Seb Morris is champion as Murray and Robertson share Brands Hatch wins

A maiden win for Niall Murray and a spectacular win for Charlie Robertson could not steal the limelight from Seb Morris at Brands Hatch last weekend, as he deservedly wrapped up the 2011 Ginetta Junior Championship title that he has dominated from the start.

In qualifying however these names were left fairly quiet from the action, as George Gamble wrapped up two pole positions and was joined on the front row for race one by Jake Giddings, while Morris simply had to survive from fifth on the grid.

Later that Saturday evening, TJ Motorsport’s Gamble made a great start to lead the way while Sennan Fielding jumped Giddings into Paddock Hill Bend, but Morris’ title contender Charlie Robertson was a first lap victim when he was tapped into a half-spin at Graham Bend, dropping him down to 10th while Morris slipped to seventh.

On lap four the lead changed hands as Fielding dived inside Gamble into Druids, but the pair began to get stuvbborn in their battle and when Gamble fought back on the GP loop they came together, Gamble retiring while Fielding spun down to last, gifting the lead to Giddings ahead of Tom Howard and Niall Murray.

Howard then disappeared into the pits to retire from the race, leaving Murray to attack the new leader before he made a move at Druids on lap six which continued to Graham Hill where Giddings edged the Irishman wide, although a lap later Murray made his move stick with Morris following him through into second.

With two laps to go Morris needed to just sit where he was for the championship, but wanted to do it with victory and decided to snatch his chance to take the lead at Druids, but Murray repeated the move on the final lap which followed up with contact between the pair, allowing Morris to controversially take the lead back where he cruised to the flag with his fist pumping in the car.

Or be it he thought he had won the race. Stewards had a look at the incident between the two that meant Murray had to settle for second initially, and decided to hand Morris a three second penalty that dropped him behind Beacon Racing’s Murray who scored the maiden win of his debut season.

Morris therefore finished second, but that was enough to clinch the championship he so badly wanted.

Max Coates fought through the field from 11th to a fantastic third ahead of the recovering Robertson, while Giddings was fifth ahead of Brad Bailey, Oliver Chadwick and Patrick McClughan.

The second race was chaos right from the word go, and Fielding effectively found himself on pole as Gamble did not even make the start due to mechanical difficulties. As the lights went out, Fielding did not make a good getaway but HHC Motorsport’s Myles Collin certainly did, slipping up the inside of everybody into Paddock Hill to lead from the fifth slot on the grid ahead of Bailey who had started from the fourth.

Fielding found himself fending off Howard for third but the pair made contact through Paddock Hill and speared off into the barriers, promoting Tollbar Racing’s Will Foster to third ahead of the slow-starting Robertson.

The pair then went three abreast down the back straight with Giddings on the outside sweeping through to third at Hawthorn, while Foster got into a big spin through the gravel before being unceremoniously slammed into by the damaged car of Fielding who ran wide limping back to the pits too quickly.

Giddings was soon under attack for third and Robertson and Morris worked their way past the FML driver by squeezing inside at Druids after Giddings couldn’t quite get by Bailey in the same way just previously. Giddings briefly took back fourth from Morris at Hawthorn, but then lost it back again at Clearways.

Bailey and Robertson began hunting down Collins for first, and the HHC driver made a critical error on the penultimate lap carrying too much speed through Paddock, clipping the gravel and spinning across the track causing Bailey to take to the gravel in avoidance, gifting the lead to Collins’ team-mate Robertson and second to the already-crowned Morris.

Morris wasn’t finished with Robertson however and gave the Scot a real fight on the last lap, but he held on to claim his third win of the season ahead of the new champion Morris, with Murray snatching third from the dramas ahead of the unlucky Bailey in fourth place missing the podium.

Behind them were Giddings, Coates and the unfortunate Collins next up, ahead of rookie William Palmer and Declan Jones rounding out the finishers.

Morris meanwhile celebrated his championship, telling ITV4: “It’s not really sunk in yet and that’s a great race to finish it off.”

“It was a lot of fun but I tried to stay a bit safe. Me and the team just worked really hard all the way through the season it really paid off, I’d like to thank everyone in team Seb. It’s been a great learning year, everyone has ust got a bit better every round and then I’ve managed to get a bit better. I feel like an old veteran!”

Discussing the future, he said: “We’re hoping to go down the single seater route, so we’ll see what happens.”


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