Reeve took his second career win in FJC from pole in Race 1 - Photo: James Roberts

Heading into the second meeting of the season for the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship for 2017, the drivers ventured into a rather unique challenge – a circuit that none of them had ever tackled before. The venue in question? The fearsome Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire, a track that demands those who try to tame it to take no liberties whatsoever. That said, the racing was close and competitive all the way.

While points leader Jack Davidson and Nicholas Reeve topped the practice sessions, it was left for the latter to win the march for pole position come qualifying first thing on Sunday morning. He was almost a tenth clear of James Waite, while the big news from the paddock was the return of reigning champion Harry Gooding. A late change in plans saw him make a return to the championship and he wasted no time in showing his pace again. He qualified 3rd despite having not driven the car since Brands Hatch back in October last year, with James Hillery 4th fastest as he sat 2nd in points entering the weekend.

Lochlan Bearman and Matthew Greenwood lined up on Row 3 ahead of their Jam-Sport teammates Gustav Burton and Olly Turner, with Josh Hislop and Josh Steed completing the top 10. As for Jack Davidson, he had an off during the session which forced his team to go into overdrive to get his car repaired in time for the first race. Incredibly, they only just managed it with moments to spare.

There was more drama even before the race started as at the start of the green flag lap, 4th placed James Hillery’s driveshaft broke leaving him stranded on the grid. Unable to fix the problem straight away, Hillery’s car was push behind the pitwall, forcing him to miss the race. When it did get underway, Reeve quickly sprinted into an early lead before a Code 60 brought a halt to proceedings for two laps, after a collision between Turner and Warwick Daden left the former stranded on track just before The Mountain and on the spot, while the latter cruised back to the pits with damage.

When the green flag reappeared, Reeve maintained and increased his lead further as the laps went on. Waite was maintaining a comfortable 2nd from Lochlan Bearman in 3rd. Behind them, Davidson was absolutely flying as he picked off the cars in front of him one by one and eventually sailed onto the back of the looming 2nd place battle by the closing stages. Alas, by this time the race was practically over and his chance of making it onto the podium on this occasion was gone. That said, 4th from the back of the grid is nothing to be sniffed at!

Reeve duly went to be the 3rd different winner from the first 3 races and did so with a 2.2 second advantage. Waite and Bearman remained as they were to complete the podium with the aforementioned Davidson locked on behind them in 4th. Gustav Burton rounded off the top 5, which was all the more impressive given that he finished ahead of reigning champ Gooding after the #1 had a shaky start. Matt Greenwood took the flag in 7th ahead of Josh Steed, Josh Hislop and Bradley Kent.

For Race 2, the top 10 was a direct reflection of the Race 1 results with Reeve on pole alongside Waite with Bearman and Davidson behind, the last of the 4 looking very deadly off the back of his Race 1 pace. When the start did come, it would indeed by Davidson who took the lead but only for a couple of laps, as Lap 3 would prove to be his downfall with a major mistake. This would cost him dearly, pushing him down to 7th and with more work to do.

Meanwhile a lightning getaway from James Hillery had seen him storm off the line go from 14th to 5th by the end of lap 1! This became 4th after Davidson’s mistake and so the race began to quickly settle into a rhythm. Reeve eventually built up a lead of over 2 seconds, while Waite and Bearman were locked in combat halfway through for 2nd place. Eventually, a slip up from Waite saw him drop to 3rd, which then became 4th thanks to the charging Davidson. By Lap 8, Davidson was into 2nd place at Bearman’s expense and immediately tearing into Reeve’s advantage with clear track. On the penultimate lap, the deed was done as Reeve’s best efforts couldn’t stop the young Scotsman powering through to eventually take a fine victory after a tricky recovery drive.

Reeve firmly held on to second place but the fight for 3rd on the last lap intensified as Lochlan Bearman reversed a last minute passing attempt from James Hillery with a couple of corners to go to remain on the podium, but a drive that matched Davidson’s Race 1 performance to take 4th was enough for Hillery after his Race 1 startline woes. Reigning champion Gooding took home a top 5 for his troubles to complete his first weekend back with fellow Jam-Sport runners Gus Burton, James Waite (pushed down to 7th after a 5 second penalty for track limits) and Matt Greenwood. Josh Hislop and Warwick Daden finished off the top 10 runners.

The points table leaving Cadwell gives Davidson a slender 3 point lead over Reeve after 4 races, with a further definitive 11 point margin over the 3rd place duel between Waite and Bearman; just 4 point separates that scrap. Matt Greenwood and Josh Steed’s consistent points scoring have helped them reach 5th and 6th respectively at this early stage, while Brands winner Hillery will rue losing points in Race 1 here as he slips to 7th. Josh Hislop, Warwick Daden and Bradley Kent complete the top 10, while returning champ Gooding has already popped into 12th after a careful start to his title defence.

Next up for the Juniors is the National circuit at Silverstone, the Home of British Motorsport, for Rounds 5 and 6 on May 27/28. This was a happy hunting ground for Reeve last season as he secured his first FJC win on his visit last year, while Gooding was also victorious at the same venue albeit on the International loop early in the campaign. Nonetheless, it’s a circuit that is simple to drive yet tricky to master. Join us there for the 3rd instalment of the story of the 2017 season!

The TSL Timing files are available for the full breakdown of the meeting’s results HERE.

Scott Woodwiss

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Driver Accrued Points Adjusted Total
1 James Waite 334 304
2 Magnus Kriklywi 290 290
3 Isaac Smith 256 256