One week on from an action-packed season opener at Donington Park, the class of 2020 were tackling the world-famous Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in the sweltering summer sunshine. During free practice on Friday, track temperatures soared to over 50 degrees Celsius.
Fortunately it was a bit cooler on Saturday morning as the field tackled qualifying. For the second weekend in a row, it was Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner Tom Lebbon (Elite Motorsport) who impressively topped the timesheets, edging out Voisin (R Racing) by 0.027 seconds.
Behind them, Josh Rattican (R Racing), Zak Taylor (Alistair Rushforth Motorsport) and Freddie Tomlinson (R Racing) rounded out the top five as they each recorded their best qualifying results so far in the BTCC support championship.
Two races followed on Saturday afternoon, with a fantastic start from Voisin in the opener moving him straight to the front as the field headed through Paddock Hill Bend for the first time. Taylor briefly slotted into third, before Rattican edged back ahead.
Following a brief safety car period, Voisin found himself under pressure from Lebbon in the battle for the lead. Back to back fastest laps built himself a crucial gap though and he went on to take the victory, to add to his opening race success at Donington Park.
Lebbon followed him home for second overall and the rookie class victory, with Rattican keeping Taylor at bay for the podium. Double Donington Park race-winner Georgi Dimitrov (Richardson Racing) fought through to fifth, completing the rookie podium alongside Taylor.
Making fantastic progress through the field during the race was William Vincent (Elite Motorsport), who rose from 13th on the grid to a top six finish. Tomlinson was next up ahead of Elite duo Tommy Pintos and Seb Hopkins, plus R Racing’s Joel Pearson and Aston Millar.
Race two completed the day’s track action and unfortunately proved to be a stop-start encounter, with two safety car spells and a red flag bringing an early race finish. When the action was live, it was poleman Voisin leading the way from Lebbon, who just held off Taylor for second on lap one.
Whilst Voisin went on to complete another lights-to-flag victory, there was a change for second place on what proved to be the final racing lap. A great run out of Clearways allowed Rattican to edge past Lebbon crossing the line for what proved to be a crucial move.
Third was enough to complete Lebbon’s double rookie win for the day, with Taylor close behind. Tomlinson secured his highest race finish in the series so far in fifth ahead of Hopkins, who picked up his first piece of silverware with third in the rookie class.
The top ten was rounded out by Pintos, William Aspin (Elite Motorsport), Dimitrov and Josh Miller (Elite Motorsport), with Tom Edgar (TCR) just missing out. Joe Wheeler (Assetto Motorsport) meanwhile put in a good drive to rise from the back of the grid to 12th.
The final race of the weekend took place in front of the live ITV4 television cameras on Sunday afternoon, with a fantastic launch from Voisin seeing him lead the field away ahead of Rattican. Next time around though there was a change for second as Lebbon moved ahead.
After a short safety car period, a fantastic move from Lebbon at Hawthorns secured him the race lead. From there, he soaked up race-long pressure from Voisin and took the race win, becoming the first Ginetta Junior Scholar to win in his maiden campaign since Daniel Harper in 2016.
Voisin was hot on his heels to extend a record of the last 14 races around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix layout being decided by less than a second, with the completion of his personal podium hat-trick ensuring he holds a one point lead over Lebbon in the standings.
Rattican finished third ahead of Taylor, who was second of the rookies behind triple class winner Lebbon. The closest action of the race came in a mammoth battle for fifth place, with Pearson holding the spot at one stage from 17th on the grid.
He dropped out of contention though and it was Tomlinson who emerged at the front of the pack to replicate his race two result. Hopkins completed the rookie podium in sixth overall, while Edgar took his best result in the series so far in seventh ahead of Dimitrov.
Behind, Liam McNeilly (Fox Motorsport) and Rowan Vincent (Richardson Racing) picked up their highest finishes of the weekend in 11th and 13th respectively. Trennon Bettany (Richardson Racing) was 15th, replicating his race two finish, while Will Jenkins (Privateer) had secured a best of 19th in race one.
The third round of the 2020 Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship season takes place in three weeks’ time at Knockhill in Scotland (29/30 August).
The full race results from the weekend can be found here: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/203203