Reeve (front, #12) has now pushed himself firmly into the title fight - Photo: Jon Elsey

Overcast conditions provided a gloomy backdrop for Rounds 9 & 10 of the 2017 BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship, however the racing on track was a polar opposite in comparison. Battles up and down the field ended up with one driver grabbing a double victory, while two more drivers saw the podium for the first time.

Championship leader Jack Davidson was keen to put the woes of his Rockingham weekend firmly behind him when first practice rolled around on Saturday morning, and promptly did so by securing fastest time in the session from Nicholas Reeve and Josh Hislop. However, the second session barely even saw any running as Josh Steed ended up upside down on his roof in the fields on the outside of Riches, stopping the session immediately. Despite a trip to the medical centre, Josh was fit to race on Sunday and finished both races.

In qualifying, Reeve stormed to pole position by 1.1 seconds from front row compatriot James Waite with Josh Hislop picking up his best ever grid spot with 3rd place. Points leader Davidson would start alongside him on the second row in 4th, while Lochlan Bearman and Scott Cansdale made up Row 3 with the top 10 completed by Olly Turner, Matt Greenwood, Jamie-Lea Hawley and the returning Warwick Daden. Home race favourite James Hillery, teammate to fellow local driver Cansdale, had to start 13th after a gearbox problem in qualifying left him without a timed lap. There was also a new name in the field as Danish debutant Magnus Kriklywi set the 11th fastest time in the session in his Race Car Consultants prepared car.

Reeve jumped into the lead from the start of Race 1 but was immediately tailed by Davidson throughout the opening laps, as the pair pulled away from Hislop who was comfortably holding his own in 3rd place ahead of Waite, Cansdale and Bearman. However, it would be lap 5 that would see the pivotal moment for the race as Davidson managed to forcefully find a way past Reeve for the lead. From there he would end up building a gap of just over 2 seconds by the flag, however that wouldn’t be the end of the story – Davidson was given a 5 second time penalty after the stewards deemed his move on Reeve for the lead included unnecessary contact.

Because of this, Reeve would inherit the win with Davidson demoted down to 2nd place, while Hislop would indeed hold on superbly to take his first circuit racing podium in 3rd. James Waite securd 4th place, while Lochlan Bearman cruelly had 5th snatched from him on the final lap when a mechanical issue forced him to stop on track and retire. Scott Candsale would therefore take a top 5 finish with Matt Greenwood 6th and Olly Turner 7th. James Hillery struggled his way to an 8th place finish, while Magnus Kriklywi scored a superb 9th place on his FJC debut; Josh Steed did come home 9th on the road but time penalties for exceeding track limits pushed him to the bottom of the top 10.

The second race saw Davidson take the lead on the opening lap on this occasion with Reeve still in tow as once again the top two began to pull away in a race of their own. The grey skies had opened a little between races leaving the circuit damp with drizzle in the air, meaning the drivers were finding it tricky at best in somewhat intermediate conditions. Reeve picked up the lead on Lap 4 but wasn’t able to pull away too far for the remainder of the race with Davidson hounding him for the rest of the way less than a second behind. Heading to the flag, Reeve did enough to secure the double in fine style from Davidson, but it was 3rd place where cause for celebration was greatest.

Starting in 7th place, Olly Turner was up two spots into 5th by the end of the opening lap. Despite losing 3 seconds to the front 4 on the next lap, Turner knuckled down and proceeded to find a great turn of pace to bring them back towards him. Catching and passing Waite on Lap 5, his nextmission was to snatch 3rd place from earlier podium scorer Hislop and, leaving it right down to the last lap, moved through to take an emotional first podium for his family and his team. His efforts also landed him the Driver of the Meeting for the second consecutive race weekend after picking it up at Rockingham last time.

Hislop was in danger of also losing 4th place on the last lap after Waite managed to chase him down, but the Race Car Consultants driver just held on to keep the position, while Waite picked up more valuable points in his bid to remain in the title chase. James Hillery seemed to have fully overcome his gearbox issues and picked up 6th place for his efforts, with teammate Scott Cansdale in tow in 7th ahead of Gustav Burton, Matthew Greenwood and a top 10 finish for Jamie-Lea Hawley.

Incredibly, the points situation has become even closer than it was before on dropped scores – Davidson still leads but only by a slender margin of 6 points, while a 3rd place duel is brewing between Waite and Hillery with just 4 points between the pair. The top 4 overall are only separated by just 26 points, meaning one bad result for any of them could have series connotations for the title race. It’s also close for 5th as Rockingham podium visitor Gus Burton hold the last top 5 spot, but he has Matt Greenwood and Josh Hislop for company as they’re separated by 10 points. Steed and Cansdale are only a point behind Bearman too, meaning these last 3 meetings are going to be crucial and above all else, incredibly fascinating!

Speaking of which, it’s time for a second visit to Silverstone once again as the National Circuit calls our Juniors once again on August 19/20. Those who remember what happened in May will know that Jack Davidson ran riot all weekend, so will it be de ja vu for his rivals or has the momentum swung elsewhere?

You can find a full breakdown of the results from Snetterton here - SNETTERTON 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