Murray wins again at Silverstone as Fielding takes first successPosted: October 23, 2011
The final two races of the 2011 Ginetta Junior championship brought a thrilling and fitting end to a great season, with Sennan Fielding taking his first win and Ireland’s Niall Murray securing his second of the season.
The Silverstone National circuit as ever provided fantastic racing all weekend, and on Saturday TG Motorsport were a team with plenty to smile about as their driver Brad Bailey took a double pole position for the pair of races in a constantly changing qualifying session, his first poles of the year.
The opening race started badly however for the polesitter as he went off in a poor first lap that meant he dropped well down to the back of the field, while front-row starter Murray made a perfect start to lead the field around the opening lap with Jake Giddings in second ahead of newly-crowned champion Seb Morris and TG Motorsport’s Fielding.
In the early stages of the race it was Fielding who was the man on the attack, forcing his way past Morris with a bold overtaking move at Brooklands, but Morris fought back straight away with a better run coming onto the start/finish straight to reclaim third place.
Morris then perked up after his battle with Fielding as he piled pressure onto FML driver Gidding for second, passing him on lap three before Fielding found a way past a lap later to demote Giddings to fourth.
Morris then caught up to race leader Murray and made a pass for the lead on lap seven, but the Beacon Racing driver fought back a lap later.
This allowed Fielding to join in the fun in a three-way dice for the win, and Morris again attempted to take the lead in the closing stages but bumped Murray and himself wide, allowing Fielding to cheekily snatch the lead.
The trio went on to the last lap locked together, and the pressure almost got to Fielding as a moment left the three cars running three abreast briefly, but Scholarship winner Fielding grimly hung on to win the scrap and his first ever Ginetta Junior win, by only 0.147s from Murray, with only half a second covering the top three with Morris in third.
The battle for fourth was a thriller meanwhile throughout the race, with Giddings making a mistake and the suffering a drive-through penalty that dropped him to an eventual 12th, while Tom Howard was spun out of the race by HHC Motorsport’s Charlie Robertson.
Through the trouble came George Gamble in fourth place, while Bailey recovered to fifth ahead of Robertson, Struan Moore, William Foster and and Max Coates, while William Palmer rounded out the top 10.
Bailey again started from pole for Sunday’s final race of the season, but he lost out to the fast-starting Murray at the start of the race before being caught napping under braking at Becketts by Morris to drop him to third.
As race one winner Fielding spun out at Brooklands from fourth place and promoted Coates to fourth, the lead pair of Irishman Murray and Wales’s Morris then fought out a superb battle to end the Junior season, which lastedt the entire 11 laps.
Morris started the battle with a move at Becketts on lap three, but Murray got a great run out of Luffield onto the pit straight to draw alongside retake the lead, the pair making side-to-side contact through Woodcote as Morris veered right into his rival’s door.
The dice soon became a five car battle for the win as Bailey went three-wide with the pair through Brooklands, and Morris again took the lead from Murray a few laps later with a great run out of Copse and into Becketts.
The epic scrap continued and Morris, no stranger to controversey regarding driving standards this season, began weaving slightly down the back straight under pressure from Murray, who then repeated his earlier move by getting a better run out of Luffield on lap eight to regain the position.
So like many Junior races this season it came down to the last lap. Murray lead through Copse and Morris tried to attack heading into Brooklands, but Murray was late under braking and held on, while behind there was absolute chaos as Gamble tried to pass Bailey but thumped him into a spin, Declan Jones and Coates being caught up in the collision also.
Morris got a good run out of Luffield, but it wasn’t enough as Dublin-based Murray took his second win of the year to add to his success at Brands Hatch. Third was inherited by Robertson, while fourth went to Hillspeed’s Moore, and fifth place to Foster.
A star performance came from Irish rookie Andrew Watson, drivng for HHC Motorsport. He was unlucky in the opening race but the Irish ginetta Junior series star drove brilliantly to net a sixth place finish on his second race in the series, ahead Tollbar Racing’s Howard and HHC’s Patrick McClughan, while Gamble and Bailey slipped to ninth and 10th after their incident.
Final championship standings:
1: Seb Morris, 562 – Champion
2: Charlie Robertson, 437
3: George Gamble, 383
4: Niall Murray, 356
5: William Foster, 310
6: Max Coates 309