Twenty one drivers took to the track for the Junior League season opener, the first of three Winter Series rounds.
Reigning champion Robert Welham is now campaigning in MSA Junior X30 events so the way was paved clear for his 2015 pursuers to have their turn on the top step. Previous race winners Kieran Priestley and the final round victor from 2015 Ryan Lingwood were back on the grid along with last season’s runner up Lewis Appiagyei. The rest of the grid was a mixture of youth and experience but all with the same aim to begin their season with victory.
Appiagyei started in fine form with a lights-to-flag victory in Heat 1 and dipping under the lap record along the way. Alex Thomas took a hard earned second with Buckmore Park hotshot Fraser Brunton in third.
Heat 2 produced a popular winner in Harvey Howell, his first heat victory since progressing to the Junior League last season. He held off a valiant charge from Thomas ahead of a cracking scrap for third between Corey Carnwell and Oscar Drane.
Heat 3 saw another first time heat win for Brunton who stormed to victory and breaking the lap record along the way. He was followed home by Priestley and Appiagyei. Behind them Drane charged through the field and broke Brunton’s lap record towards the end of the race, he ended up fifth behind Thomas.
Jack Leveridge was the early leader in Heat 4 but soon had the attentions of Brunton and Howell to contend with. Appiagyei was caught up in a lap one tangle but was soon carving his way back to the front. Brunton took the lead with three laps remaining but Leveridge wasn’t done and pulled of a superb manoeuvre to retake the lead which he held to the flag. Brunton and Howell were not far behind with less than three tenths of a second covering the top three. Appiagyei completed his comeback drive with a last corner move on Ethan Souter to take fourth.
The B-Final was yet another hotly contested race with Daniel Perrin and Cadet League graduate Adam Cottrell battling at the front. Newcomer Pacey Forsdike was in the mix running fourth early on before being overhauled by the experienced trio of Josh Harris, Dan Harris and Tom Shearn. Oliver Daley, another driver making his debut, pulled out his best lap times of the night to show he will be in the fight before long. Perrin held off Cottrell to take the win with Josh Harris getting the better of brother Dan for third.
As the A-Final drivers lined up on the grid spots of rain began to fall but this didn’t deter poleman Brunton who shot into an early lead. Callum Robinsons Junior League debut ended with a trip into the tyres in the tricky conditions, he valiantly continued to the flag. As the rain became heavier Brunton extended his advantage with Leveridge using all of his experience to move up to second. At the flag it was Brunton who claimed his maiden Junior League win ahead of Leveridge and Appiagyei. Priestley claimed fourth after holding off Lingwood and Charlie Pickering with Drane, Carnwell, Souter and Howell rounding out the top ten. Brett Wheatley, Thomas, Ethan Hall and Robinson completed the finishing positions.
Round 2 of the series takes place on Thursday 25th February. To book a space or for more information please call 01502 717718.