Waite (#17) & Cansdale (#6, second car in shot) joined the long list of FJC race winners - Photo: James Roberts

Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby marked the half way stage of the 2017 BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship on a hot and sunny weekend that saw two new race winners come to fruition, taking this year’s total up to 5 so far, while the championship leader suffered major issues.

Practice and qualifying looked as though it would be business as usual for Jam-Sport’s Jack Davidson, as the young Scotsman topped the times in FP1 before going on to secure pole position, but not by such a comfortable margin. Stable mate James Waite just missed out by a mere 0.005 seconds to line up on the front row, ahead of the ever improving Scott Cansdale and Nicholas Reeve. Josh Hislop and Harry Gooding would start on Row 3 from Josh Steed and James Hillery.

But there was drama before the race even got underway – a mechanical issue just after the start of the formation lap left Jack Davidson’s car stranded on the exit of the Turn 1 banking and out on the spot. This disaster for the championship leader now left James Waite taking up “pole” by default, however Cansdale was wrongly moved alongside him on the front row by a marshall – something that would come back to haunt him later.

Incredibly neither of them would lead the opening lap after the start as reigning champion Harry Gooding shot into the lead from the third row and held on for the first 3 laps from Waite and the HW Racing pair of Hillery and Cansdale. Waite then made it through to the lead on Lap 4 before Gooding was forced into the pits with problems of his own, ending his race after 5 laps. From here on in, Waite was able to drive practically unchallenged at the front as he maintained a lead of almost 2 seconds. This would see him head to the flag and take his first ever Fiesta Junior victory after a multitude of podium finishes, making him the 4th different winner of the 2017 season and the 3rd first time winner of the year too.

The drama wasn’t over just yet, however. Remember Scott Cansdale was moved towards the front row by a marshal on the grid? Sadly, Cansdale was given a 10 second penalty for starting out of position because of it, so teammate James Hillery inherited 2nd place while Jam-Sport driver Gus Burton picked up his first FJC podium with 3rd. Cansdale’s penalty pushed him down to 4th in the result ahead of Josh Steed, who scored a personal best result of 5th position in what had turned out to be an attrition-filled first race. Nicholas Reeve’s race wouldn’t even last an entire lap as issues put him out of the race and left him to start at the back of the grid for Race 2.

Waite and Hillery lined up on the front row for the second race from Burton and Cansdale, with Steed and Bearman on the third row and Matt Greenwood lining up alongside Josh Hislop on Row 4. Waite initially got a great start and was able to extend a lead of 1.3 seconds by the end of the opening lap, but Cansdale’s pace was evident and over the next couple of laps he closed in on the leader. Eventually Lap 5 was the moment of truth as Cansdale made the move to hit the front and from there, he wasted no time in pulling out a gap.

He wouldn’t be toppled for the remainder of the race and, like Waite earlier in the day, secured his first victory of his circuit racing career to the delight of his team. Waite managed to clinch 2nd place while Hillery made sure HW Racing had more cause to celebrate with 3rd place, making it two podium visits for the weekend for the #4 car. Nicholas Reeve put in a stellar driver from the back of the grid to score a superb 4th place for his efforts, while another driver scored their best ever result to date as Olly Turner picked up an excellent 5th, beating his champion team-mate Harry Gooding. As for Jack Davidson? Well, he too had to start at the back and did get away this time and charged up the order as high as 4th, before more mechanical woes forced him to leave Rockingham with zero points – a weekend truly to forget.

With dropped scores fully in force now, Davidson’s saving grace is that he doesn’t lose any points as this weekend will count as his two dropped scores for the time being. However, his advantage has now been slashed down to 12 points with Nicholas Reeve closing in further. James Waite and James Hillery are level on points in 3rd with 165 each, however Waite’s stronger results overall leave him ahead of the HW Racing driver. Lochlan Bearman is still 5th despite a quieter Rockingham weekend than expected, with Gus Burton and Matt Greenwood trailing behind in 6th and 7th. Josh Steed is up to 8th, Josh Hislop sits 9th and thanks to his recent results Scott Cansdale now breaks into the top 10 for the first time with the premise of progressing further up the table.

Now we move into the second half of the season and a period where every single result well and truly counts now. One slip up from any of the frontrunners could blow the title race wide open and while Davidson is still points leader, Rockingham showed that even he’s not immune to running into trouble. Let’s see what Snetterton in Norfolk on July 15/16 has in store as the Fiesta Juniors get back to the track!

A full breakdown of the Rockingham results can be found here – ROCKINGHAM RESULTS

Scott Woodwiss

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Current Standings

Driver Accrued Points Adjusted Total
1 James Waite 598 568
2 Magnus Kriklywi 567 567
3 Josh Steed 498 498