STEED STEALS FIRST WIN AT CASTLE COMBE

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Steed was able to keep points leader Waite at bay to finally score his first FJC victory - Photo: SnappyRacers

Castle Combe in Wiltshire provided a new test for just about all of the drivers in this season’s BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship racing with MRF Tyres, and while the championship leader would go on to further extend his advantage in the points with another race victory, it would also be a weekend that saw the emergence of a new winner making a visit to the top step for the very first time.

In both of the dry practice sessions, championship leader James Waite once again set the pace at the head of the field, taking fastest time in both sessions. However, when the time came for the all-important qualifying session, the conditions had changed significantly. Rain was falling and on a wet track, there was an opportunity for a slightly mixed up grid order to occur. As it was, Waite’s title rival Magnus Kriklywi was able to tackle the wet conditions better than anyone to secure pole position for Race 1. His pole time was half a second better than that of Waite’s best effort, which still landed him a place on the front row ahead of Isaac Smith, Nathanael Hodgkiss, Olly Turner and Josh Steed.

The weather failed to improve by the time the first race began, but even so it would be Waite who picked up the better launch from the front row to take the lead on the opening lap. Behind him, both Turner and Steed also picked up strong starts to take 2nd and 3rd respectively, pushing Kriklywi down to 4th place in the process. Steed appeared to be looking like a man on a mission as before the end of Lap 2, he found a way past Turner to take 2nd place and set off in pursuit of leader Waite. Throughout the first half of the race, Waite had the measure of Steed in terms of pace and was able to stretch the gap out to 3 seconds by half distance. However, this dipped and then stabilized for most of the second half of the race before Steed was able to claw back time in the final laps.

Despite getting the margin down to just under a second at the flag, Waite couldn’t be toppled and proceeded to pick up his 6th win of the year in another lights-to-flag performance. Steed confirmed himself as best of the result as he claimed 2nd for Mutation Motorsport, while 3rd place went to Jam-Sport’s impressive rookie Isaac Smith with another strong showing. Nathanael Hodgkiss continued to show signs of progress with 4th ahead of Olly Turner, with Alfie Glenie and Todd Garner claiming 6th and 7th places. As for Magnus Kriklywi, a mishap on Lap 4 saw him tumble down the order to the back of the field, where he would remain for the remainder of the race. Abby Lock sadly wouldn’t see the flag as she would retire on the final lap.

For the second race later that afternoon, the circuit had dried significantly but the skies were still grey, cloudy and overcast. Nevertheless, Waite once again started on pole but his advantage was short lived. Steed was able to stay with him at the start and on Lap 3, he made his move to take the lead in a bid to take his first FJC victory. The pace of both drivers remained virtually identical for the remainder of the race with very little to choose in lap times between the pair. Because of this, Steed was only able to push his lead to over 1 second in the final third of the race. As it was, Steed reeled off the laps and after threatening on more than on occasion this season, he took the chequered flag and his first victory in the Fiesta Junior Championship, to his and the team’s delight. Waite chased him all the way to the end and came home 1.2 second behind in 2nd place whilst still cementing his points lead in the process.

Kriklywi did well to charge through from the back of the grid to claim another podium finish with 3rd, followed by Isaac Smith and Olly Turner and 4th and 5th positions. Hodgkiss took the flag in 6th place with Alfie Glenie picking 7th ahead of Garner and Lock to complete the finishers.

Next up for the Fiesta Junior Championship racing with MRF Tyres is a brand new circuit that the series has never visited before. The drivers are now preparing for their first excursion to the wide, fast and flat out Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire, one that’s used regularly in touring car racing and is always a thrilling place to watch motorsport. Perhaps the Juniors will help create a little excitement of their own!

Scott Woodwiss

Next Race

Brands Hatch - 27th - 28th Jul 2019

Last Race

Cadwell Park 11th - 12th May 2019

Current Standings

Driver Accrued Points Adjusted Total
1 Olly Turner 296 204
2 Joel Wren 178 175
3 Alfie Glenie 240 168