Preview: Five To Go As Juniors Prepare For Silverstone Battles

Five races remain in the 2016 Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship and it’s still all to play for at the top of the standings as Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton battle it out to become the twelfth champion in series history.

The top two picked up a win apiece last time out at Rockingham as they continue to trade blows in the title fight, though a strong points advantage for Tregurtha means he could make the final knockout blow in the penultimate meeting of the season this weekend at Silverstone.

While Tregurtha and Middleton are tied on six race wins, twelve podium finishes and 54 laps led apiece so far this year, it’s 19 top six finishes in 20 races for Tregurtha, as opposed to 13 for Middleton, that gives the HHC Motorsport man his 55 point advantage at present.

That lead is reduced to 35 with dropped scores factored in, meaning that if Tregurtha can outscore his adversary by six points this weekend the title is his, while Douglas Motorsport’s Middleton needs to healthily outscore his rival to head to Brands Hatch with a good chance of stealing the crown.

It’s not just the overall title that could be decided at Silverstone, but also the Rookie honours, with this year’s Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner Daniel Harper holding a 75 point advantage on dropped scores at the top of the class ahead of Seb Priaulx.

To wrap up the class honours with a meeting to spare, Harper merely needs to maintain the same size advantage, or lose a maximum of three points to his adversary, at the end of the weekend’s three races – though that will be easier said than done in a really competitive field.

Harper heads to the ‘Home of British Motorsport’ eager to return to the overall top three after a couple of tricky meetings – having previously taken outright wins at Donington Park and Snetterton as part of seven top three results so far.

Priaulx meanwhile has had a rollercoaster second half of the campaign so far with four outright top four results being combined with four finishes of twelfth or lower, and he’s determined to secure a maiden overall win after having one taken away in the stewards room at Knockhill.

The rookie to watch at the moment however is Harry King, who has been closing on Priaulx in the standings thanks to a breakthrough outright victory at Snetterton and then a second success last time out as part of a seasons best top six treble.

King’s victory at Rockingham came in a standout result for Elite Motorsport, with Tom Wood following him home for a maiden one-two finish for the team – Wood’s second overall podium finish in consecutive meetings as he continues to reach new heights in his maiden campaign.

Outside of the championship battles, there’s plenty more to fight for throughout the grid, including Lewis Brown and Dave Wooder fighting it out for third in the overall standings – the position having changed hands between the two last time out at Rockingham.

Brown is on a better run of form than his adversary with eight top six finishes in the last ten races, with Wooder only taking five in the same spell as Rockingham marked the first race meeting this season in which he did not take at least one podium finish.

The in-form Geri Nicosia meanwhile heads into the last five races aiming to steal the final position in the championship top five from Harper, having closed the gap to nineteen points courtesy of some recent top six finishes including a maiden victory at Knockhill.

It’s not just championship positions in driver’s minds though, with Seb Perez amongst a number of drivers aiming to fight for race victories. The JHR ace has been impressive of late, joining his team-mate Nicosia in taking a first win in Scotland before adding a pair of third place finishes last time out.

Fellow JHR man Kyle Hornby meanwhile has not had the season he’d have wanted so far, but he could well break his podium duck for the year this time out at a circuit he impressively secured a pole position, fastest lap and overall top three finish at twelve months ago.

There are two other drivers on the grid that head to Silverstone with podium experience, Charlie Fagg and Connor Grady, who secured top three breakthroughs at Croft and Knockhill respectively and are both capable of repeating that feat this time out.

The hugely competitive field will be completed by rookie top three finishers Jordan Collard and Oli Caldwell, the ever-improving Greg Johnson, Anthony Ayres and Charlie Digby, Rockingham newcomer Jenson Dineen and debutant Harry Dyson, who only turned 14 on Monday!

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