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Voisin Records Dream Ginetta Junior Hat-Trick

28th June 2021 • Simon Paice

Callum Voisin completed a sensational hat-trick of victories during the third round of the 2021 Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship at Brands Hatch (26/27 June).

Voisin (R Racing) wrote his name into the Ginetta Junior record books as only the fourth different driver in championship history to win all three races in the weekend, replicating the achievements of Tom Gamble (2017), Louis Foster (2018) and Tom Lebbon (2020).

The rising star kicked off the weekend in style with a maiden Junior pole position, with an incredibly close session seeing the top three split by less than half a tenth of a second. His closest competition were Liam McNeilly (Fox Motorsport) and Seb Hopkins (Elite Motorsport).

The opening race of the weekend was the 250th in the main championship since the Ginetta G40 was introduced to the series back in 2010. The race started with a great launch from McNeilly from the outside of the front row securing him the race lead through Paddock Hill for the first time.

The second year talent, who enjoyed a breakthrough weekend at Snetterton last time out, had Voisin hot on his heels in the early stages as the top two began to edge away from the pack behind. Voisin’s pressure paid off on lap eight as he dived down the inside at Paddock Hill.

The new leader enjoyed a clear run to the chequered flag from there to continue his record of winning at least one race at each meeting so far this season, with McNeilly picking up his fourth consecutive overall podium finish after a Snetterton treble.

Aston Millar (R Racing) moved up to third on lap three ahead of Hopkins, however it was short-lived as a wide moment at Paddock Hill dropped him to sixth. Hopkins then closed on McNeilly’s tail for second in the final stages and missed out on the top two by just 0.027s in a photo-finish.

Tom Edgar (R Racing), the championship leader heading into the weekend, traded fourth place with team-mate Millar in the closing stages, but held the position at the flag. Will Jenkins (Elite Motorsport) joined their battle at stages too en-route to a top six finish.

Josh Rowledge (Elite Motorsport) and Ginetta Junior scholar Robert de Haan (Richardson Racing) rose from 12th and 14th on the grid respectively to join Voisin on the rookie class podium in seventh and eighth respectively.

Ian Aguilera (R Racing) emerged from a great battle with team-mate Freddie Tomlinson and Maurice Henry (Fox Motorsport) in ninth, with the trio having spectacularly ran three abreast through Surtees corner at one stages. Max Dodds (Assetto Motorsport) finished up tenth ahead of Tomlinson.

From his best ever qualifying performance in the championship, Jamie Osborne (Assetto Motorsport) took the chequered flag in 12th ahead of team-mate Joe Wheeler, Zac Meakin (Raceway Motorsport) and fellow Assetto racer Harri Reynolds.

James Higgins (Preptech UK) was another to post a seasons best qualifying, which he converted to a 16th place finish. Joe Warhurst (Elite Motorsport) was next up ahead of Josh Miller (Elite Motorsport), who unfortunately dropped back from the top ten on the opening lap.

The second race of the weekend followed later on Saturday afternoon and unfortunately featured a mid-race red flag stoppage. This was due to a multi-car incident at Paddock Hill Bend, which ended the weekend of the unfortunate Aguilera a race early.

Prior to the red flag, another quick launch from pole-sitter McNeilly off the line netted him the race lead on lap one. Next time around however a slide wide at Paddock Hill allowed Voisin through, with those two then heading a six car train at the front of the field.

In that pack, Hopkins worked his way past Edgar and Miller to rise to third, while the two others were part of one of the overtaking moves of the day. As Jenkins got a run on Miller heading into Paddock Hill, Edgar dived down the inside of both at the same time to complete a stunning double overtake.

That happened just prior to the red flag, which resulted in a full re-grid based on their race positions at that time and a nine lap sprint to the finish. Voisin held on to the lead through the opening lap, while McNeilly found himself shuffled back to fifth position.

It was therefore Hopkins that led the challenge to Voisin and they ran nose-to-tail for the remainder of the race. As they finished as the top two, Miller secured a podium finish in third on the same circuit he took his maiden win at last year, while Jenkins was a strong fourth.

Millar got ahead of McNeilly on lap six to secure fifth position, while a last lap move for de Haan got him seventh from Edgar. Rowledge was close behind as the rookie podium featured the same three drivers as race one, while Dodds rounded out the top ten.

Osborne and Tomlinson were next up, while Ginetta Junior scholar Henry took his best finish of the season so far in 13th, having also taken a seasons’ best qualifying result earlier in the day. Jacob Hodgkiss (Race Car Consultants) also enjoyed a best ever result with 15th.

The final race of the day was televised live on ITV3, however it unfortunately proved to be a stop-start affair with two safety car periods and an early conclusion with a red flag following fluid being dropped onto the circuit at Graham Hill Bend.

None of that fazed Voisin however, who led away from pole position and controlled proceedings throughout to secure the record-equalling victory. His efforts were aided by continued battling behind for second, as Miller, Hopkins and Millar fighting it out.

After changing places multiple times, Hopkins emerged with the position to secure the points needed to regain the championship lead. Miller picked up a third podium of the season so far, whilst Jenkins and rookie podium finisher De Haan fought through the top five in the closing stages.

Millar took the chequered flag in sixth to continue his record as the only driver on the grid to finish every race this season inside the top six. McNeilly and Dodds were next, the latter scoring a fourth rookie podium of the season and sixth consecutive top ten finish.

Further down the order, Oliver Flashman (Richardson Racing) and Adam Brown (Ultimate Speed Racing) ended the weekend with hard-fought points finishes. Elite Motorsport duo Max Hall and Jack Sherwood scored best results of 17th and 19th respectively earlier in the weekend.

Edward Pearson (Richardson Racing) bounced back from a double disappointment on Saturday with a points finish in 17th, while Aqil Alibhai (Breakell Racing) and Fergus Chalmers (Preptech UK) ended the weekend with best finishes of 21st and 23rd respectively.

The Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship continues in five weeks’ time at Oulton Park in Cheshire (31 July / 1 August).

Full race results for the weekend can be found here: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/212503