Smalley Does The Double As Green Takes Maiden Win

Adam Smalley continued his dominance of the 2018 Ginetta Junior Championship with two wins from three races at Croft Circuit. It was a winning weekend for Elite Motorsport too, as Fin Green claimed the final win of the day (and his first overall) for the team.

Adam Smalley continued his dominance of the 2018 Ginetta Junior Championship with two wins from three races at Croft Circuit. It was a winning weekend for Elite Motorsport too, as Fin Green claimed the final win of the day (and his first overall) for the team. All Ginetta G40s use Quaife QBE60G Sequential Gearboxes and ATB Differentials.

In qualifying, it was Ruben Del Sarte who set the fastest time of all the runners. He topped the session with a 1:40.902 lap, but a reprimand carried over from Oulton Park meant he started the race with a 10-place grid penalty. This promoted championship rivals Adam Smalley and Luke Browning onto the front row – in first and second respectively – whilst Green, Johnson and Taylor rounded out the top five.

On the opening lap, Smalley held onto the lead (where he remained to the flag) as Green made his way past Browning. It was a fantastic opening lap for Del Sarte and Burton who picked up three places each, whilst Hedley passed four.

On lap two, Burton and Del Sarte continued to climb the order, whilst Browning found himself having to defend hard from Kibble, Green and Foster. In the action, Green found himself shuffled out at the final hairpin and sent over the grass.

By the mid-point, Smalley had already built a considerable lead as the battle for second raged. A puncture for Browning dropped him out of the fight as he limped back to the pit lane, thus promoting Kibble to second, with Del Sarte up into third.

On the penultimate lap, action at Sunny meant it was all change by the time the drivers started their final lap. Smalley and Kibble stayed put in first and second, but Burton climbed to third with Taylor fourth. Del Sarte and Foster fell to fifth and sixth respectively.

On the final lap, a mistake for Burton dropped him down the order to 11th at the flag. This promoted Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner James Taylor to third, and his first overall podium. Kudos too to James Hedley, who took the flag in sixth, after a fantastic drive from 18th on the grid.

It was a similar story for Smalley in race two. A great start saw him head down the road as Del Sarte and Browning became embroiled in a fight for second; one that was eventually won by Browning, the Richardson Racing driver claiming the position on lap five.

Elsewhere, a race long battle evolved between Kibble, Green, Taylor and Foster over fourth. Kibble was the early leader of that gaggle, but after plenty of side-by-side action it was Green who claimed the position, with Kibble fifth.

Taylor claimed second in the rookie class (and sixth overall) whilst Foster completed the Rookie rostrum. Greg Johnson, Jonny Wilkinson and Matt Luff rounded out the top 10.

Race three was an action-packed encounter. Although Smalley started on pole position, Browning got the better start and led the first half of the opening lap. Green pulled a move on Browning later to take the lead before the cars crossed the line for the first time; a position he never rescinded.

As the pack of G40’s jostled for position, a number of mini battles began to emerge. Smalley and Kibble were fighting over second when contact between the pair dropped Smalley down to the lower end of the top 10. The fracas allowed Green to pull away up front, whilst Browning snatched second and Foster moved into third.

Behind, a six-car train fought for fourth place. Kibble defended from Taylor, Wilkinson, Smalley, Del Sarte and new face Hanafin, the latter of whom impressed on his debut weekend in the championship. Smalley made steady progress with his recovery drive, finishing an eventual sixth but maintaining his championship advantage.

As the flag fell, Green took his maiden win, whilst Browning and Foster joined him on the rostrum. Third was enough for Foster to claim the Rookie class honours, with Kibble and Taylor completing the Rookie class podium.

The result means Smalley maintains his points advantage over Foster in second (who also leads the rookie class honours) heading into the summer break. The drivers now look towards Snetterton, which takes place on July 28/29.