HHC Motorsport driver stars as false starts cause con­fu­sion

Motor Sport News - - Btcc Report: Knockhill - By Stephen Lick­o­r­ish

‘Jumped start’ were two very com­mon words at Knock­hill last week­end for the Ginetta Ju­niors. Four fron­trun­ning driv­ers were hit with penal­ties for this rea­son in race two – and they had a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the re­sult of a crazy race.

Seb Perez was lead­ing Stu­art Mid­dle­ton at the start of a fre­netic en­counter when driv­ethrough penal­ties were dished out to the duo for over-ea­ger starts. As they con­tin­ued to fight, with Perez forc­ing Mid­dle­ton off the track on lap three, the real leader was Daniel Harper.

But he too was em­broiled in a fe­ro­cious bat­tle with Will Tregurtha that con­tin­ued even af­ter Seb Pri­aulx had dived past both of them in the same ma­noeu­vre with two laps to go. Their fight even­tu­ally ended with them both go­ing off at Clark’s on the penul­ti­mate lap. This ap­peared to leave a dis­be­liev­ing Pri­aulx with his first ever win from Geri Ni­cosia and Harper.

But that had all changed the fol­low­ing morn­ing. In­stead it was Ni­cosia who took his maiden win with Dave Wooder and Tom Wood com­plet­ing the podium. It tran­spired Pri­aulx and Harper had both mis­judged their get­aways – while Perez didn’t and was in­cor­rectly pe­nalised ( see Rac­ing News).

That wasn’t the end of the jumped starts, how­ever, as pole­man Lewis Brown was also guilty in the fi­nale.

This meant Tregurtha’s move on Con­nor Grady into the hair­pin turned out to be the race-defin­ing pass as the pair fin­ished first and sec­ond. Ni­cosia took another podium af­ter more drama when Wood spun and Mid­dle­ton and Perez col­lided try­ing to avoid him.

De­spite this, Mid­dle­ton fought back past Jor­dan Col­lard and Wooder to claim fourth.

Another two words that were com­mon in Scot­land were ‘maiden win’ as Perez joined Ni­cosia (and very briefly Pri­aulx) in the win­ner’s cir­cle with a com­mand­ing per­for­mance in the opener.

With Pri­aulx mak­ing a poor start from pole, Perez shot into the lead and was un­trou­bled to the flag. His mar­gin over Mid­dle­ton was 4.5s – gar­gan­tuan in Ginetta Ju­nior terms.

“I was re­ally for­tu­nate that Seb [Pri­aulx] had been bat­tling with Stu­art and I thought ‘I’m just go­ing for it’ as I knew Stu­art would be quick,” said Perez. “I’m over the moon .”

Af­ter a bruis­ing week­end, it’s no sur­prise that the one driver who gen­er­ally avoided the in­ci­dents (and jumped starts) was points leader Tregurtha. There­fore, he has now ex­tended his ad­van­tage to 36 over Mid­dle­ton.

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