2nd May 2024

Joslyn, Saeter And Jeff-Hall Enjoy Silverstone Junior Victories

Joslyn, Saeter And Jeff-Hall Enjoy Silverstone Junior Victories

Henry Joslyn and Marcus Saeter both took their maiden Ginetta Junior Championship race wins. They shared success with Ethan Jeff-Hall on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit (27/28 April).

An increased 26-car grid came together for the second round of the season. It was sophomore contender Joslyn (Preptech UK) who stormed to pole position in qualifying on Saturday morning. Joslyn impressively lapping over three tenths of a second quicker than anyone else.

Elite Motorsport duo Isaac Phelps and Charlie Hart were his closest competition alongside Saeter (R Racing). A shuffle of the order for race two based on second fastest lap times saw Hart on pole from Phelps, Saeter and Joslyn.

Race One

The first race of the weekend proved to be an instant classic, with the long Silverstone straights producing some brilliant slipstream racing. Joslyn kicked off proceedings by leading through the opening lap before the safety car came out on track.

When the race restarted on lap four, the leader came under immediate pressure from Phelps and the chasing pack. After attempted moves into The Loop and Stowe, Phelps finally made an overtake stick into Abbey on lap five to take the lead.

Joslyn hit back at Copse next time round though, with Phelps slotting back into second. His chances of regaining the lead were hampered by contact from behind into Vale. The subsequent loss of momentum ultimately dropped him back to fifth. He finished behind Hart, Chase Fernandez (E3 Sport) and Jeff-Hall (R Racing).

The new top three remained in close proximity through the final lap. Joslyn fought off a challenge from Hart into Brooklands to take his maiden Juniors victory. It was a long-awaited first overall win in the championship for the Preptech UK squad.

As Hart and Fernandez completed the overall podium, a five-car pack behind switched places throughout the final lap. Emerging in front for a breakthrough rookie win in fourth overall was James Shotton (Fox Motorsport), with Phelps left to settle for fifth in the end.

Jeff-Hall, a race-winner in the Oulton Park season opener, joined them on the rookie class podium in sixth overall ahead of Archie Clark (Elite Motorsport) and Colin Cronin (Fox Motorsport), the latter taking a well-earned first top ten result in the series.

Tom Ingram Hill (R Racing) and Nickolas Ellis (R Racing) completed the top ten in the race. A phenomenal drive from Harry Moss (R Racing) saw him charge through the field from 25th on the grid to finish 11th at the chequered flag.

Ruben Dan (Elite Motorsport) was next up ahead of Saeter, who was right in the podium battle before an unfortunate last lap drama. Felix Livesey (MDD Racing) finished up in 14th ahead of the first two drivers in the Freshmans Cup, Torrin Byrne (Pace Performance) and Jude Peters (E3 Sport).

After being spun back to 25th at the end of the opening lap, Alfie Davies (Preptech UK) put in a spirited fightback to 17th ahead of his team-mate Ethan Carney and Max Cuthbert (Elite Motorsport). Rounding out the top 20 was Jack Robinson (Fox Motorsport) as he completed the Freshmans Cup rostrum.

Race Two

Challenging wet conditions greeted the grid for race two on Sunday morning, with the action starting behind the safety car. The race went green on lap three, with Hart leading away from pole position while an early change for second saw Saeter pass Phelps into Vale.

It was three-wide for fourth behind at Stowe, with slight contact leading to a spin back to tenth for Jeff-Hall. Ferrnandez briefly emerged in fourth, before Joslyn, Clark and Alfie Slater (R Racing), brother of 2023 Junior champion Freddie, got ahead by the end of the lap.

A thrilling battle was developing for the race lead. A dive into Brooklands secured Saeter the lead on lap four. Hart tried to fight back at Stowe next time round but Saeter held on. Their battling allowing Joslyn to catch onto their tail and make it a four-way battle for the lead.

Phelps dived past Hart into Stowe for second on the penultimate lap, with Joslyn following at the next corner to grab third. Phelps immediately set his sights on the leader. However, an attempted move into Brooklands led to him spinning down the order.

Saeter benefitted to break clear of the chasing pack and cruise to his maiden Junior race victory, while the fight for second went right down to the wire. In a photo-finish, Hart made it five consecutive second place finishes to start the season by just 0.027s from Phelps.

In the equally exciting multi-car contest for fourth place, Fernandez emerged from the close racing with the position. Jeff-Hall’s spirited fightback drive netted him fifth on the last lap ahead of Clark, those two joining Saeter on the rookie class podium, with Phelps and Dan next up.

Shotton and Nickolas Ellis rounded out the top ten ahead of Cronin. A late trip into the Luffield gravel dropped Slater from eighth to 12th at the finish. Byrne secured the Freshmans Cup win in 13th. Another good climb through the order from Moss saw him take 14th from 26th on the grid.

Picking up Freshmans Cup trophies alongside Byrne were Robinson and South African racer Ntiyiso Mabunda. Mabunda was an exciting new addition to the grid for the weekend alongside his brother Mahlori at Pace Performance.

Race Three

The final race of the weekend was another absolute thriller. With the grid set by the race two result, it was Saeter who led the field away from pole position. Joslyn stormed into second position ahead of Hart into Copse for the first time.

Hart went to get second back into Stowe. However, from out of nowhere Fernandez slipstreamed past them both with Clark in tow. It changed again at Vale though, with Clark and Joslyn slotting past Fernandez, whilst Hart had slipped back to seventh.

The positions continued to change hands on the next lap. A half spin for Clark and a wide moment at Village for Fernandez costing them both crucial ground. Phelps and Shotton were amongst those to take advantage as they settled into the top five battle.

Saeter maintained his race lead until lap four, with Joslyn making a move stick at the second attempt through Village. Jeff-Hall followed him through and went on to take the lead for the first time at Copse on the next lap.

Joslyn briefly got back ahead, but Jeff-Hall resumed control of the race and as Joslyn and Saeter continued their duel over second. The leader edged away to take his second win of the season. A penultimate lap move at Copse netted Joslyn second, with Saeter following him to the flag. However, a post-race penalty for Joslyn swapped them back in the final result.

Shotton matched his seasons’ best fourth place result from race one to join Jeff-Hall and Saeter on the rookie podium, while Phelps recovered from a spin to end up fifth ahead of his Elite team-mates Hart and Dan. After their moments, Fernandez and Clark finished eighth and ninth respectively.

Nickolas Ellis rounded out the top ten ahead of Davies, the Freshmans Cup winner Byrne and Ingram Hill. Robinson gained five places through the race to 14th ahead of his Fox team-mate Cronin, who fought back well after dropping to 20th at the end of lap one.

2024 Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner Peters gained ten places through the race to finish 16th overall. Peters secured a Freshmans Cup podium alongside Byrne and Robinson. Fellow class contenders James Ellis and Jovarni Cassell Joseph (both MDD Racing) took best results of 21st and 23rd across the weekend. Holly Miall (Fox Motorsport) also scored a highest finish of 21st.

Full race results can be found at www.tsl-timing.com/event/241705

The two races can be watched back at www.youtube.com/user/ginettatv

The teenage talents of the Ginetta Junior Championship will return to the track next month (25/26 May). They’ll compete in three races on the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit.


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