Priaulx Hits Back In Style With Oulton Park Domination

by Simon Paice

Sebastian Priaulx enjoyed the most dominant weekend of his car-racing career so far as he carded a pair of classy lights-to-flag victories in the Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship at Oulton Park.

Responding superbly to the news that he and two of his JHR Developments team-mates had been excluded from the Thruxton meeting earlier this month, Priaulx would top the timesheets in every session over the weekend.

The Guernseyman had been one of a number of drivers to miss at least one of the Friday free practice sessions to sit GCSE examinations, but he was right on the pace in Saturday practice and would take pole position for race one in qualifying.

His main competition on Saturday came from Daniel Harper, another to have limited Friday running, with the Douglas Motorsport ace taking second on the grid for race one before stealing pole position for the second encounter.

Unfortunately for Harper, poor launches off the line in both of Sunday’s races would deprive him of the opportunity to challenge for the race wins, opening the door for Priaulx to lead into Old Hall for the first time on both occasions.

From then on he wouldn’t be headed, leading every racing lap in both encounters on his way to 4.4 and 5.3 second victories – though it wasn’t entirely plain-sailing as he had to fend off intense pressure from Kiern Jewiss at the beginning of race two.

It was Jewiss and Tom Wood who would eventually fight it out over the other podium positions in both encounters, with their race one rises aided by a dramatic start-line incident between Harper and row two starters Adam Smalley and Harry Dyson.

Those two would dive either side of the slow-starting Harper, but as they each tried to edge ahead they squeezed across the front of the Northern Irishman, with contact dramatically pitching Harper into the air and sending Smalley and Dyson into the barriers.

Smalley would eventually nurse his damaged car home to thirteenth, with Harper and Dyson completing the finishers in seventeenth and eighteenth respectively after taking trips through the pitlane with punctures and damage.

Jewiss would subsequently run second early on, but Wood would grab the position on lap three and hold it to the chequered flag – however Jewiss would get payback in race two as after another close duel, he snatched second the narrowest of margins after a drag race to the line.

Those results have moved both drivers into the overall top four of the championship, with a pair of class victories for Jewiss ensuring he holds a strong Rookie class points lead over Smalley, who joined Dyson in bouncing back with class podiums in race two.

They finished fourth and sixth overall respectively, sandwiching Harper who had come together with championship leader Tom Gamble during the race and sent the latter spinning down a finish of eleventh to add to fifth in race one.

Other notable results came from Connor Grady, who was a seasons best fourth overall in race one, whilst Luke Browning and Ruben Del Sarte completed the Rookie class podium in the opener, the former taking his maiden class top three finish.

Full race results from the weekend and the current championship standings can be found here:

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