22 November 2018
Race Ace Hedley is the Come Back Kid Champion
James, a current Bournemouth Collegiate School Year 10 pupil has shown his pace in this years’ British Touring Car Championship Season. Ten podiums, three pole positions and breaking two lap records was enough to convince his team; Elite Motorsport to enter him into the challenging Ginetta Junior Winter Series Championship. This took place last weekend in the damp slippery autumn conditions at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, Kent. The Series consisted of two qualifying sessions and four races with extra points for fastest lap and pole positions.
Qualifying for James on the Saturday went badly as he slid off earlier in the session so could only managed 6th position on the grid. Race One was a tussle where he finished 4th. On Race 2, James made a fantastic start from 7th to reach 3rd position by the second corner. At the end of the first lap he went for the lead round Paddock Hill bend and the car hit some oil and went into the barrier on the left hand side at 100mph and slid across the track crashing into the other side. The red flags came out and James was visibly shaken and his Ginetta Junior car looked a write-off! The car was taken on a flatbed to the back of the pits and the race was restarted, without him. Less than two laps later there was another massive accident with red flags again and it was discovered there was oil all around the circuit. Just when it seemed that James’ chances were hopeless, the Clerk of the Course deemed Race 2 ‘null and void’ so no points were awarded. There was now a slim chance that James could win the Championship, so the dedicated mechanics worked all night to prepare his car for qualifying in the morning.
James didn’t fail to disappoint them and produced of the quickest times of the session, giving him Pole for both races and some much needed points! At the start of Race 3 he was pipped to the first corner, however, on the last corner, of the last lap James made a manoeuvre stick and went into the lead taking victory by 0.133 seconds. Race 4 was the final race of the day and the Team Managers instructions to James were clear....‘win at all costs’. After another long battle he got the lead half way through the race and pulled out a comfortable gap.
All the troubles of the previous day were soon forgotten as James became the Ginetta Junior Winter Series Champion of 2018! Congratulations James from all of us at BCS.
At the end of an exhausting weekend James said:
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