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Title Contenders Rattican and Lebbon Take Croft Wins

12th October 2020 • Simon Paice

Josh Rattican and Tom Lebbon have enhanced their title challenges with a win apiece in the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship at Croft (10/11 October).

The weekend began with points leader Bailey Voisin (R Racing) initially recording a double pole position in qualifying on Saturday morning. He was disqualified post-session though, meaning it was Lebbon (Elite Motorsport) instead who started both races from the front.

The current Ginetta Junior Scholar led the majority of the opening race, which was broken up by two safety car periods. Producing a textbook restart after the first, he tried to replicate it next time around as the field tackled a one lap shootout to the flag.

Rattican (Elite Racing) stuck with the leader though and pulled off a stunning move around the outside at Tower bend to secure himself a third win of the year. It was a direct replica of a move he’d earlier pulled off on Tom Edgar (TCR) to move into second position.

Edgar had traded the lead with Lebbon on the opening lap, but he settled for third in the end ahead of William Vincent (Elite Motorsport) and Will Jenkins (Elite Racing). All three drivers impressed after having recorded seasons’ best qualifying results.

Freddie Tomlinson rounded out the top six ahead of his R Racing team-mate Joel Pearson, while a great run for Tommy Pintos (Elite Motorsport) saw him rise six places to eighth. Sebastian Hopkins (Elite Motorsport) was next, while Voisin rose from the back of the pack to tenth.

Joe Wheeler (Assetto Motorsport) enjoyed a breakthrough day in the championship with his best ever qualifying and race results, 12th and 11th respectively.  Following him past the chequered flag was Aston Millar (R Racing), William Aspin (Elite Motorsport) and Will Rochford (TCR).

After narrowly missing out on the race one win, Lebbon made no mistake in Sunday’s race in front of the live ITV4 television audience. A good launch ensured he maintained his lead through Clervaux for the first time and as battles intensified behind, he pulled clear for a second win of the year.

The early action for second was between Vincent, Millar and Edgar, the latter dropping two spots from his front row start on the opening lap. Their battle came to a head at mid-distance as contact resulted in Vincent and Millar falling out of podium contention.

Storming through the incident to gain five places in a single lap and settle in second was Tomlinson, who remained there for the closing laps to record a maiden podium finish in the series. Rattican picked off Edgar meanwhile for a 12th podium of the campaign.

An attempt to regain third led to Edgar being shuffled back to sixth by the finish behind Pearson and Jenkins, while a mammoth Elite Motorsport battle for seventh place was eventually settled in favour of Hopkins ahead of his team-mates Josh Miller, Aspin and Pintos.

A mechanical issue in qualifying left Georgi Dimitrov (Richardson Racing) at the back of the grid for both races, and after the safety cars hampered his charge in race one, he was able to battle to 11th this time around from Zak Taylor (Alistair Rushforth Motorsport).

Liam McNeilly (Fox Motorsport) made solid progress to finish 13th ahead of Wheeler, who had an eventful race. Rowan Vincent (Richardson Racing) bounced back from an opening race DNF to finish 15th ahead of championship debutant Luke Constantine (Team HARD).

William Vincent and Millar recovered from their incident to finish 17th and 18th respectively, while an unfortunate incident during the race led to a retirement for Voisin. Once dropped scores are applied, he just about maintains his points lead from Rattican and Lebbon.

Full race results for the weekend can be viewed here: https://www.tsl-timing.com/file/?f=TOCA/2020/204103gij.pdf

The penultimate meeting of the 2020 Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship season is coming up next at Snetterton in two weeks’ time (24/25 October).