overall respectively, sandwiching continued championship leader Stuart Middleton.

Charlie Fagg moved forward to tenth ahead of Kyle Hornby, both drivers gaining four places during the race, with Tom Gamble in thirteenth ahead of Connor Grady and local racer Tom Wood.

Full race results can be found here.