The Scottish highlands hosted the latest round of the Ginetta Junior Championship and a stunning performance saw Alex narrowly miss a podium position.
The picturesque and challenging Scottish circuit of Knockhill, which was celebrating its 40th Anniversary over the bank holiday weekend, was a new challenge for Alex. Like a true warrior, he attacked the circuit with a brave heart and throughout free practice was near the top of the timing sheets.
“The knockhill circuit is a really challenging and testing circuit as it weaves up and down the hillside. In free practice, we found a great set up on the car and I was able to finish the session 0.1 seconds off the fastest time; for my first visit this was fantastic,” commented Alex.
In typical Scottish fashion, the sunny weather experienced in free practice changed and the 15 minute qualifying session started on a wet track after a number of heavy showers. With track conditions changing fast, Alex had to pit so his team could change the set-up on his Carlube MIS Ginetta after only a few laps. Back on track with only enough time to do three laps he pushed as hard as he could, recording the 8th fastest time on his first flying lap just 0.2 seconds off the eventual pole position. With one more chance he set a quicker sector time; he then put a wheel on the grass losing time so he would not be able to improve further.
As the 17 Ginetta junior cars lined up on the grid for the 12 lap race the track was dry but a few dark clouds loitered over the circuit.
A strong start saw Alex in 7th as the first lap was completed. A fantastic move into the hairpin at the end of the second lap saw him move up in to 5th place.
Unfortunately, another driver lost control of their car and the safety car was deployed so the car could be recovered, closing the field back up. As the safety car pulled off, Alex got a good start and retained his fifth place. As the front three cars pulled away, Alex pulled off another amazing overtake to move into fourth place, 2.5 seconds behind the third placed driver and front row starter, team mate Senna Proctor. Lap by lap he brought the gap down setting the fastest lap of the race on lap 11 to catch his team mate and pass him as they started the final lap.
As the two cars entered the final corner Alex was still leading but, as the cars raced out of the uphill corner, Alex was pipped to the line by his team mate by less than a bonnet’s width.
“I pushed as hard as I could and caught Senna up as he approached the final hairpin. I braked later and managed to get inside him and lead out of the corner and over the line for the last lap. As the cars are so evenly matched I had to defend my position and as we entered the hairpin again for the last time, I held a tight line but Senna managed to force his car down the inside putting him just in front. I got a run on him out of the corner but it was not enough. It was great to get my best result so far on such a challenging track and so close to a podium,” reflected Alex.
Race 2 saw Alex again demonstrate all his racing skills as he moved through the field from his 6th row starting position to 8th place as the cars entered the final lap. As the cars behind fought for position Alex was forced wide into the gravel at the edge of the track. He managed to get back onto the track and crossed the line in 11th place overall.
Alex’s strong result in Race 1 has strengthened his 10th position in the overall championship and he is now only 2 points behind 9th place, as the Championship moves to Rockingham for the next round in 2 weeks' time.