31st August 2020

Voisin, Dimitrov And Rattican Take Knockhill Victories

Bailey Voisin, Georgi Dimitrov and Josh Rattican took a victory apiece as the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship served up three thrilling races at Knockhill (29/30 August).

Voisin (R Racing) headed into the weekend as the driver to beat following a great double victory during the last rounds at Brands Hatch three weeks’ prior, and it was the championship leader who topped the timesheets during qualifying on Saturday morning.

In a close session that saw the top 12 split by less than eight tenths of a second, Voisin picked up his second pole position of the season ahead of Dimitrov (Richardson Racing) and a trio of his R Racing team-mates; Joel Pearson, Aston Millar and Rattican.

As Voisin led the field through the first lap of race one that afternoon, early changes behind saw Dimitrov drop back to sixth place on the opening lap, before a fast starting Will Jenkins (Privateer) sensationally rose from eighth on the grid to second position by the end of lap two.

Tom Lebbon (Elite Motorsport) grabbed second next time around though, with Jenkins staying third ahead of Rattican. A thrilling battle played out behind, as Pearson, Dimitrov and Tom Edgar (TCR) traded places between themselves for a number of laps.

The action was halted by a couple of safety car periods, which wiped out a five second lead Voisin had built at the front. The race culminated in a one lap shootout to the flag, with the leader producing a textbook restart to edge clear of his pursuers and take a fourth win of the season.

Lebbon secured his fourth consecutive rookie class victory in second overall, while an incident for Jenkins led to a retirement as he challenged for a maiden podium. Pearson therefore completed the podium, with fourth for Edgar securing him a maiden rookie class podium finish.

Pearson and Dimitrov completed the top six, with Freddie Tomlinson (R Racing) coming home seventh. Brilliant drives from Liam McNeilly (Fox Motorsport) and Josh Miller (Elite Motorsport) meanwhile saw them finish eighth and ninth from 17th and 15th on the grid respectively.

Sebastian Hopkins (Elite Motorsport) rounded out the top ten from team-mate Tommy Pintos and Zak Taylor (Alistair Rushforth Motorsport), with Joe Wheeler (Assetto Motorsport) impressively climbing from the back of the grid to 13th.

Dimitrov started the second race of the weekend on pole position courtesy of posting the fastest second best time in qualifying, and he took full advantage. Leading the opening couple of laps, he then produced a textbook safety car restart to break clear of the pack again.

Controlling a two second gap at the front for the remaining laps, he recorded his third win of the campaign and the rookie honours too. Behind, Rattican fought through the pack from fifth on the grid to second place ahead of his R Racing team-mate Aston Millar.

A four car pack were battling wheel-to-wheel for fourth place at one stage, with Ginetta Junior scholar Lebbon holding them off to the finish. Hot on his heels was Voisin and Pearson, while Jenkins bounced back from his race one disappointment with seventh.

Taylor fought clear of an epic contest to take eighth, with Elite Motorsport team-mates Hopkins and Pintos completing the top ten. Trennon Bettany (Richardson Racing) and Will Rochford (TCR) got their best results of the campaign so far in 11th and 12th respectively.

The final race of the weekend was televised live on ITV2 and the Junior grid produced some more thrilling action for the watching audience. A rapid start from poleman Dimitrov saw him dive down Duffus Dip first from Rattican, with Lebbon making early progress to third.

Voisin was a man on a move in the early stages, getting fourth off Millar on lap one and then third from Lebbon a couple of laps later. Lebbon briefly slipped to fourth, but a tremendous move around the outside at the hairpin gained him two positions at once.

In the meantime, Rattican had taken the lead from Dimitrov and controlled proceedings at the front to secure his maiden win by over three seconds. Voisin posted the fastest lap of the race in his pursuit of Lebbon late on, but the latter stayed ahead as he recorded a fifth overall podium finish in the last six races.

Third place ensures Voisin remains at the top of the championship standings, while Jenkins completed a breakthrough weekend in the series with a best ever finish of fourth. Millar was next, with Pearson completing the top six in his 50th start in Ginetta Juniors.

A moment for Dimitrov in the closing stages dropped him to seventh at the finish ahead of McNeilly and Miller, who both matched their best finishes of the season so far. Pintos picked up a second top ten finish of the weekend ahead of Edgar, Taylor and Tomlinson.

Rowan Vincent (Richardson Racing) impressed in the midfield battles to take his highest result of the weekend in 15th, while his cousin William Vincent (Elite Motorsport) completed a hat-trick of 17th place results. William Aspin (Elite Motorsport) picked up a best of 15th in races one and two.

The 2020 Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship is next in action in three weeks’ time at the fastest circuit in the UK, Thruxton (19/20 September).


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