28th September 2020

Voisin Stars At Silverstone With Double Win

Bailey Voisin has moved back to the top of the standings in the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship with a pair of wins at Silverstone this past weekend (26/27 September).

After losing his points lead at Thruxton a week prior, Voisin (R Racing) hit back strongly in qualifying on Saturday to top the timesheets for the second time this season. He did so by nearly half a second, the largest pole position margin of the campaign so far.

Voisin’s lead was short-lived at the start of race one that afternoon though, with a quick-starting Dimitrov diving past into Becketts. Things got worse for the pole-man too, as he dropped back to 13th by the end of the opening lap, forcing him to mount a comeback drive.

Dimitrov remained in front until lap three when Joel Pearson (R Racing) and Tom Lebbon (Elite Motorsport) worked their way past. One lap later there was drama at Brooklands corner, with Pearson falling to the rear of the field and Dimitrov retiring.

The order at the front completely changed in the commotion, with William Vincent (Elite Motorsport) emerging as a surprise new leader ahead of R Racing duo Freddie Tomlinson and Aston Millar. Those two came to blows a lap later though and both fell out of podium contention.

Lebbon had dropped to sixth, but was soon back into second place and quickly had Voisin on his rear bumper. Also gaining ground to join them was fellow title contender Josh Rattican (R Racing), with the trio beginning to pile the pressure on leader Vincent.

The rookie contender hung on until two laps from the finish, when Lebbon squeezed past at Becketts. Voisin followed him through and they went on to take the chequered flag in the top two positions, while in a thrilling photo-finish, Rattican grabbed third from Vincent by 0.090s.

Post-race however, Lebbon received a ten second time penalty due to an incident in the race, dropping him to 11th in the final results. Voisin therefore inherited the race win ahead of Rattican and Vincent – the latter securing his first overall podium and rookie class win.

Seb Hopkins (Elite Motorsport) was in the podium battle at one stage and was classified fourth at the end, his best result of the season so far. Zak Taylor (Alistair Rushforth Motorsport) produced one of the drives of the race meanwhile, rising from 18th on the grid into the top six.

Josh Miller ended up sixth ahead of his Elite Motorsport team-mate William Aspin, who had recorded his seasons’ best qualifying performance. Tom Edgar (TCR), Millar and Tommy Pintos (Elite Motorsport) rounded out the top ten ahead of Lebbon and Tomlinson.

Fighting back from his first race retirement, Dimitrov produced another rapid launch to lead the field through Copse for the first time. Voisin just about kept Lebbon and Joel Pearson (R Racing) at bay behind, while a quick-starting Aspin rose from eighth to fifth.

As Dimitrov continued to lead, the action intensified in the battles behind. As Voisin worked hard to hold second, the pack closed up behind and unfortunately a multi-car incident led to Pearson retiring and the red flags coming out.

The race was scheduled for a five lap restart, however on the second go round there was another multi-car incident, with Lebbon amongst those involved. With no time to restart proceedings again, Dimitrov was declared the winner having led throughout.

Voisin and Rattican picked up their second podium finishes of the weekend, while Vincent and Edgar followed them home to secure rookie silverware. Hopkins, Millar, Taylor, Will Jenkins (Privateer) and Pintos emerged with top ten finishes, from Richardson Racing duo Trennon Bettany and Rowan Vincent.

The grid for the final race of the weekend, televised live on ITV2, was set by the finishing positions of the previous encounter. Dimitrov therefore started from pole position and duly led the field through the opening lap, with Voisin and William Vincent on his tail.

Voisin wasted no time in mounting a challenge for the lead though and got ahead on the second lap. As the Swiss racer held the advantage, Edgar was one to watch as he made moves up the order from fifth on the grid and he slid past Dimitrov at Brooklands on lap seven to take second.

Edgar immediately started to pressure the leader and a thrilling conclusion saw the top two running side-by-side multiple times, with Voisin just holding him off for a seventh win of the year. Second was Edgar’s first overall podium of the year and got him a maiden rookie win too.

Dimitrov completed the podium, having had his mirrors filled by Rattican in the closing stages. Vincent passed Millar on the final lap for fifth and the final place on the rookie podium, with Hopkins, Taylor and Bettany next up, the latter recording a maiden top ten finish.

After suffering a couple of retirements in the first two races, James Higgins (Preptech UK) completed his debut weekend in the series in a great 12th. Liam McNeilly (Fox Motorsport) had taken a best of 13th in race two, with Joe Wheeler (Assetto Motorsport) peaked with P17 in race one.

Full results from the weekend can be viewed here: https://www.tsl-timing.com/file/?f=TOCA/2020/203903gij.pdf

The 2020 Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship continues in two weeks’ time with a trip to Croft in North Yorkshire (10/11 October).


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