REEVE CLINCHES FIRST WIN AT SILVERSTONE; 6 WINNERS IN FJC 2016

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Reeve topped every session on his way to a first FJC win - Photo: James Roberts [PLACEHOLDER PHOTO]

The march towards the season finale for this year’s BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship at the Formula Ford Festival in October continued this past weekend as the teams and drivers descended on Silverstone for the second time this season. The National layout would be tackled for Rounds 11 & 12, although the weather was certainly going to play a factor at times.

Qualifying on Sunday morning arrived off the back of two rather interesting practice sessions that were both topped by Specialized Motorsport hotshot Nicholas Reeve. Given his rate of progression, it’s easy to forget that he only joined the championship at Rockingham, yet he returns to the same circuit which he passed his ARDS test at just 13! That experience certainly appeared to hold in him good stead come qualifying.

Reeve was able to come out on top in a very close and intense session run amongst cloudy and dry conditions. His pole time of 1’10.737 was just over half a tenth ahead of Bradley Burns, while Lochlan Bearman put in an impressive session on his first weekend with new team Specalized Motorsport with 3rd. Championship leader Harry Gooding couldn’t better 4th fastest ahead of teammate Callum Hawkins-Row in 5th and Elliot Wilson 6th, while Christopher McKenzie put in of his best qualifying performances with 7th and James Waite returned to the grid in 8th. Lewis Kent would line up 9th and James Hillery completed the top 10.

It wasn’t a smooth start in the first race, as down the Wellington Straight an incident saw 4 cars out of action before the first lap had even been completed. Elliot Wilson, Cameron Pugh, Ben Swift and James Waite were all casualties, Waite being excluded from the result in the process. Despite this, the safety car period helped to stabilize things as Reeve kept the lead at the restart and brought Burns with him. Throughout the remainder of the race, Reeve wasn’t able to extend his gap over Burns over a second and in an impressive display, was able to come home to score his first ever circuit racing victory with Specialized. Burns stuck close to grab a strong 2nd place, while Gooding was able to take 3rd place and crucial points towards his lead in the standings.

Behind the top 3, there was a great battle for 4th as Callum Hawkins-Row resisted consistent pressure from James Hillery, who did his best to try and overhaul the Jam-Sport man but had to settle for P5. Even so, it was James’ best result to date and hopefully signalled an upturn in his fortunes. The same could be said for Danny Harrison who scored one of his best finishes with 6th, ahead of Lewis Kent in 7th and Christopher Mackenzie in 8th, while Sikandar Hussain couldn’t better 9th and Lochlan Bearman struggled back home to 10th after also getting caught up in the first lap melee.

Moving into the second race and the rain that had been around all weekend in intermittent bursts had fallen before the start, leading all the Juniors to start on wet tyres. Reeve would start from pole for the first time alongside Burns, from Gooding and Hawkins-Row on an all Jam-Sport second row and Hillery and Harrison on the 3rd.

Burns was the better of the front row men off the line and led at the end of the first lap from Reeve, Gooding and Hawkins-Row, while Lewis Kent grabbed a rocket start to move into 6th by the end of the opening lap behind Harrison and ahead of Hillery. Out in front, Burns was able to hold a lead of over a second from Reeve behind, while Gooding made it up to 3rd past teammate Hawkins-Row and Bearman made steady progress into 5th and pulling away from Hillery in 6th. Bearman continued on as he picked off Hawkins-Row before putting one over Gooding too to move into 3rd.  Hawkins-Row appeared to be struggling with tyres and started to fall down the order, until lap 10 would be his last after both he and Harrison pitted and chose to retire.

Out in front, both Burns and Reeve had the measure of the rest of the field and maintained their advantages all the way until the end of the race. Burns swept through to take his second win of the season with Reeve taking another brilliant result with 2nd. It was more points lead consolidation from Gooding as another podium in 3rd helped him maintain his advantage. Bearman’s great run through the order netted him 4th ahead of Lewis Kent, while Hillery carried on his good momentum with 6th, ahead of the remainder of the top 10 completed by Mackenzie, Wilson, Pugh and Hussain.

The results help Gooding to push his points lead to just over 40 points over Wilson with Bearman just a couple of points behind in 3rd. This could be crucial as the final two meetings approach at Angelsey and Brands Hatch. That said, dropped scores are still going to play a very important role, especially if any of the frontrunners in the points hit trouble. That said, it should make for a very interesting spectacle when the Juniors head to North Wales and Anglesey in September for Rounds 13 and 14.

You can find the full breakdown of results from the Silverstone weekend via TSL Timing HERE.

Scott Woodwiss

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Current Standings

Driver Accrued Points Adjusted Total
1 Jack Davidson 336 335
2 James Hillery 337 315
3 Nicholas Reeve 315 315