DAVIDSON COMPLETES ANOTHER SILVERSTONE GRAND SLAM

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Two more victories takes Davidson one step closer to the 2017 FJC title - Photo: James Roberts

It was clear that heading into this past weekend’s second visit of the season to the Silverstone National circuit for the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship, that many expected championship leader Jack Davidson to once again post an overall performance much akin to that of his domination back in May on his first visit. As it turned out, he didn’t disappoint.

After topping both practice sessions, Davidson continued exerting his authority over the rest of the field by dutifully taking pole position in the process. He did so by just over 3 tenths of a second from key championship rival Nicholas Reeve, eager to continue his run of form from his double victory at the previous rounds at Snetterton. Thanks to this, he only sat 6 points behind going into the weekend. Row 2 saw two more familiar faces towards the front with James Waite alongside Scott Cansdale, both drivers that took their first ever wins at Rockingham, while Josh Hislop and Matthew Greenwood continued to show improved pace on the third row. Jam-Sport teammates Gus Burton and Olly Turner made up Row 4, while Jamie-Lea Hawley put in one of her best qualifying performances of the season with 9th ahead of an off the pace James Hillery in 10th.

Davidson held the lead from pole in the opening couple of laps from Reeve, but on Lap 3 Reeve’s weekend would take a severe nosedive. Into Brooklands, his car slowed with what was suspected to be either a gearbox or engine problem leaving him stranded on the grass at Luffield and out of the race. This was a major blow to his title charge as he sat on the side lines watching his rivals collecting valuable points.

In the lead, Davidson’s nearest challenger became Scott Cansdale with the gap between the top 2 remaining under a second over the next few laps. Eventually, Scott couldn’t hold onto Davidson’s pace much longer and the young Scotsman went on to extend his advantage over the HW Racing driver by at least half a second a lap. By the time the chequered flag came out, Davidson scored victory by over 7 seconds on a circuit he stated wasn’t his favourite! Cansdale picked up a strong 2nd place, while 3rd quietly went to James Waite who kept his nose firmly out of trouble and score a vital result in his quest for 2nd in the standings.

Gustav Burton and Olly Turner managed to work their way through a busy midfield behind the top 3 to wind up 4th and 5th positions respectively, as did James Hillery to pick up a solid 6th despite just pipping Josh Steed to the line to secure it. Steed himself would have been relatively pleased with 7th place in a car rebuilt after his Snetterton excursion into a wheat field on its roof in practice, but Matthew Greenwood would have hoped for more than 8th despite starting on the 3rd row. Jamie-Lea Hawley picked up another hard-earned top 10 in 9th, while Magnus Kriklywi began his second FJC weekend with his second top 10 finish in only his 3rd race.

Race 2 provided a talking point before the race had even begun – in a frantic effort to get his car repaired and ready to race once again, Specialized Motorsport went into overdrive to change Nicholas Reeve’s engine. Despite just making it to the assembly area in time, a small oil leak caused a last minute scramble to fix the issue. Alas, it was not to be as time ran out and Reeve was sadly forced to watch from pit lane once again and saw his weekend end prematurely with zero points.

Davidson started on pole once more with Cansdale on the front row, ahead of a trifecta of Jam-Sport teammates in Waite, Burton and Turner. Hillery lined up 6th from a 4th row made up of Steed and Greenwood, while Hawley and Kriklywi completed the top 10 starters.

From the off, it was practically more of the same from Race 1 as Davidson jumped into the lead as he pleased with Cansdale attempting to give chance behind him. Waite also settled into 3rd place and from there the top 3 remained virtually unchanged and unchallenged. However, the talking point of the race would come from the battle for 4th between Gus Burton and Olly Turner. In the opening laps, the pair were split by James Hillery’s HW Racing machine before Turner usurped him for 5th. Through the next few racing laps, Turner kept close to Burton in his pursuit of another top 5 finish, but at the end of lap 8 on the pit straight, it all changed. Slight contact between the two teammates sent one bouncing off the pit wall, into the outside barrier and back into each other causing damage to both cars and leaving them stranded in the middle of the track. Because of this, the red flag was instantly called and the race was stopped immediately.

With the recovery process of both cars in action and both drivers out of the car seemingly shaken but OK, the decision was made to declare a result. Therefore, the top 3 on the podium remained a carbon copy of Race 1 -  Davidson completed another Silverstone double with victory, Cansdale scored another superb 2nd place and James Waite kept his formidable run of points finishes ongoing with 3rd. Due to Burton and Turner not running at the time of the red flag, James Hillery was handed 4th place and vital points towards his top 5 ambitions, with Josh Steed equally as pleased with 5th just behind. Matt Greenwood scored 6th place from Josh Hislop, while Jamie-Lea Hawley, Magnus Kriklywi and Thomas Horton rounded off the top 10 finishers.

Davidson’s lead in the championship is now 32 points, but it’s James Waite wo has now moved into 2nd place thanks to Reeve’s double retirement disaster. In fact, Reeve has now slipped to 4th as James Hillery takes over the final podium spot in the standings. The gap between the top 3 is 40 points, with Reeve now a further 4 behind Hillery. This means the final 4 races will be make or break for his title charge and he will know that every one of those 4 results has to count. Matt Greenwood currently completes the top 5, while Scott Cansdale’s very satisfying weekend will mean P6 in the standings should raise a smile or two with his team. Josh Hislop is now 7th ahead of Josh Steed, while the rest of the season hangs in the balance for both Gus Burton and Olly Turner in the top 10 as both are in a race against time to get their cars fixed for the next round.

Speaking of which, the Fiesta Juniors now get set to break new ground, as for the first time in the championship’s history, our young racers will travel to North Yorkshire and the superbly unique Croft circuit. A venue that provides long straights, a mix of high to medium speed corners and little to no elevation changes with a flat track, this will be a stern test on a circuit used by the BTCC since 1997. Who knows just who will have the advantage here, but you can be certain our Juniors will want to try and emulate their tin top heroes here (for all the right reasons!) as we edge ever close to the season finale in October.

Scott Woodwiss

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Last Race

Donington Park 14th - 15th Oct 2017

Current Standings

Driver Accrued Points Adjusted Total
1 Jack Davidson 392 391
2 Nicholas Reeve 378 378
3 James Hillery 364 364