With school out, the studying, however, doesn’t stop for Alex and all the hard work paid off this weekend with a 10 out of 10 performance at Snetterton.
The second half of this year’s BTCC Ginetta Junior support championship roared back into life at Snetterton last weekend. Having never raced at the circuit before, Alex spent the weeks before studying videos of the circuit and previous races to understand the circuit’s secrets.
All the preparation paid off when he qualified 9th for both the weekend’s races. As the nineteen young drivers lined up for the first race, the sunshine which had been enjoyed by the thousands of fans lining the circuit was washed aside as it started to rain.
Having mastered a dry Snetterton circuit, Alex now had to drive his Carlube & MIS sponsored Ginetta Junior car on a damp circuit with no previous knowledge to rely on. Starting in ninth place, he dropped down to 10th place by the end of the first lap. As the track dried, he proceeded to move through the field lap by lap. On lap four he was right
behind current championship leading driver, and team mate, Jack Mitchell, in 6th place.
The two teammates worked together and quickly caught the drivers in front when an incident further down the field resulted in the safety car being deployed. Unfortunately, a stranded car could not be recovered and the race ended under the safety car.
“It was a pity the safety car was deployed as we were catching the cars in front and had a good chance of a podium. I am really pleased with this 6th place as all the drivers in front of me have all being testing extensively around the circuit or raced here before,” explained Alex.
The second race on Sunday was run in front of a packed Snetterton circuit buzzing with thousands of motorsport fans enjoying the glorious British sunshine.
On a dry track, a fantastic start from 9th saw Alex move up one place before the first lap was even completed. Again his lack of circuit knowledge was not obvious as he went faster and faster each lap steadily moving through the field. As he caught and passed a group of much more established drivers he headed into the tight Agostini corner in a strong 6th place.
Unfortunately, one of the drivers behind made a mistake and crashed into the rear of Alex’s car spinning him off the track. Alex ended at the edge of the circuit with a stalled engine. As the engine did not re-fire straight away, he dropped down to 14th place by the time he got going again.
With only two laps remaining, he pushed the Carlube MIS Ginetta as hard as he could, setting his fastest lap on the last lap to claim one place back and cross the line in 13th place.
“It is disappointing to finish in 13th as we had the pace to easily run much higher up the order. I turned into the Agostini corner and then there was a big bang at the rear of the car and I was hit by the driver behind spinning me off the track. Then the engine stalled and it would not re-start so I lost time and places. Once it fired back up, all I could think of was to drive as hard as I could and get as many places back. If there had been more laps, I had the pace to have finished much higher. I am disappointed but considering I had not raced or tested at the circuit before, 6th in the first race is a great result,” remarked Alex.
Alex’s hard work was also rewarded as he has now moved into the top ten in the championship and is the fourth placed rookie driver. The next race is in three weeks, when the championship goes north of the border to the Scottish circuit at Knockhill.