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Preview: Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship, Round Ten, Brands Hatch

7th October 2019 • Simon Paice

It’s advantage James Hedley in the battle to be crowned the 2019 Michelin Ginetta Junior Champion heading into this weekend’s season finale at Brands Hatch.

Hedley (Elite Motorsport) took the championship lead after the opening rounds at Brands Hatch back in April and has remained the man to beat ever since. Consistency has been key to his charge towards the title with his 17 podium finishes being more than anyone else.

Zak O’Sullivan (R Racing) is in contention for the overall crown though and ready to fight to the finish. After wrapping up the Rookie championship last time out at Silverstone, his focus is now solely on the main prize and becoming the first ever rookie to win the overall crown.

It will be a tough ask for a O’Sullivan to come away victorious though, with reigning Winter Series champion Hedley firmly in the hot seat with a championship lead of 50 points before dropped scores are applied. In the all-action Ginetta Juniors though, anything can happen.

Outside of the title protagonists, there’s a grid full of drivers looking to end their season on the top step of the podium this weekend. Leading them is Will Martin (Richardson Racing), who’s secured a superb eight race wins over the course of the campaign, two more than anyone else.

James Taylor (Elite Motorsport) stormed to two fantastic race wins at Silverstone, making it four for the season. Lorcan Hanafin (Douglas Motorsport) meanwhile enjoyed a maiden success at Knockhill in September and has narrowly missed out on more victories through the year.

Targeting a first overall win to cap off a brilliant rookie campaign will be Casper Stevenson (Richardson Racing), a nine time visitor to the outright podium this year, while Gus Burton (Douglas Motorsport) is holding similar aspirations after securing a double top three at Silverstone.

A number of rookie contenders have impressed in recent meetings, including R Racing pair Joel Pearson and Josh Rattican. Pearson has been regularly battling in the top six overall and took a maiden class win last time out, while Rattican has nine class podiums to his name this year.

Three drivers enjoyed standout weekends at Silverstone with maiden rookie podium finishes; Aston Millar (R Racing) and TCR team-mates Haytham Qarajouli and current Ginetta Junior scholar Ethan Brooks. It was particularly impressive from Millar in only his fourth race in the series.

Ben Kasperczak (Privateer) picked up his first silverware at Knockhill, while Douglas Motorsport duo Bailey Voisin and Freddie Tomlinson, and Premiership Academy Racing team-mates Molly Dodd and Ben O’Hare are amongst those chasing first visits to the rostrum this year.

Brands Hatch marks the home event for South East Londonder Ethan Hawkey (Richardson Racing) and Kent racer Daniel Gale (TCR), while Team Hard are based not far from the circuit and are running a single car entry for Frankie Taylor.

After making his debut at Silverstone, Suleiman Zanfari (Elite Motorsport) is back for more action. Nat Hodgkiss (Race Car Consultants) returns for the first time since Snetterton in August, while Zak Taylor (Alistair Rushforth Motorsport) will enjoy a third outing of the year.

Keep up to date with the action across the weekend on social media, @GinettaCars.

 

Timetable:

Saturday 12th October: Qualifying, 10:30; Race One, 14:30; Race Two, 17:30

Sunday 12th October: Race Three (Live on ITV4), 13:25