Hugo Schwarze, Reza Seewooruthun and Chase Fernandez took a win each during a thrilling 2023
Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship season finale at Donington Park (21/22 October).
After torrential rain led to Friday’s official testing being cancelled, the teenage rising stars took to
the circuit for the first time on Saturday morning. After a short free practice session to get
acclimatised to the greasy track conditions, they headed out for their three flying laps in qualifying.
Hugo Schwarze (Elite Motorsport) topped the timesheets for the second time this season, edging out
Mikey Porter (R Racing) by 0.164s. Alisha Palmowski (Elite Motorsport) finished third overall, with
her second fastest time being best of all to secure her the race two pole position.
An exciting start to the race saw Schwarze and Porter going side-by-side for the lead going down the
Craner Curves for the first time. Porter spun going into the Old Hairpin though, with Schwarze
running wide at the same corner, putting Palmowski into the race lead.
With Porter’s car stuck in the gravel trap, the decision was made to red flag the race. At the full
restart Schwarze led away from Palmowski, with Charlie Hart (Elite Motorsport) unfortunately
slipping back from third to seventh as Henry Joslyn (Preptech UK) climbed into the final podium
After a safety car period soon after, an exciting restart lap saw Joslyn challenging for second. As he
ran side-by-side with Palmowski coming out of Coppice, Chase Fernandez (E3 Sport) got a run on
them both and pulled off a superb move to dive past both into the Esses.
As Palmowski fell back to seventh, a wide moment for Fernandez at the Old Hairpin on the next lap
cost him ground. There was further incident at the Melbourne hairpin as Hart made contact with
Joslyn and Luca Hopkinson (R Racing), with the latter ending up in the gravel trap and causing
another safety car.
The race culminated in a one lap sprint to the finish, with Schwarze soaking up pressure from Reza
Seewooruthun (R Racing) to secure his second win of the season. Palmowski started the lap third,
but ended up on the grass after a move from Fernandez at the Melbourne hairpin.
A post-race penalty for Fernandez due to the incident resulted in Tom Spragg (Preptech UK) securing
his first podium finish in the championship. Palmowski, Fernandez and Hart completed the top six,
while Felix Livesey (MDD Racing) was seventh before receiving a five second track limits penalty.
Edu Robinson (R Racing) also got a one place position penalty, meaning Brea Angliss (Preptech UK)
secured her best result of the season in seventh. Tom Ingram Hill (R Racing) completed an
impressive debut race in ninth ahead of Preptech UK pair Alfie Davies and Joslyn.
The second race of the weekend was another entertaining encounter. Palmowski led the opening
couple of laps before Schwarze stormed past at Schwantz, with Seewooruthun following him
through after making good progress in the opening laps from seventh on the grid.
Seewooruthun made his move for the lead at McLeans on lap five, with Schwarze dropping back to
third later in the lap behind Palmowski. The German ace then battled it out with Hopkinson for that
position, before moments for both allowed Joslyn through to the final podium place.
Ahead, Palmowski made a challenge for the lead at the Old Hairpin but couldn’t make it stick, with
Seewooruthun crucially breaking the tow. That allowed him to pull clear for a three second victory,
with Palmowski coming home second after trading the place with Joslyn in the closing laps.
The frenetic battle over the podium places ended with Porter crossing the line in third, having been
back in eighth at the end of lap two. He was one of six drivers to receive a time penalty for track
limits infringements though, with Joslyn and Schwarze also penalised having finished in the top five.
Therefore outgoing Ginetta Junior scholar Fernandez picked up a trophy in third having taken the
flag in sixth, ahead of Porter, Joslyn, Schwarze and Hopkinson. Spragg finished up eighth ahead of
Hart, with Livesey securing a top ten finish for the third time this year.
Harry Moss (Fox Motorsport) matched his best result of the season in 11 th ahead of Edu Robinson,
who lost a spot due to a track limits penalty. Nickolas Ellis (Elite Motorsport) was running 13 th before
a last lap issue, giving the place to Davies ahead of Angliss and Fox Motorsport pair Holly Miall and
Seewooruthun and Palmowski renewed rivalries at the start of the final race of the season, with the
latter making a great start to lead into Redgate for the first time. Schwarze made a fast start too and
grabbed third briefly, before contact with Porter sent him through the gravel at Coppice.
A multi-car incident at the Melbourne hairpin, which ended the races of Livesey and Spragg, led to
the safety car coming out on track. When action resumed, Seewooruthun made an immediate
challenge for the lead and got through at the Old Hairpin.
Palmowski would slip back to fourth by the end of the lap behind Fernandez and Edu Robinson,
though fought back and re-passed the latter next time round with Porter following. Fernandez had
his sights set on the lead meanwhile and grabbed it after a wide moment for Seewooruthun at the
Porter briefly dispatched both of them one corner later, but Fernandez got back ahead at Goddards
to lead onto the final lap. He headed an incredible eight car pack battling over the podium places
and impressively soaked up the pressure to record his fourth win of the season.
Seewooruthun came back to second on the final lap as he signed off the season as the only driver on
the grid to finish every single race. Edu Robinson completed a superb drive from 12 th on the grid to a
maiden podium finish with a last lap move on Porter, who finished fourth on the road.
A post-race penalty though for Porter demoted him below Schwarze, who fought back from 13 th
after his opening lap drama. Hart rounded out the top six ahead of Hopkinson, the latter being
another to battle back through the field after having visited the pitlane at the end of lap one.
Ellis completed his debut weekend with an impressive ninth place finish as Miall secured her first top
ten result behind. Preptech UK trio Joslyn, Angliss and Davies were next up ahead of debutant
Ingram Hill and Fox Motorsport team-mates Jack Robinson and Harry Moss.
We want to offer a huge congratulations to all the 2023 Ginetta Junior Championship winners and competitors.
Full race results can be found at: www.tsl-timing.com/event/234205
All three races can be watched back at: www.youtube.com/user/ginettatv