Whilst Silverstone failed to decide the 2012 Ginetta Junior Champion as Charlie Robertson, Niall Murray and Sennan Fielding still very much in contention for the title, one thing it did provide was two rather exciting races.
Excellent qualifying from Will Palmer saw him line up on the front row of the grid alongside pole sitter Charlie Robertson for both of the weekend’s races, although a problem along the opening lap of the race for Palmer saw him drop down to ninth place as he crossed the line for the first time.
Disappointing qualifying for championship protagonists Murray and Fielding saw them with a lot of work to do over the opening laps, with the pair running in fifth and sixth by lap three, although just 0.1 seconds separated them as they crossed the line for the third time.
Murray’s run was short-lived however, as a spin at Brooklands sends him to the back end of the field in twelfth place, with a huge amount of ground to make up if he wanted to keep his championship hunt alive, contact down the field for Pepe Massot also sees the Spanish youngster lose a handful of places as he fell to the end of the pack with a dislodged bonnet.
Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner, Oliver Basey-Fisher found himself down in sixth by lap five, whilst Andrew Watson continued his recent run of impressive driving to move into second, with Woodhead in third and Fielding closing down from fourth, albeit with Keith Donegan right on his tail.
Palmer had another problem at Luffield, this time forcing him back into last place behind Elliot Paterson, whilst Massot and Jackson crossed the line side by side in their fight over tenth place by the end of lap eight as a great recovery drive from Murray sees him back up into eighth.
As the leaders entered Luffied for the twelfth time, Watson had a peek up the inside but couldn’t quite make the move stick, although it was only a matter of time until the Irishman claimed the lead from the Scotsman.
Behind them, Fielding was just 0.2 seconds behind Woodhead for the final podium spot on the last lap, however the rookie driver managed to keep his head and finish in third, taking the all-important championship points from Fielding.
A fantastic recovery drive for Palmer saw him finish ninth overall, whilst a dislodged bonnet for Massot saw him cross the line much further down the order than he is accustomed to.
The second race of the weekend saw Will Palmer make a fantastic start, taking the lead from Charlie Robertson for the opening corners, whilst the usual first lap chaos saw Harry Woodhead beeched in the gravel and out of proceedings.
Lap two had five cars all running nose-to-tail around the circuit as Robertson, Massot, Palmer, Watson and Murray fight over the lead, until running wide on lap three forces Robertson down to fifth place, thus affording Massot the lead.
By lap four, the entire pack is all running within just two seconds of each other, as the top five are separated by less than a second and what look like inches on the track. Contact between Robertson and Lee on lap six see the pair fired off the track and out of the race; a sight that surely left Murray with an even bigger cause to challenge for the race win.
A disappointing drive for Fielding saw him stuck in fifth by the halfway point of the race, as Palmer is given a black and white flag for exceeding the track limits and Murray loses out to his teammate Watson for second place.
The final lap was even more exciting than the opener, as Massot lead from Watson, with the G40J cars five abreast throughout almost every corner, with the positions changing with every turn; the excitement inevitably was going to end in tears however, and contact between Palmer and Murray left the pair to spin over the line, leaving Palmer to receive a five second penalty, dropping him to seventh.
With 74 points still on offer as the championship comes to a close at Brands Hatch, and only 40 points separating the top three drivers, the 2012 title is set to go down to the wire as we head to Kent in a fortnights time.
Provisional points following Silverstone
Position - Name - Total - Penalties - Drop - Drop total
1 Charlie ROBERTSON HHC Motorsport 470 -6 11 453
2 Sennan FIELDING JHR Developments 450 0 22 428
3 Niall MURRAY Douglas Motorsport 472 -21 38 413
4 Pepe MASSOT Hillspeed 358 -16 0 342
5 Andrew WATSON Douglas Motorsport 324 0 0 324
6 Harry WOODHEAD BOMAG 305 0 0 305
7 Ollie CHADWICK JHR Developments 300 -15 0 285
8 Keith DONEGAN Beacon Racing 267 -9 9 249
9 Oliver BASEY-FISHER Tollbar Racing with WIRED 244 -9 0 235
10 Tom JACKSON Privateer 179 0 0 179
11 William PALMER HHC Motorsport 172 -10 0 162
12 Elliott PATERSON RPM 161 -10 0 151
13 Nathan HARRISON Hillspeed 92 0 0 92
14 Freddie LEE 64 0 0 64
15 George GAMBLE Hillspeed 59 -9 0 50
16 Finlay RACTLIFFE Privateer 12 0 0 12
17 Ricky COLLARD Tollbar Racing with WIRED 0 0 0