Gamble takes thriller while Seb wins another to close in on Junior titlePosted: September 9, 2011
2011 Ginetta Junior champion in-the-waiting Seb Morris claimed his tenth win of the season at Knockhill last weekend to close in on the title, sharing the spoils with George Gamble who won a crazy Sunday race.
Morris was pipped by Gamble to pole position for both races on Saturday but the Welsh teenager was agin superb when it came to round thirteen later in the evening.
The Hillspeed driver made a good start from second on the grid and immediately began to put pressure on Gamble, who managed to hang onto his pole position put under intense pressure from his main rival.
Gamble eventually cracked under the pressure from Morris and when the TJ Motorsport driver made and early race mistake, Morris was quick to capitalize and moved into the lead of the race.
The championship leader then did his usual trick of building an early lead of three seconds before a safety car period. At the restart, he was able to control the race and take his tenth win of the season ahead of Gamble despite a late charge from the latter.
The pair where joined on the podium by the other Hillspeed driver Struan Moore, who picked up another strong result in a season that has got better for him significantly as it has progressed.
Morris again started from second on the grid, but this time Gamble again held the lead from pole position and was not to be denied. A strong first lap gave him a gap out front and left Morris to fight off Tom Howard, who was quickly handed a drive-through penalty for a jump start.
This should have put Morris in a more secure second place but on lap two the 15 year-old made a rare mistake when he outbraked himself into Scotsman’s corner and ran wide, dropping to eighth place as he trudged through the gravel and back onto the circuit, almost collecting William Foster in the process.
There was plenty of chaos further back in the pack at the start of the next lap, when Declan Jones won a three-abreast battle on the brakes into turn one that saw Max Coates spinning after making contact with Oliver Chadwick that made Foster have to make another swift piece of avoiding action.
Niall Murray slipped back from third to fourth after he was out-dragged on lap four down the straight, while Howard then began attacking Gamble for the lead despite the drive-through still yet to be taken. Gamble sensibly allowed the Tollbar driver through at the hairpin before Howard almost lost it with a huge moment through the chicane saw the positions swap back again.
After a safety car to remove the JHR Developments car of Christie Doran which had spun and stalled at Leslie’s, Gamble headed the field while Sennan Fielding took up second place after Howard took his penalty, before mayhem ensued.
A mistake at the second corner however cost him the place to Charlie Robertson and almost another to Moore, and then into the hairpin there was a mess as Fielding braked too late under pressure from Moore and clattered into Robertson, half-spinning the HHC driver and dropping to fifth in the train of cars. Brad Bailey then dropped out of the pack a corner later when he spun at the first corner.
Fielding recovered a place with a bold lunge on Morris at the hairpin that allowed Robertson to follow him and then take both Fielding AND Murray who sqeezed each other a corner later at Leslie’s, before Howard then tried to make a phenomenal move around the outside of three cars at the hairpin that ended in Fielding half-spinning him as well.
Howard’s race ended a lap later when he again made a mistake at the chicane, tearing the front off his Tollbar Junior in the gravel trap and parking it against the tyre barrier.
In a world of his own, Gamble cruised home to a third win of the season by 2.6s ahead of Moore and the recovering Robertson, ahead of Murray in fourth place.
Jones meanwhile had driven brilliantly to find himself in sixth entering the last lap and tried to pass Myles Collins for fifth around the outside at turn one. He ran too deep and bounced through the gravel, but held on to take fifth ahead of Morris and Collins, while Fielding trailed home ninth with damage.
The top six finish for Morris still means he heads into the remaining six races with a huge advantage of 100 points in the championship as he looks set to go one better from his Junior Winter series title win.
Championship standings after rounds 13/14:
1: Seb Morris, 437
2: George Gamble, 337
3: Charlie Robertson, 311
4: William Foster, 257
5: Max Coates, 225
6: Tom Howard, 217