The Ginetta Junior Championship heats up as Adam Smalley extended his championship lead to a 45-point advantage at Rockingham Motor Speedway this weekend (11/12 August) thanks to a pair of second-places. The race wins went the way of Luke Browning and Louis Foster. The duo leave Corby split by just a single point with eight races left to run.
Qualifying set the stage for an all-rookie front row for race one as James Hedley took his first pole position of the season with Patrick Kibble finishing the session in second. In the opening race of the weekend however, trouble for the pole-man at Deene on lap one dropped him all the way down the order, with the youngster completing the first tour in ninth position.
Kibble took up the reigns at the front of the field, with Fin Green, Louis Foster and Jonny Wilkinson (who had climbed seven spots on the opening lap) rounding out the top four. Great progress was also made by Lorcan Hanafin who moved up six positions to sixth place, as well as Gus Burton, Ruben Del Sarte and Will Martin all picking up five places.
Drama unfolded on lap two as Luke Browning was forced into the pits with damage, thus creating an opportunity for Adam Smalley to build his championship lead. Kibble held his own up front, leading for six laps as Foster, Green and Smalley battled over best of the rest.
On lap six, Foster made a move to take the lead – where he remained to the end – with Kibble settling for second. Smalley and Green raced hard for third, but Green pitted on the final lap, handing the position to Smalley. Fourth overall was enough to put Hanafin on the final spot of the Rookie podium, with Hedley narrowly missing out after recovering to fifth. The rookies behind were on equally fine form as Wilkinson, Tom Emson and James Taylor joined Del Sarte and Johnson in the overall top 10.
In race two, absolute commitment from Green saw him power into the race lead after pulling a blinding move on Browning into Deene on lap one. It was short-lived though, as Foster swept into the lead by the time the cars started their second lap.
As Foster and Green battled hard for the win, a train of six G40s were locked in the fight for third. Kibble found his way to the top of the pack and began to chase down Green for second. A spin for the latter, plus a trip across the grass for Kibble dropped the frontrunners down the order whilst the chasing pack scatted out of the way, collecting Hedley in the process.
This put Browning into second place whilst Taylor – who had been in eighth – make the most of the melee and picked up five spots to move into third – where he remained to the flag – just ahead of Johnson and championship leader Smalley.
Smalley managed to pass Johnson to take fourth but could make no further progress before the flag fell. As the race drew to an end, Foster took victory from Browning and Taylor, with Kibble taking third in the rookie class.
The heavens opened just before race three, leaving the Junior drivers with tricky conditions as they headed off on their Green flag lap. Browning was the best starter in the wet weather, snatching the lead from polesitter Foster off the line, whilst Smalley settled into third.
As the drivers explored the grip levels, Browning and Foster managed to build a gap to the chasing pack. Try as Foster might, he couldn’t make a move to pass Browning, and the duo ultimately ended the race in that order. Behind, Smalley and Kibble both enjoyed relatively lonely races in third and fourth respectively.
There was plenty of action in the fight for fifth as Green and Wilkinson ran nose-to-tail, with the latter having cut through the field from the back of the grid. On lap eight, Green tried a bold move around the outside at Deene to get his nose in front, but the pair make contact, sending Green down the order.
It was a case of being in the right place at the right time for the second time in as many places for Taylor, who snuck past the pair to move into fifth – and third in the rookie class – where he remained to the flag. Wilkinson had to settle for sixth as Johnson, Burton, Del Sarte and Hanafin completed the top 10.
With three weekends left to run, Smalley now has a 45-point lead at the top of the championship table. Browning and Foster leave Rockingham split by just a single point in what has been a thrilling season for the Ginetta Junior Championship thus far. The series reconvenes at Knockhill on 25/26 August.
Learn more about the Quaife driveline components that feature in the Ginetta G40 as used in the Ginetta Junior Championship:
Quaife QBE60G Heavy Duty In-Line 6-Speed Sequential Gearbox
- A direct replacement for the Ford Type 9 gearbox
- OE fitment for both Ginetta and Caterham
- Helical or straight cut gears, plus a large choice of ratios
- Modern shift drum for perfect gear shifts
- Available with standard Ford tail bush or upgraded needle roller conversion with sliding flange
- Choice of input shafts and bellhousings for non-Ford engines
- Optional air actuator for paddleshift
- Oil temperature sensor
- Configurable as a 5-speed if rules prevent 6 forward gears
- Strengthened LM25 alloy cases
- Rated up to 375 bhp
- £5,995.00 for straight cut, £6,295.00 for helical, + VAT & Shipping
Quaife QDF15Z Ford Sierra 7” ATB Differential
- Safe, progressive and seamless in action, the Quaife ATB Differential never locks
- Controlled power is transmitted to all driven wheels, to maximise traction and minimise wheelspin, particularly in slippery conditions
- Fitment eliminates unwanted torque steer, understeer or oversteer
- Gear operated with no components to replace – ever
- Direct replacement for factory standard ‘open’ differential unit. A true ‘fit and forget’ product
- Retains normal axle lubrication systems and maintenance schedule
- Comes with a LIFETIME WARRANTY, whether used on the road or track
- £605.00 + VAT & Shipping