Just over three months after his 14th birthday, Slater secured the Winter Series crown with a dominant double victory today (13th November), making it three wins from four races across the weekend as he secured R Racing a fourth consecutive Junior drivers’ title.
For the second day in succession, it was Alisha Palmowski (Preptech UK) who set the pace in qualifying on the 1.2-mile Indy circuit. She edged out Slater by less than a tenth of a second at the top of the times, with Mckenzie Douglass (Elite Motorsport) third on the timesheets.
It was Slater who made the best start to race three, sweeping around the outside of Palmowski through Paddock Hill Bend for the first time. He didn’t look back from there, breaking clear of the pack and securing his second win of the weekend by over two and a half seconds.
Slater’s efforts were aided by a four car battle for second position. Palmowski was shuffled back from second to fifth heading onto lap three, with Douglass moving into second briefly before slipping to the back of the group himself a lap later.
Race one winner Luke Watts (R Racing) seized control of second place from seventh on the grid, keeping the group behind at arms’ length through to the chequered flag. He was handed a five second time penalty for track limits infringements through, dropping him to eighth in the revised results.
Palmowski was therefore classified second having picked off Luca Hopkinson (R Racing) at Clearways late on, with Hopkinson completing the podium ahead of Douglass. Mikey Porter edged out his R Racing team-mate Reza Seewooruthun in a thrilling duel for fifth place.
Finn Harrison (Assetto Motorsport) had been battling with them at one stage on his way to seventh ahead of Watts, while Sid Smith (Fox Motorsport) climbed five places through the race to ninth. Charlie Hart (Elite Motorsport) completed the top ten ahead of Xentek Motorsport duo Dan Munro and Felix Livesey.
Slater started the final race of the weekend from pole position and duly converted it into a dominant victory. Douglass briefly stole the lead into Paddock Hill Bend on lap three, however Slater fought back at the next corner and drove clear to became the 14th champion in Winter Series history.
Douglass ended up slipping to fourth after that move, and was in the thick of the action as six cars fought it out for second position in the closing stages. Hopkinson held the place for a few laps, however Douglass fought back superbly to secure his best result of the weekend.
Seewooruthun came home in third to sign off a brilliant debut weekend with an overall podium finish, with Palmowski just missing out on more silverware in fourth. Porter rose from ninth on the grid to finish fifth, securing him the weekend’s Hard Charger award for gaining the most places from his grid positions.
Smith rounded out the top six ahead of Hopkinson, who unfortunately lost ground in the closing stages. Three of the final four drivers in the 2023 Ginetta Junior Scholarship contest were next up, with Munro finishing ahead of scholarship winner Chase Fernandez (Assetto Motorsport) and Hart.
Thomas Spragg (Preptech UK) completed a tough weekend with an 11th place finish ahead of four drivers who enjoyed their best results of the day; Brea Angliss (Alastair Rushforth Motorsport), Freddie Allum (Assetto Motorsport), Tudor Nechita (Xentek Motorsport) and Harry Moss (Fox Motorsport).
Freddie Slater – 2022 Ginetta Junior Winter Series champion: “It’s amazing to win the title, especially considering the disappointment of the penalty in race one. It’s never over though, you’ve got to keep on fighting and I didn’t give up. Getting the race wins in is a great feeling and it’s the perfect way to end the season.”
Today’s session results can be found at www.tsl-timing.com/event/224521