Total Control Racing’s Dave Wooder secured the victory during the opening race of the 2016 Ginetta Junior Winter Series after fighting through from fourth on the grid during the chaotic race.
Daniel Harper started the race from pole in his Douglas Motorsport run car but he got a slow launch from the notorious difficult pole position placed spot at the Kent circuit, he slipped to third as the field headed into Paddock Hill. This allowed Elite Motorsport’s Harry King to take the race lead with Seb Priaulx in second. The latter did not hold onto second for long as Harper dived up the inside at Paddock Hill on lap two to retake second.
The safety car had to be brought out after Harry Dyson found himself beached in the gravel trap at Paddock Hill, he was the first of many drivers to suffer drama in the tricky conditions.
At the restart Harper immediately put King under immense pressure to retake the lead. With a great run through Paddock Hill it allowed Wooder to slip past Priaulx to take third at Druids. By the end of the lap Harper was back in the lead of the race after he made a fantastic switchback move through Clearways. King fought back at Druids on the following lap. As King and Harper battled intensely it allowed Wooder to pass both of them on the approach to Graham Hill Bend, which put him in the clear before all the drama began to unfold behind him.
King clipped the rear of Harper, sending the latter for a full 360 spin. Harper re-joined in seventh. Seb Priaulx and Charlie Fagg benefited most as they were promoted onto the podium positions. The safety car was needed again but this time Finley Green had found himself stranded in the Paddock Hill gravel.
Once the safety car had peeled back into the pit lane it left a two-lap shootout to the flag. there was no change in the top four positions, Wooder took the win from Priaulx in second, Fagg in third and King in fourth. The reigning Rookie Cup champion Daniel Harper was the man on the move during the two lap shootout as he passed Douglas teammate Connor Grady and JHR’s Tom Gamble to finish the opening race in fifth.
Conor Grady finished sixth on the road but after King was given a two second penalty it promoted Harper into fourth and Grady in fifth. Gamble finished in seventh on the road, which then became sixth after King’s penalty but then Gamble was handed a ten second penalty for a false start, dropping him to eleventh. Harry King rounded out the top six followed by top rookie Morgan Quinn in seventh. Charlie Digby finished in eighth with Jordan Collard finishing in ninth. Collard drove impressively after starting at the back of the grid in seventeenth and driving through to ninth.
Fox Motorsport’s Keaton Samra finished in tenth with Gamble taking eleventh ahead. Jenson Dineen finished in twelfth followed by Ruben Del Sarte in thirteenth. Katie Milner finished the race in fourteenth ahead of Elite Motorsport teammate Greg Johnson in fifteenth. Both Milner and Johnson suffered issues during the race.
©Fay Tilley 13th November 2016.