Will Tregurtha has expressed his delight and pride at writing his name into the Ginetta Junior Championship history books as the 2016 champion, having secured the title with a meeting to spare last month at Silverstone.
Tregurtha enjoyed a superb campaign in the BTCC support championship with reigning champions HHC Motorsport, securing thirteen podium finishes including six race victories across the 23 races he contested in his Enlighten-backed Ginetta G40.
“It’s been a whirlwind season. The season opener at Brands Hatch only feels like yesterday, and I can’t believe that we’ve won the championship and I can’t believe that it’s over,” Tregurtha told TCF during the Silverstone celebrations.
“I’ve really enjoyed the whole season and I really can’t describe the feeling of winning the title. The team have done such an incredible job all year, my family have been so supportive, and the sponsors have given me the backing to be able to do it. I can’t thank them all enough.”
Tregurtha’s success came in his second season in the championship, with his Junior career having kicked off as a single-car entry with series newcomers Richardson Chassis Engineering in 2015 – a year that produced eight top ten finishes including a best of fourth overall.
With that experience under his belt, Tregurtha says that HHC were the “only team to be with” if he wanted to mount a championship challenge this season, and that decision proved to be the right one as he delivered the Yorkshire outfit their fourth drivers title in the last five years.
“I was in a smaller team last season who did an amazing job, but we didn’t have the benefit of team-mates to get data from and those sorts of things, so we headed into most races blind and had to work hard for results,” Tregurtha reflected.
“Last year was difficult in that sense, but it set me up really well for this season. It gave me the knowledge that I could do the job on track and I knew that coming to HHC would put the full package together and I was confident we could challenge at the front. They were the only team to be with.
“This team gives you the confidence to know that every time you go on track, the car is going to be at its best. The team’s knowledge of the car is spot on, so whatever they do, I’ve had the confidence that it’s the right decision and it’s worked out that way. You can’t ask for anymore from a team.”
Tregurtha got his season off to the perfect start with his maiden victory in the first race of the year, and the 16 year old says that success was crucial to his title glory, as was a dominant double win at Oulton Park that saw him replicate the feats of four of the previous five series champions.
“For me that opening race at Brands Hatch was almost like a statement; I’m here and I’m here to do well. That result really set down the gauntlet for everybody else and the chase was on from there really,” Tregurtha enthused.
“The Oulton Park weekend was massive too. Honestly we were a little bit off the pace in practice, but in qualifying the first lap was just spot on and that set us up for the races perfectly. I knew we could do it, I knew we could go and win both races in a weekend, and everything came together at Oulton.
“In the past few seasons the drivers who won the championship had won both races at Oulton along the way, it’s something about that circuit, so that gave us a lot of confidence as well.”
Alongside those standout victories, the key to Tregurtha’s success has been his constant presence at the front of the field across the race weekends, with a championship best qualifying average of 2.67 and a remarkable 22 top five finishes in 23 races.
That record is one that’s only beaten by one former champion in the last decade, with Tregurtha impressively maintaining the run in a season which featured the biggest calendar in series history including triple-header meetings and reverse grid encounters for the first time.
“Being in the top five so consistently is a big achievement, and we’re really proud to have had the pace to be fighting at the front in every race,” reflected the Milton Keynes-based racer.
“Having three races in a weekend has given more chances for things to go wrong, and it’s given us limited time between races one and two on Saturday’s, so you’ve had to change your mentality and be more conservative in race one to ensure you’re on the grid for the next one, before attacking more in races two and three.
“Having the reverse grids as well has made it even more difficult, sometimes having to try and get past people that wouldn’t normally be right at the front. It’s been part of the challenge though, everyone has had to deal with it and I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been a really hard-fought season and I’m delighted to have come out on top.”
Focus in the Tregurtha camp is now naturally turning towards 2017, and with part of Tregurtha’s prize for winning the title being the use of a Ginetta G55 GT4 for next season’s Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup, he says that’s naturally an option he’s considering.
“I would certainly like to stay in Ginetta’s and I’d like to stay with HHC as they’ve been fantastic to me,” he concluded. “Ginetta provide a really good ladder in the sport and perhaps the Supercup could be an option for me next year. We’re talking to people about what we can do and it’s just about finding the budget we need.”