James Taylor has been crowned the 2018 Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner, beating over sixty other drivers to win a fully-funded season in next year’s Ginetta Junior Championship following three days of intense competition at Blyton Park.
Smalley follows in the footsteps of the likes of current British GT4 champion Stuart Middleton, 2015 British GT4 champion Jamie Chadwick and 2016 Ginetta Junior Rookie champion Daniel Harper in winning the Scholarship, succeeding Adam Smalley to the crown.
Twenty-four drivers made it through to yesterday’s (25th October) final, with the field being whittled down to twelve before a final six battled it out, with Rotherham teenager Taylor eventually emerging as the winner ahead of Lewis Galer and Abbie Pulling.
“I can’t believe it,” said Taylor. “I entered the competition for the experience and never imagined I would be sitting here, about to be a part of the series I have aspired to join for so long.
“As a Yorkshire lad, I think I will fit in with the Ginetta family well. I can’t thank the staff, instructors and assessors enough for the help and advice they’ve given me to get me where I am today.”
The preliminary days saw a mammoth 65 driver entry take part in driving, media and fitness assessments, before the top 24 were taken through to the finale, where they received two more runs with limited instruction.
After long deliberations, the group were eventually narrowed down to a final six, who were given just one final run alongside Mike Simpson to try and convince the judging panel to select them the winner.
Judging the competition was Ginetta factory drivers Simpson and Charlie Robertson, current BTCC drivers Mike Epps, Jake Hill and Luke Davenport, as well as Sennan Fielding and commentator Richard John Neil.
Taylor wins the use of a Ginetta G40 and entry for the 2018 Ginetta Junior Championship, along with insurance, consumables, tyres and fuel plus car preparation from a team for the duration of the season, as well as media training with Louise Goodman and driver training with iZone.
The final 24 drivers were: Brandon Abraham, Linus Ahlstromm, Blake Angliss, Cameron Boedler, Thomas Boniface, Finlay Bunce, Matthew Collings, Fraz Fenwick, Daniel Gale, Lewis Galer, Ethan Hawkey, Oscar Herencia Martn, Patrick Kibble, Will Martin, Sam Neary, William Pettit, Joe Phillips, Abbi Pulling, Moh Ritson, Alex Simmonds, Evan Spenle, James Taylor, Francisco Torres Alcala, Jonny Wilkinson