Preview: Title Pendulum Swings Gamble’s Way Ahead Of Brands Finale


Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Tom Gamble has the destiny of the 2017 Ginetta Junior Championship title in his hands this weekend as the series heads to Brands Hatch for the final three races of a rollercoaster campaign around the iconic Grand Prix circuit.

Gamble stamped his mark on the title fight earlier this month at Silverstone as he became the first driver in championship history to win all three races on a weekend, a success that has put his points lead at 55 points heading into the season finale.

The gap between the top three was only sixteen points heading into the penultimate meeting of the year, meaning that although Gamble clear with his sixth, seventh and eighth wins of the season, Sebastian Priaulx and Daniel Harper are still in touch to seize upon any slip-ups.

Priaulx has been on a tough run of form in recent meetings, but he returns to the scene of his Winter Series title success hoping to rekindle the sort of form that saw him win four consecutive races before the summer break and take the title fight down to the wire.

Harper meanwhile has been in scintillating form since the summer break with four race wins and nine podium finishes in the last eleven races, however a tough run earlier in the campaign means he heads to Silverstone as the outside bet for the crown.

While the overall title is still up for grabs, the Rookie honours were wrapped up at Silverstone by Kiern Jewiss with class wins thirteen and fourteen of the campaign, which gave him an unassailable lead over current Ginetta scholar Adam Smalley.

While Jewiss heads to Brands Hatch determined to return to the top step of the overall podium to add to his Knockhill victory, Smalley’s focus for the trip to Kent will be to add to his single outright top three so far at Snetterton.

Tom Wood and Harry King meanwhile are currently locked in a duel over the final position in the overall championship top five, with King closing the gap last time out courtesy of a podium hat-trick, which continues his strong run of form since a victory at Knockhill in August.

Wood has enjoyed some landmark moments in the second half of the season meanwhile, with a breakthrough victory at Snetterton being followed by his maiden pole position at Silverstone – results he’ll be determined to replicate this weekend.

The Silverstone weekend featured a number of milestone moments across the field, with rookie talent Luke Browning also recording his first championship pole position, while Louis Foster secured his first Rookie class podium in only his sixth race in the series.

While Jewiss and Smalley have cemented the top two positions in the Rookie class standings, third position remains up for grabs, with Ruben Del Sarte holding a 26 point lead over Tom Canning, while Browning is six points further back.

Del Sarte has featured on the class podium eight times but has yet to feature on the top step of the rostrum, while Canning will be determined to follow on strongly from some impressive performances at Silverstone that netted him a fourth class top three.

Foster meanwhile was joined by Silverstone debutant James Hedley in breaching the overall top ten two weeks ago, which means the duo became the 21st and 22nd different top ten finishers in the championship so far this season.

Hoping to enjoy that milestone for the first time this weekend will be Emily Linscott, who posted a best finish of twelfth at Silverstone in her second series outing, while Finley Green, Greg Johnson and Charlie Digby will also be looking to build on seasons best finishes last time out.

Full championship standings ahead of the meeting can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/file/?f=TOCA/2017/173703ptsgij.pdf