Freddie Slater has equalled the all-time record for the most race wins in a single Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship season after sharing the victories with Chase Fernandez on the final day of G Fest at Silverstone (04 June).
For the first time this season it was Hugo Schwarze (Elite Motorsport) who topped the times in qualifying, securing a maiden double pole position by just half a tenth of a second from Finn Harrison (Assetto Racing), with Charlie Hart (Elite Motorsport) and Mikey Porter (R Racing) next up.
Harrison got the jump on Schwarze off the line at the start of the first race of the day, with the pole-sitter eventually being shuffled back to seventh during a tough opening lap. Slater (R Racing) meanwhile was going in the other direction, rising from sixth on the grid to second.
That quickly became the race lead as a great switchback move into Brooklands got him past Harrison. He led a close train for a few laps, with Porter and Fernandez (Assetto Racing) working their way past Harrison on lap four into the podium positions.
Slater and Porter got their head down and worked together to break away from the pack. Once clear, Porter bided his time before diving down the inside into Copse on the final lap to try and secure his maiden victory, but Slater slipped back past at the exit of the corner for his record-equalling 11th win of the year.
The fight for third was incredibly entertaining as Assetto pair Harrison and Fernandez went wheel-to-wheel with Elite’s Hart and Schwarze. The group enjoyed a frenetic battle with positions changing every lap, with Harrison emerging with the silverware ahead of Fernandez.
Schwarze was fifth on the road, however a five second track limits time penalty dropped him below his Elite team-mates Hart and Alisha Palmowski, who fought back from lap one contact. Mckenzie Douglass (Fox Motorsport) was another to receive a time penalty, dropping him from eighth at the flag to tenth.
After dropping back to 16th at the end of lap one, Tom Spragg (Preptech UK) produced a brilliant fightback to eighth in the end ahead of Reza Seewooruthun (R Racing). Felix Livesey (Xentek Motorsport) just missed out on the top ten, while Luca Hopkinson (R Racing) came back to tenth after a lap one spin.
Alfie Davies (Preptech UK) picked up his best result so far of his debut Ginetta Junior event in 13th, while a track limits penalty for Freddie Allum (Elite Motorsport) dropped him below Edu Robinson (R Racing) and Holly Miall (Fox Motorsport).
Her team-mate Harry Moss was 17th after being involved in an incident with Brea Angliss (Breakell Racing) that ended her race, while Henry Joslyn (Preptech UK) completed the finishers after a tough race having finished a seasons’ best seventh in qualifying.
The final race of the week saw Elite team-mates Schwarze and Hart lining up on the front row. Despite some close action, remarkably there were no position changes within the top ten on the opening lap. That soon changed on lap two though as Slater started a charge to the front.
After passing Fernandez and Porter in consecutive laps to move up to third, those three closed the gap to the front to make it a five-car battle for the lead. Hart slipped back from second to fifth at one stage, before Slater swapped the lead back and forth with Schwarze prior to a safety car period.
At the restart there would be a two-lap sprint to the chequered flag, with the race ultimately being decided at the final corner. Slater nudged the rear of Schwarze’s car into Luffield and slipped down the inside to win on the road, with Fernandez following him through to second.
Post-race Slater was deemed to have gained an unfair advantage with his move though, with a two-place penalty provisionally elevating Fernandez to his second win of G Fest and Schwarze to second. Hart finished up fourth ahead of Harrison, who superbly stormed through from 18th on the grid, and Porter in sixth.
Douglass matched his best result of G Fest in seventh ahead of Preptech UK pair Joslyn and Spragg, while Palmowski climbed up from 17th on the grid to a top ten result ahead of R Racing pair Edu Robinson and Seewooruthun.
Hopkinson and Moss had finished 11th and 15th on the road respectively, however track limits penalties cost them four and three places respectively. One driver who didn’t get to race on Sunday meanwhile was Leo Robinson (R Racing), who was ruled out following an incident on Saturday.
Full race results can be found at www.tsl-timing.com/event/232221
All six races from the G Fest event can be watched back at www.youtube.com/ginettatv
The next rounds of the 2023 Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship are coming up in two weeks’ time (17/18 June) with three races around the Snetterton 300 circuit in Norfolk.
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