On Thursday 8th October Charlie Fagg headed to Brands Hatch ready to compete in the final weekend of the Ginetta Junior Championship. The juniors get two free practice sessions on the Friday prior to the race weekend so that they could learn the circuit better before the race weekend starts. As well as the Friday practices they also get one free practice session on Saturday, a qualifying session and two races. The race weekend was on the 10th and 11th of October on the Brands Hatch GP circuit in Kent.
Charlie went out for the first free practice on Friday on new tyres and managed to finish the session in 9th place, which was incredible considering it was only his second time at the track.
Free practice two took place a bit later in the day, this time Charlie went out on brand new tyres once again. Throughout the session he was struggling and only managed to finish the session in 14th place on the live timing screens.
Saturday morning brought another free practice session, Charlie was pleased with how he was progressing forwards. He managed to finish the session in 9th place.
Later in the day it was time for Charlie to go out and qualify. He set a really good lap straight away in the session and kept improving throughout the session. He set a 1:38.6 which placed him 9th, he then went on to go even quicker and set a 1:38.4 which would’ve seen him start from 6th on the grid. Unfortunately Charlie got penalized for track limits on the exit of turn 3, this meant he got his fastest time removed and would start race one from 9th on the grid. Charlie was pleased with P9 as he viewed it as “a good starting position to move forward during race one”. Also having set a lap time which would have placed him 6th gave him even more confidence as he knew he could be quick and fight through the pack.
Charlie out during qualifying. (Credit: Tilley Photography.)
Race one was scheduled to take place late afternoon on Saturday but due to accidents in previous races, there was a lot of damage to the safety barriers around the circuit, which meant there were long delays whilst repairs took place. This forced the organisers to postpone the Ginetta Junior race until Sunday, they decided to have it take place first thing on Sunday morning. Charlie got a poor start, he let the car roll forward by releasing the brake too early and because of the start line being on a hill it began to roll. He stopped the car and then went again when the light went out, he lost a position due to this. He carried on and made it up into eight place. However, when he came round the start finish straight there was a black drive through penalty flag for him, because of him ‘jumping’ the start. He served the penalty two laps later and went on to finish in 18th place.
Charlie chasing down the pack after getting his drive through penalty. (Credit:Tilley Photography)
Two hours later it was time for race two, Charlie was psyched up for the race. He was ready to prove himself and “hack” his way through the pack to get the good result he needed. He got past a lot of people on his way through the pack and was making a lot of progress. By the time the chequered flag fell Charlie had made it up to 6th from 18th. Even better was that Charlie took 3rd in the rookie class in the race, so he still got a podium.
Overall Charlie finished 19th in the championship and 12th in the rookie class championship. Considering Charlie only started the season at Croft, just before the summer break. He did well to finish 19th overall in his first half season in the Ginetta Junior Championship. Charlie is looking to return to the championship for another year in 2016.
© Fay Tilley 17th October 2015.