Seven months on from taking the opening pole position of the 2019 campaign on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, it was a repeat performance from Taylor (Elite Motorsport) in qualifying this morning as he took a double pole in supreme fashion.
The most capped driver on the grid with over 50 starts in Junior competition, Taylor used all of his experience to lap over six tenths of a second faster than a chasing pack of R Racing team-mates Aston Millar and Joel Pearson, plus Zak Taylor (Alistair Rushforth Motorsport).
Taylor converted his pole position into a lights-to-flag victory in the opening contest. After an early safety car period, he produced a great restart and as the pack fought behind, he was able to pull clear to a comfortable 4.6 second victory on the road.
A three way scrap for second developed between Pearson, Ben Kasperczak (Elite Motorsport) and Daniel Gale (TCR). Kasperczak, who rose from sixth to third on the opening lap, worked his way into second at Clearways on the restart lap and then defended well.
Their battle was ultimately decided on the penultimate lap when an incident between Kaspercak and Pearson opened the door for Gale to come through to grab the spot and with it his first overall podium finish in Ginetta Junior competition.
Kasperczak finished third on the road, while Millar picked up the rookie class win in fourth. An impressive debut from newly-crowned 2020 Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner Tom Lebbon (Elite Motorsport) saw him pick his way through the midfield action to fifth ahead of Pearson.
Also making his first ever car-racing start was Scholarship finalist Tom Edgar (Douglas Motorsport), who finished seventh ahead of team-mate Freddie Tomlinson and William Aspin (Elite Motorsport). Zak Taylor and Bailey Voisin (R Racing) unfortunately failed to make the finish meanwhile.
There was a change of conditions for the second race this afternoon, with a wet track greeting the field. It didn’t faze poleman Taylor though, who produced a masterclass in the tricky conditions to secure a superb victory by over ten seconds.
A fantastic start for Gale saw him rise from fifth to second, a position he maintained comfortably for the remainder of the race to make it a double podium for the day. Behind, Millar held third in the early stages, but was under pressure from team-mate Pearson.
A great switchback move through Graham Hill Bend on lap four got Pearson the position and he went on to complete the podium. Millar remained close behind in fourth as he doubled up on rookie wins, while Voisin put in a strong display with fifth.
Zak Taylor recovered from an incident whilst challenging for fourth early on to fight back through the field and complete the top six. Tomlinson, Lebbon, Edgar and Aspin were next up, while Kasperczak ended up 11th after a rollercoaster race for him.
James Taylor: “I’m happy with how today has gone. The Elite Motorsport car was spot on and I felt really comfortable in it. Both races had tricky conditions in their own way, so I focused on keeping it on the tarmac and it went my way. It’s all to play for tomorrow though.”
Full results from the day’s action can be viewed here: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/194521
Sunday’s schedule is a repeat of today, with one more qualifying and two races to come, after which the 2019 Ginetta Junior Winter Series champion will be crowned.