The Ginetta Junior Championship kicked off on 6/7 April 2019 at Brands Hatch with twenty five cars taking to the track, three of those being the lineup of Richardson Racing. The Corby-based team house returning duo James Taylor, Will Martin and Ginetta newcomer, rookie Casper Stevenson.
Free practice on the Saturday saw all three of the drivers lapping inside the top eight. The standards of the youngsters did not drop in qualifying even though the new conditions of drizzle brought challenges. Taylor dominated the top of the field and took pole by more than eight tenths of a second. Stevenson took seventh on the grid for his debut race whilst Martin was close behind in eighth.
In race one the damp conditions did not fade, however this didn’t hinder Taylor in any way as he lead the race start-to-finish. Resulting in his maiden victory in the series despite a safety car restart and a challenge from Zak O’Sullivan. Martin and Stevenson also completed the first race unscathed, crossing the line on after another in sixth and seventh. For Stevenson a seventh place finish was also complimented by a third place rookie podium.
Having done well in race one, it meant all three drivers started inside the top six in the second and final race of the weekend. Taylor and Martin shared the second row followed closely by Stevenson on the third row. However the action-packed second race didn’t go as well for the team.
Stevenson was forced into retirement on the opening lap when he was caught in an incident midfield. Both Martin and Taylor had a podium finish in their sights, but Martin slipped down to eighth, which is where he was to stay. He lost his chance for a podium after a tip into the gravel when making a move to gain position. On the final lap Taylor had a loss of brakes going into Druids meaning he ran off in to the gravel trap and stayed there, losing his chance of a double podium finish.
“I think it’s a case of what might have been for me this weekend.” said Casper Stevenson. “I got held up a bit in qualifying but to then come away from the opening race with a place on the rookie podium was a great way to start the season.
“I got a really good start in race two and it’s a bit hard to take that I ended up being forced out through no fault of my own; it leaves a bit of a sour taste in the mouth.
“I just have to put that behind me now though and look ahead to Donington Park where I think we can be strong and fight for some strong results.”
Will Martin added,“It was a good weekend for me and I’m pleased to have started the season in a reasonably strong way. Sixth place in the opening race was my best result in the series so far and I showed that I have the pace to run at the front in race two.
“There are certainly more positives than negatives for me to take away from Brands Hatch and I know that there is still more to come from me as well.”
“Even with the DNF in race two, this weekend has been spot on for me.” said Podium winner James Taylor. “To get my first win in the series is absolutely brilliant and I feel like a huge weight has now been lifted from my shoulders.
“We showed great pace in qualifying and in the races, and it gives me a lot of confidence going forwards. I won’t dwell on race two as there was nothing that I could have done, and I’ll head to Donington Park next time out keen to challenge for more silverware.”
With twenty four races left the championship James Taylor is in fifth place, Will Martin in seventh and Casper Steven in in thirteenth and fifth in the rookie Championship. The team are currently preparing for Donington Park on the 27/28 April 2019 where the juniors have a triple header.