3rd June 2024

Junior Title Contenders Joslyn And Fernandez Take Donington Wins

Junior Title Contenders Joslyn And Fernandez Take Donington Wins

Title hopefuls Henry Joslyn and Chase Fernandez shared the victories from an entertaining trio of Ginetta Junior Championship races at Donington Park (25/26 May).

After posting the fastest time in official pre-event testing, Fernandez started his first weekend since switching to R Racing in style with a successful charge to a maiden Ginetta Junior pole position in qualifying on Saturday morning.

Fernandez topped the times by 0.165s to Joslyn (Preptech UK), with Charlie Hart (Elite Motorsport) continuing his run of qualifying inside the top three in every event this season. Marcus Saeter (R Racing) was the fastest of the rookies in fourth ahead of team-mate Ethan Jeff-Hall.

Race One

The leading contenders held position through the opening lap of race one. But that didn’t last for long! Joslyn mounted a challenge for the lead at Coppice on lap two. A wide moment across the grass cost him ground though, ending the lap fourth behind Hart and Saeter.

Jeff-Hall briefly got ahead of Joslyn on the next lap too. But then he slipped back into a battle with Archie Clark (Elite Motorsport) and James Shotton (Fox Motorsport) over fifth. Joslyn meanwhile set his sights back on the podium, benefitting from Hart and Saeter duelling ahead. At the second attempt, Silverstone race-winner Saeter made a move stick into the Old Hairpin to get second place. Hart fought back at Coppice though, forcing them both wide and allowing Joslyn to storm down the inside of both to grab second.

This exciting action had allowed Fernandez to break away at the front and take the chequered flag first. A close fight between Joslyn and Hart for second on the road went down to the wire as they ran side-by-side into the final corner. Joslyn managed to hold position.

Post-race, Fernandez was penalised for crowding Joslyn beyond the edge of the track. He was handed a one position penalty, promoting Joslyn to the race win. Outside the podium places, R Racing duo Jeff-Hall and Saeter battled it out for fourth and the rookie win. A bold move around the outside at Redgate proved decisive for Jeff-Hall.

The action continued behind for sixth, with Clark fighting back to secure the place from Shotton and Isaac Phelps (Elite Motorsport). Phelps was one of a number of drivers caught out by track limits in qualifying. He produced a brilliant drive from 18 th on the grid to eighth. Alfie Slater (R Racing) was another on the move as he rose five places to ninth ahead of Alfie Davies (Preptech UK) and Ginetta Junior scholar Jude Peters (E3 Sport). Nickolas Ellis (Elite Motorsport) pulled off a great performance to climb from 20th on the grid to 12th. This put him ahead of Colin Cronin (Fox Motorsport).

Harry Moss (R Racing) took the chequered flag in 15th before a five-second track limits penalty dropped him behind Ruben Dan (Elite Motorsport). Felix Livesey (MDD Racing) led home a close-fought pack that included Tom Ingram Hill (R Racing), Ethan Carney (Preptech UK) and Torrin Byrne (Pace Performance).

Race Two

The grid of teenage talents faced a wet circuit for the second race of the weekend on Sunday morning. Joslyn led away from pole position as initial wheelspin for Fernandez beside him allowed Hart to grab second. Those three stayed in formation heading into an early safety car period. When action resumed, Hart made an immediate challenge for the lead. However, Joslyn was able to fend him off down the Craner Curves. Hart lost out as the lap progressed, with Fernandez and Saeter working their way past at McLeans and Coppice respectively.

Joslyn kept Fernandez at arms-length for a couple of laps before a great run through the Esses for the latter opened up a move into Melbourne. The red flags were shown soon after though. With the race not restarting, the result was counted back to the final completed lap.

Joslyn therefore was credited with the race win ahead of Fernandez and rookie class winner Saeter. Jeff-Hall was another to benefit from the red flag countback, getting back fifth place that he had lost on the road to Phelps. Phelps had enjoyed a good rise up the order from 12th to the top six.

Clark made great progress after the safety car to climb from 11th to seventh. He led home a close pack that included Moss, Peters and Davies. Cronin was running 11th before a late incident left him in the gravel trap and led to the red flag conclusion.

Shotton was battling in the top five early on. An unfortunate moment dropped him outside the top ten and led to an eventual recovery to 11th. Elite duo Ellis and Dan were next up ahead of Slater and Byrne. Holly Miall (Fox Motorsport) took her best result of the weekend in 16th.

Race Three

The final race of the weekend produced a tense duel for the win between Joslyn and Fernandez. The former led away from pole position as he aimed to complete a weekend hat-trick. Fernandez had other ideas and dived down the inside at Melbourne on the opening lap.

Following a safety car period to recover cars after an incident at the Old Hairpin, the action resumed with Fernandez maintaining his advantage at the front. There was never more than a second splitting the front two. But Fernandez fended off any challenges to take his first win of the season.

Oulton Park race-winner Phelps enjoyed a great opening lap to climb from sixth to third. He hung to the tail of the top two from there to record his fourth podium of the year and the rookie win. There was plenty of action behind meanwhile, as a six-car train fought it out over fourth position and beyond.

Hart held fourth through the safety car period but not long after the restart Saeter and then Clark found a way through. Those three went on to round out the top six in that order, with Moss picking up his best result of the season so far in seventh.

After a dramatic opening lap saw him drop from the top five back to 19th place, Jeff-Hall produced a great comeback charge. He finished eighth ahead of Dan and Peters. Shotton also fought back up the order well after getting caught up in the race one incident. He went from 22nd to 11th.

Cronin took the chequered flag in 12 th place after an impressive drive from 21st on the grid. However, a five second track limits penalty put him behind Livesey and Ingram Hill in the final result. Max Cuthbert (Elite Motorsport) was next up with his best result of the weekend in 15th.

Jack Robinson (Fox Motorsport) was another driver to sign off the weekend with his highest finish in 18th . James Ellis (MDD Racing) picked up a second points scoring result of the day in 20th meanwhile. Team-mate Jovarni Cassell Joseph just missing out in 21st.

A new addition to the championship this season is the Freshman’s Cup, a class for car-racing rookies with no previous national-level karting experience. 2024 Ginetta Junior scholar Peters scored a brilliant hat-trick of class wins. Byrne came second in each race and the other podium results shared between Robinson and James Ellis.

Watch full race results at: www.tsl-timing.com/event/242105
Watch the three Ginetta Junior Championship races at: www.youtube.com/user/ginettatv

The Ginetta Junior Championship will break new ground next with a first ever visit to the Anglesey circuit in Wales for G Fest (29/30 June).


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