PRIAULX JR CLAIMS GINETTA JR TITLE
Sebastian Priaulx swept aside title rival and early points leader Dave Wooder with a brace of wins at Brands Hatch last Sunday to clinch the Ginetta Junior Winter Series crown.
Priaulx was thwarted by Wooder’s back-to-back victories on the Saturday, and was only able to follow him across the line twice as he ended the first day behind in the points.
Wooder starred in the opener to win ahead of Priaulx after advancing from fourth and repeated that feat in race two. He started from pole the second time and was instead forced to defend continually from Priaulx (who briefly led on the opening lap) until a red flag, for a beached Charlie Digby at Clark Curve, sealed the result.
But what a difference a day makes. Wooder’s title rival arrived on the Sunday and stormed to pole, which proved to be crucial. Priaulx led from lights to flag in race three, while Wooder’s second row start meant he was embroiled in a midfield battle and eventually came home third.
That left the pair level on points going into the final race, but a repeat of their race three finishing positions – with Priaulx again leading from start to finish and Wooder third – handed JHR man Priaulx the title.
Darkness then fell on the Indy circuit as the Britcar Endurance field came out for the headlining three-hour race to close the Brands Hatch season superbly. A chaotic event featured several safety cars and offs for the drivers, rewarding those who stayed clear of incidents – including Phil Hanson and Nigel Moore, who sealed the title in their Audi R8 by one point.
It could have been even sweeter after Moore stepped into the Audi and hounded Javier Morcillo’s Mosler across the final minutes, but he fell short of making a pass. Morcillo instead sealed victory for himself and Manuel Cintrano ahead of the Tockwith Audi, with Ian Lawson and Kevin Clarke (BMW Z4) a lonely third.
The Britcar GT & Production finale took place in the first hour of the Enduro, but with most of its grid opting to do the full three hours, there were few contenders. Peter Rowbottom (Ferrari 458 Challenge) won, topping Rob Young/neil Garnham and Ollie Withington and Martin Parsons.
Saturday’s opener was more engrossing, with Bonamy Grimes and Johnny Mowlem’s Ferrari 458 Challenge battling hard against the similar GT3 machine of Calum Lockie and David Mason. That duel ended when Mason stalled his Ferrari in the pits, allowing Grimes to run to the flag unchallenged ahead of the Cintrano/ Morcillo Mosler, with Dan Stringfellow third.
Earlier, Rod Birley sealed a brace of wins in the MSVR Allcomers to claim a 599th career victory – despite fears of a forced retirement as for some time the lights on his Ford Escort WRC refused to turn on.
There was also a double winner in the Champion of Brands with Chase Owen crowned despite a controversial opener. Owen made a superb getaway to grab the lead in his Ray, but was then adjudged to have jumped the start.
Despite crossing the line in first, a 10-second penalty post-race dropped him to third – although an appeal was successful and reinstated Owen as the victor, meaning Luke Cooper (Swift SC16) was second ahead of the Ray of Jake Byrne. Owen then made it two from two after again seeing off Cooper and Byrne.
The popular MSVT Trackday Championship had an eventful mini-endurance outing with Simon Clark’s Porsche Boxster coming out on top after a late move on Dylan Brychta, with Kester Cook taking third in his Ford Fiesta.
The following Trackday Trophy race was won by Gary Burstow. His BMW defeated Mark Penny’s Vauxhall VX220 and Nick White’s Renault Clio.