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Will Martin Takes Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship Win At Croft

18th June 2019 • Simon Paice

Will Martin secured his second victory of the season so far and James Hedley extended his championship lead with a second place finish during the latest race in the 2019 Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship at Croft (15/16 June).

Hedley (Elite Motorsport) headed into the weekend as the driver to beat and he continued his great run of form in qualifying on Saturday. Blistering pace in overcast conditions secured him a double pole position, making it four in a row for the reigning Ginetta Junior Winter Series champion.

Only 0.012s split the next three cars on the timesheets, with Martin edging out his Richardson Racing team-mate Casper Stevenson and Roman Bilinski (Alistair Rushforth Motorsport) for a front row berth. For Martin and Stevenson, it was their best qualifying results of the season so far.

By the time the opening race of the weekend came around later that afternoon, the heavens had opened in Yorkshire and torrential rain greeted the field. The action got underway behind the safety car, but it was quickly deemed that the conditions were not safe to race in.

The Clerk of the Course elected to red flag proceedings and therefore Round Eight took place on Sunday afternoon instead in place of Round Nine, which has been postponed with the hope of rescheduling it later in the season if the opportunity arises.

A dramatic change in weather overnight saw glorious sunshine greet the field as they lined up on the grid in front of the live ITV4 television cameras, and a bold move around the outside heading through Clervaux for the first time got Martin the race lead.

That move proved to be pivotal as he led the remainder of the race for his second victory of the season so far. Hedley dropped to fourth at one stage, but posted the fastest lap of the race as he fought back to second for his seventh podium finish in the first eight races of the year.

Stevenson took the chequered flag in third for his second overall podium result and a maiden rookie win. James Taylor made it three Richardson Racing drivers in the top four, while Gus Burton (Douglas Motorsport) climbed five places to take the chequered flag in fifth.

The top three in the rookies was completed by Theo Edgerton (Total Control Racing) and Zak O’Sullivan (Douglas Motorsport) in sixth and eighth respectively, the latter making it an impressive eight consecutive class podium finishes.

Ethan Hawkey (Total Control Racing) sat between them at the finish in seventh, with his team-mate Ethan Brooks marking his return to the grid with a maiden top ten finish off the back of a season’s best qualifying performance on Saturday.

Ben Kasperczak (Privateer) joined him in securing a first top ten result after storming through the order from 19th on the grid, while Freddie Tomlinson (Douglas Motorsport) took his best finish so far of 11th at his home event ahead of team-mate Bailey Voisin.

Fellow Douglas Motorsport ace Lorcan Hanafin bounced back from a nightmare qualifying to climb from 25th to 13th ahead of Frankie Taylor (SVG Motorsport), Total Control Racing duo Haytham Qarajouli and Will Rochford and Molly Dodd (Premiership Academy Racing).

Joel Pearson (Elite Motorsport) qualified in the top ten for the first time on Saturday but slipped to 18th in the race ahead of team-mate Tom Emson. They were joined by a new face in the awning in late entrant Tom Ward, who impressed in qualifying but was a number of drivers to suffer unfortunate retirements in the race.

The 2019 Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship continues in two weeks’ time with a pair of races at Oulton Park in Cheshire (29/30 June).