Preview: Tregurtha Leads Junior Field North Of The Border To Knockhill

by Simon Paice

Will Tregurtha is the driver to beat as the Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship heads to Knockhill this weekend (13/14 August) for the third triple-header meeting of the 2016 campaign.

Tregurtha returned to the top of the standings last time out at Snetterton after a double podium finish for him was coupled with the worst weekend of the season so far for erstwhile standings leader Stuart Middleton.

Whilst Middleton was in the thick of the midfield action on his way to ninth and seventh place finishes after qualifying outside the top six for the first time this season, Tregurtha was out front leading both races at one stage before finishing up second and third.

The top two’s dominance at the front of the field is shown by the fact there hasn’t been a race yet this season which hasn’t featured at least one of them on the podium, and you wouldn’t bet against that continuing around a circuit they both finished in the top ten at last season.

The star performers at Snetterton however were a pair of rookie talents in Daniel Harper and Harry King, with reigning Scholarship winner Harper taking a pair of race wins on the road, though a race two penalty handed a maiden victory to Elite Motorsport’s King.

For Harper, the weekend continued a superb maiden car-racing campaign that has now yielded seven outright podium finishes and six Rookie Cup wins with Douglas Motorsport, results that have given him an extensive lead in the Rookie class standings.

For King meanwhile, the weekend was a real statement of intent with his first overall podium finish. A second Rookie Cup victory meanwhile has moved him up to third in the class standings, and with confidence at an all-time high, he should be a factor at the front of the grid again this weekend.

Harper’s closest competition in the Rookie class is currently Seb Priaulx meanwhile, though the Guernseyman saw his title chances take a blow with a difficult Snetterton outing. He’ll be eager to bounce back this weekend and add to his three overall podium finishes so far.

Another lead Rookie talent on the grid is HHC Motorsport’s Tom Gamble, who saw a pair of class podiums at Snetterton make it nine for the season so far, with a maiden outright top three finish well within his sights heading to Scotland.

A driver with experience of finishing on the podium at Knockhill is Gamble’s team-mate Lewis Brown, who took a pair of top three’s there last year and will now be hoping to use all his experience to full effect this time out and challenge for victories to keep his title hopes alive.

Like Brown, Dave Wooder knows he needs to get some big points hauls under his belt to close the gap at the top of the points. Despite finishing on the podium on each race weekend so far, the TCR racer has slipped 84 points adrift of Tregurtha in the title battle.

The ultra-competitive nature of the Junior series means there are a host of other drivers capable of being in podium contention this weekend, including Oulton Park top three finisher Charlie Fagg and JHR Developments duo Geri Nicosia and Seb Perez, both of whom have best finishes of fourth.

After taking a long-awaited return to the top six last time out, Kyle Hornby will also be pushing to add to his two podium finishes from 2015; while fellow JHR team-mate Cameron Roberts will be hoping to get his season back on track after missing the trip to Norfolk with license problems.

Other rookie contenders to watch meanwhile will be Enzo Fittipaldi, who secured a maiden class win at Croft, the ever-improving Tom Wood and relative newcomers Olli Caldwell and Charlie Digby.

Full championship standings ahead of the weekend can be found here.

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