16th May 2022

Le, Macintyre And Reynolds Take Ginetta Junior Wins At Brands Hatch

Kanato Le and Will Macintyre scored their maiden Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship victories as points leader Harri Reynolds added a third win to his 2022 tally at Brands Hatch (14/15 May).

Le, Macintyre And Reynolds Take Ginetta Junior Wins At Brands Hatch

The short, fast Brands Hatch Indy circuit produced a typically close fought qualifying session, with the top 19 cars separated by less than a second. Heading the pack was Luke Watts, who scored a maiden pole position in an R Racing rookie one-two with team-mate Sonny Smith.

Elite Motorsport duo Joe Warhurst and Macintyre were next quickest, the top four split by only 0.061s, with those two also locking out the race two front row based on their second fastest times. Josh Rowledge (R Racing) and  Le (Elite Motorsport) rounded out the top six.

The opening race of the weekend was an action-packed encounter, with Watts initially leading the field away from pole. Warhurst dived past at Druids on lap three, however two laps later he dropped back to sixth as Rowledge took his turn at the front.

After a safety car period, Rowledge executed a perfect restart to lead the final two laps to the chequered flag. R Racing looked on course for a one-to-three finish, however late drama for Watts and Smith put them out of the race.

Post-race Rowledge was handed a three place penalty for an incident during the race, so Le therefore secured maiden overall and rookie wins in only his fourth race. He led an Elite Motorsport one-to-three from the recovering Macintyre and Warhurst – those results meaning they have now recorded more overall podium finishes than any other team in championship history.

Behind Rowledge in the revised result was double Donington Park race-winner Reynolds (Assetto Motorsport) in fifth. Maurice Henry (Fox Motorsport) battled for the podium en-route to a maiden overall top six finish.

Mckenzie Douglass got his first piece of Ginetta silverware as he made it an Elite lockout of the rookie podium ahead of first-time top ten finisher Zac Meakin (Preptech UK). Liam McNeilly (Fox Motorsport) impressively bounced back from a tough qualifying session to rise from 20th to ninth.

Aqil Alibhai (Elite Motorsport) rounded out the top ten ahead of Preptech UK team-mates Fergus Chalmers and Ginetta Junior scholar Alisha Palmowski. Akshay Bohra (R Racing), Jacob Hodgkiss (Fox Motorsport), James Wyres (Assetto Motorsport) and Adam Brown (Ultimate Speed Racing) were next up.

The second race on Saturday evening featured some great racing at the front of the pack from the off, with Reynolds and Macintyre running side by side for second place for almost the whole opening lap. Reynolds took the spot, before they swapped places a couple of laps later.

It all changed between the lead group on lap six as Reynolds emerged in the lead, however Macintyre squeezed back ahead on the next lap. From there, a masterful defensive drive saw him hold off a train of four cars to record his maiden win and the rookie class honours.

Rowledge climbed through from fifth on the grid to second ahead of Reynolds and Warhurst, while Henry continued his impressive day in fifth. Behind, Alibhai led a cluster of nine cars to a top six finish, with Smith having been right on his tail for a number of laps.

From dead last on the grid, McNeilly put in a supreme drive to gain 16 places to eighth ahead of team-mate Hodgkiss, who took his first top ten finish. Meakin completed the top ten ahead of Brown and Chalmers, while Luca Hopkinson (R Racing) scored a maiden rookie podium in 13th.

There was a change of weather conditions for race three on Sunday, as a wet circuit greeted the grid as they raced live on ITV4. Reynolds dived down the inside of Macintyre into Druids on lap one to get the lead, which he would go on to hold throughout.

It was far from easy for the Welshman though, as he had to fend off a train of cars behind. Elite duo Macintyre and Alibhai traded second place between them, with the latter claiming the place for his first podium finish of the season, as Macintyre added another rookie victory in third.

Rowledge was right in the podium battle throughout en-route to fourth ahead of team-mate Watts, who started 23rd on the grid having retired in race two and sensationally stormed through the field. Warhurst rounded out the top six ahead of McNeilly and Smith.

Le picked up six places through the race to ninth ahead of Chalmers, while Ian Aguilera (R Racing) scored his best result of the weekend in 11th. Meakin and Wyres were next up, whilst Henry unfortunately slipped back to 14th after having impressively shot into second on the opening lap.

Earlier in the weekend, Flynn McHardy (Preptech UK) scored a first points finish in the championship with 19th in lap one. Shravan Shanmugavel (Elite Motorsport) and Ella Lloyd (Assetto Motorsport) both scored two points finishes over the event, while Liona Theobald (Assetto Motorsport) took a best result of 20th in race two.

Full race results from the weekend are available here: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/221903

The 2022 Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship season heads to Thruxton next in two weeks’ time (28/29 May), where it will be joined by the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge.


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