Priaulx Takes Opening Win To Keep Title Hopes Alive


Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Sebastian Priaulx closed the gap to championship leader Tom Gamble with a last lap victory in the opening race of the Ginetta Junior season finale at Brands Hatch.

Priaulx topped the timesheets earlier in the day in qualifying and went on to lead the field through the opening lap from pole position in his HHC Motorsport Ginetta G40.

There would be drama behind meanwhile as a big hit on the kerb at Paddock Hill unsettled Dan Harper’s car and sent him into Gamble, putting both off circuit.

Harper recovered in eighth and Gamble down in sixteenth as the field were met by the safety car, deployed for the removal of Charlie Digby from the circuit following an incident at Druids.

At the restart, a fantastic move from Harry King saw him dive past Priaulx into Druids to take the race lead, commencing a battle between them that would continue for the rest of the race.

Priaulx put the leader under pressure throughout the remaining four laps, with their duel eventually coming down to a dramatic final lap of the iconic Grand Prix circuit.

A great run out of Hawthorn allowed Priaulx to storm down the inside into the high-speed Westfield corner, with King then trying to hit back around the outside at the final corner, Clearways.

King would run too wide though and touch the gravel, giving Priaulx a run to the chequered flag for his seventh win of the season, with King a clear second.

There would be a close battle for the final podium positions behind, with Kiern Jewiss fending off the attentions of Tom Wood and Adam Smalley in the closing laps of the race.

Wood would make a challenge at Sheene on the last lap but ended up running wide, giving Jewiss third overall and the Rookie victory ahead of Smalley.

Wood eventually settled into sixth between the recovering Harper and Gamble, with the latter producing a superb performance to gain eight positions in just five laps.

Jordan Collard took eighth ahead of Luke Browning, who completed the Rookie podium, and James Hedley, while Finley Green eventually slipped to fifteenth after running as high as sixth early on.

Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/file/?f=TOCA/2017/173903gij.pdf