The Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship served up a pair of thrilling races during the third meeting of the season at Thruxton last weekend, and we’ve crunched the numbers to find out what it all means.
The milestone performances started in qualifying, when Seb Perez became the latest driver to take a maiden pole position – albeit by the narrowest of margins, just one thousandth of a second.
Perez made it twelve different pole-sitters in the last thirteen Ginetta Junior qualifying sessions – with Stuart Middleton the only driver to top qualifying more than once since start of 2015.
Alongside Perez, Tom Wood (13th), Anthony Ayres (19th) and Greg Johnson (20th) also picked up their best qualifying results of the season so far at Thruxton.
Middleton meanwhile holds the best qualifying average at present, having put himself on the front row of the grid in each of the three sessions so far.
Will Tregurtha and Seb Priaulx are the only other two drivers to have qualified in the top six each time, with Lewis Brown, Tom Gamble and Dave Wooder the other ever-presents in the top ten.
Come raceday, Wooder continued Thruxton’s tradition of producing new race-winners in the Juniors with his maiden championship victory in the second race of the day.
That success sees him follow in the footsteps of the winning duo from 2014, Dan Zelos and Jamie Caroline, plus last year’s Thruxton star Sophia Floersch.
Wooder’s victory was the first in the championship for the Total Control Racing squad since Caroline’s success two years previous – and they become the first team outside HHC and Douglas to notch a victory this season.
Alongside Wooder, Priaulx (3rd), Harry King (4th) and Wood (10th) also picked up the best results of their Ginetta Junior careers so far in the Hampshire sunshine.
That meant Elite Motorsport duo King and Wood became the latest drivers to notch their first top ten finishes – meaning 17 of the 20 ever-present drivers have now finished tenth or higher.
Out of those, Wooder and Tregurtha continued their remarkable run of finishing in the top five in every race so far this season – with Wooder actually not finishing lower than fourth thus far.
Alongside his breakthrough fourth place finish, King also secured his first fastest lap in the opening race, becoming the first Rookie driver to post the outright quickest lap of a race this season.
Middleton meanwhile would post the fastest lap in race two, meaning himself and Brown are now tied at the top with three fastest laps apiece this season.
For championship leader Middleton, laps led in both races mean he has been in front for 29 so far this campaign, almost double his closest challenger Tregurtha (15).
That translates into 49.972 miles led this season for Middleton, more than the next two Brown (25.727) and Tregurtha (23.105) added together.
Perez led a solitary lap in the opening race meanwhile, the first time he’s led a Junior race in his career so far, while race two was the fourth encounter this season to feature three different leaders.
The lead overtaker across the Thruxton weekend was Wooder, courtesy of his rise from tenth to third in the opener, before climbing up to victory in race two.
That meant Wooder gained one place more than King, who fought his way through from twelfth to seventh in race one, before gaining three further places next time out en-route to fourth.
The 2016 Ginetta Junior Championship returns at Oulton Park in two weeks’ time (04/05 June), a circuit that has produced double victories for the eventual champion in four of the last five seasons.