After a dramatic outing at Knockhill earlier this month, which saw a host of new drivers feature on the podium and drama for some of the established front-runners, the Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship is set to provide more thrills and spills this weekend at Rockingham.
With his chief challenger Stuart Middleton amongst those coming to strife in Scotland, Will Tregurtha holds an increased 36 point lead at the top of the standings heading to Corby, having taken a top five treble last time out including a fifth win of the campaign.
Both the top two have ten podium finishes to their names so far this year, but it’s Tregurtha’s better consistency, sixteen top six finishes in seventeen races compared to Middleton’s eleven, that puts the HHC Motorsport man ahead of his Douglas Motorsport adversary with eight races to go.
Dave Wooder and Lewis Brown saw their outside chances of the title fade further at Knockhill with just a solitary podium for Wooder and a best of fourth for Brown putting them both over one hundred points adrift of Tregurtha.
Both know that anything can happen in the Junior championship however and with 283 points still to play for, they will head into the weekend determined to get a big points haul under their belts and add to their single victories apiece so far this season.
The unpredictable nature of the series was shown throughout the Knockhill weekend, which featured a first-time pole-sitter and four new drivers gracing the overall podium, including two maiden race-winners in JHR Developments duo Seb Perez and Geri Nicosia.
The wins came in hugely varied ways though, with Perez taking a commanding lights-to-flag success, while Nicosia was handed victory in the post-race judicials. Nevertheless, both are naturally brimming with confidence and eager to add to their tallies this time out.
Fellow JHR men Cameron Roberts and Kyle Hornby will be hoping to match their team-mates feats by seasons end as well; likewise Connor Grady, who was one of the new faces in the top three at Knockhill, and Charlie Fagg, a podium finisher himself back at Oulton Park.
It won’t just be the experienced drivers at the head of the field this weekend however, with an increasing number of the Rookie contenders putting themselves in contention for outright victories – a pack led by current class leader Daniel Harper and Seb Priaulx.
Despite a weekend of ups and down at Knockhill, Harper came away with an extended 78 point lead in the Rookie standings and he’ll be hoping to consolidate that this time out, whilst also aiming to add to his two outright race wins from Donington Park and Snetterton.
Priaulx meanwhile will be fired up for success in Corby after seeing a maiden overall victory lost in the stewards room at Knockhill. The JHR ace did come away from the weekend with a first pole position and a fourth overall podium of the year though to continue his exciting campaign.
Other impressive rookie performances have come from Tom Wood, who got his first overall podium at Knockhill after seeing his Elite Motorsport team-mate Harry King do the same last month at Snetterton, while Olli Caldwell and Max Bird are other class podium finishers on the grid.
Two class front-runners are missing from action though, with Tom Gamble sitting out a second meeting in succession, while Enzo Fittipaldi’s time in the championship has come to an end ahead of an expected switch into Formula 4 competition.
Jordan Collard is in a race against time to make the Rockingham weekend meanwhile following a crash in testing yesterday (23rd August) that has caused significant damage to his G40 – the Hampshire racer having starred at Knockhill with his maiden Rookie class victory in fifth overall.
There are two new entries on the grid however, with Connor O’Brien and Jenson Dineen entering the fray with Optimum Motorsport and JHR Developments respectively, while Alex Day and Greg Johnson are back in action as well to make it a potential 21 car grid this weekend.
The weekend’s action kicks off with qualifying at 09:00 on Saturday morning, with a busy day then featuring the opening two races at 13:40 and 16:50. Sunday features just one race then, which is set to be televised live on ITV4 at 14:37.
Full championship standings ahead of the weekend can be found here.