Junior Formulae

Gamble crowned Ginetta Junior champion

Tom Gamble secured the Ginetta Junior title with a race to spare in the season finale at Brands Hatch.

Rival Sebastien Priaulx closed the gap slightly with a victory in the opening race, but a podium in race two took Gamble out of reach of his former team-mate.

Race one started almost perfectly for Priaulx, who secured pole in a wet qualifying. Gamble and Dan Harper collided on the opening lap as Harper tried to find a way past, sending both through the gravel and tumbling down the order.

The safety car was brought out for a separate incident involving Charlie Digby and Matt Luff, allowing the two title contenders to close in on the back of the field.

On the restart, Harry King snatched the race lead whilst Harper climbed up to sixth. It was a slower move up through the field for Gamble, but the championship leader eventually found himself seventh.

Priaulx kept King under pressure but waited until the final lap to pull a daring move. The HHC Motorsport driver was on the grass, in the gravel, but managed to stay in control of his Ginetta and pass King. King pulled up alongside Priaulx again, putting two wheels in the gravel, but couldn’t get back past.

Priaulx claimed the victory ahead of King and Kieren Jewiss, who had been forced to defend against Tom Wood before the more experienced driver ran wide in the closing stages of the race.

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Harper took fifth, behind Adam Smalley.

Gamble was back on the front row of the grid for race two, alongside King and ahead of Priaulx and Harper. The championship leader shot into the lead off the line, leaving King to battle with Harper and Jewiss.

The trio swapped places back and forth, allowing Gamble to pull away before a wide moment for put him right back in the battle. Harper put up the toughest fight for Gamble, taking the race lead and defending well to keep the Elite Motorsport man behind him. Gamble couldn’t find a way past, but managed to stay ahead of King to take second.

It was enough to award Gamble the title, with Priaulx struggling throughout the race. Jewiss past him off the line to take fourth and, though he later found a way back past, he couldn’t shake the rookie. The pair swapped places a handful of times before Priaulx ran wide and was sent tumbling down the order. Finishing fifth meant Priaulx wouldn’t be able to take the title, even though Gamble didn’t compete in the final face of the championship.

The final race of the season was delayed after a multi-car collision involving Luff, Smalley, Greg Johnson, and Luke Browning on the grid brought out the red flag.

When the race eventually started, Priaulx shot past King and immediately put pole sitter Harper under pressure. He couldn’t find a way past Harper and ran wide after trying to pull alongside, dropping him down the order.

King was promoted to second, and closed in on Harper, but couldn’t challenge the race leader, settling for second for the second time of the weekend.

Behind them, Wood, Jewiss, Louis Foster, and Priaulx were all battling for third. At one point running three abreast, Wood won the battle for the podium with Priaulx just behind him.

Jewiss’ fifth place, ahead of James Hedley, secured the Douglas Motorsport driver the rookie title.

Image credit: Caroline Rhea

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