Alex Day headed to Brands Hatch to compete in the final weekend of the Ginetta Junior Championship. All the support races to the BTCC had two practice sessions on the Friday prior to the race weekend. The race weekend took place over the weekend of 10th and 11th of October on the Brands Hatch GP circuit. Alex went out for free practice one on Friday 9th October at 12:20 for half an hour. By the time the session ended he was placed 10th on the live timing screens out of 23 drivers.
Free practice session two took place at 16:40 for another half an hour, Alex did even better in this session. Although there was a red flag at one point when Will Stacey ended up beached in the Paddock Hill gravel trap. Alex managed to set a lap time that put him 7th in this session.
Throughout the sessions Alex was relatively on the pace and was looking forward to having a good weekend. His lap times over the two sessions were not far off those of the drivers at the top of the championship. Alex was pleased with how well the two practice sessions went on Friday. In the combined practice sessions times, Alex was placed 8th out of the 23 drivers.
Alex out on Friday during Free Practice sessions. (Credit: Tilley Photography)
Saturday brought another practice session and a qualifying session. The free practice session took place at 9:30 for 15 minutes. During the practice session Alex didn’t seem to be doing as well as he was in the Friday practice sessions. By the time the session finished Alex was placed 12th on the live timing screens, this was due to not being able to string a good, perfect lap time together due to traffic on track and not being able to get a tow off of another driver on track. Alex turned his focus to qualifying as there was nothing more he could do.
Qualifying came round at 15:20 for 15 minutes. Alex headed out hoping he could improve from the earlier practice session. Unfortunately Alex struggled to put a lap time together, somehow he lost a whole second. This meant he was going to start race one from 13th on the grid. In his words “the only way is up”. Alex did not sit and dwell on qualifying and instead started preparing for race one.
Race one was scheduled to take place at 17:30 but due to damage caused to barriers and them needing repairing around the circuit, everything was delayed and unfortunately the Ginetta Junior race was cancelled on Saturday. It was rescheduled to take place first thing on Sunday morning at 10am. Alex headed out to the grid, lined up in 13th with Will Stacey alongside. Alex was back on the pace, filling him with confidence of what he can do during the race. He managed to get a good start and instantly start battling with drivers in front, with Kyle Hornby, Matt Chapman and many more. By the time the chequered flag fell Alex was lying 8th overall and P3 in the rookie class. This meant Alex got a podium and received a trophy for finishing P3 in the rookie class. This meant the weekend was looking even better and successful for Alex.
Alex heading out to grid for race two (Credit: Tilley Photography.)
Later in the day it was time for race two to take place. Alex headed to the grid to line up 8th. He got a fairly good start off the line but from there the race was to be carnage. Ben Green got fired into a barrier at the second corner of the first lap! A safety car was required so that Ben’s car could be recovered and moved to a safe place before the race could resume. The race resumed and Jamie Caroline, Billy Monger and Dan Zelos all got drive through penalties for a jump start. From then on during the race Alex was being nudged about by all the drivers around him. All throughout the race Alex was constantly receiving contact from other drivers. At the chequered flag Alex was in 10th place.
After the race Stuart Middleton received a post-race penalty for a jump start, this meant Alex moved up to finish in 9th place, just one place behind where he started. This was not a bad finish for Alex considering the amount of contact he received from drivers around him during the race.
In the overall championship Alex finished 14th, but 7th in the Rookie Class Championship. He is looking to come back fighting for the 2016 season. Alex’s focus will now be turned to looking at possibly competing in the Ginetta Junior Winter Series. If he does not compete at the winter series, his focus will be on his return to the Ginetta Junior Championship for a second year in 2016.
© Fay Tilley 15th October 2015.