Junior Formulae

Middleton and Brown share wins at Brands Hatch

The title may have already been won, but there were still prizes up for grabs in the Ginetta Junior championship. Newly crowned champion Will Tregurtha was sitting out of the round, leaving those battling for second and third place with one less person to fight against.

Race One

Dave Wooder took pole in the qualifying session, but the weekend didn’t go quite to plan for the TCR driver. He found himself falling back at the start of the race, then made contact with multiple drivers and ended up in the gravel.

That brought out the red flag and, with other races running late earlier in the day, the race was postponed until the Sunday.

Early Saturday morning, the Ginetta Junior cars returned to the grid, Lewis Brown on pole and Harry King alongside him.

Straight off of the line Sebastian Perez was looking to move forward. The top three drivers came three abreast at the start of the race, but it was Perez who came out in the lead of the race.

Behind them, Greg Johnson had gotten into a bit of trouble, beaching himself in the gravel and bringing out the safety car.

Middleton had moved up to fourth before the safety car, and was right on King’s heels on the restart. The rookie driver ran deep into Surtees, allowing Middleton to run alongside the Elite Motorsport driver, but Middleton couldn’t get past him.

At the front of the field, Brown was still pushing to get past Perez, finding a way past the JHR Developments driver. Perez fell back into the King/Middleton battle. Middleton was finally able to find his way past King and into second place, whilst King remained stuck behind Perez.

As Middleton chased after the race leader, King was trying to find a way past Perez. The two were running nose to tail. There looked like a chance for King to get past when Perez ran onto the grass, but King also ran wide, breaking late and staying fourth.

Charlie Fagg and Oli Caldwell also wanted in on the action, and were able to catch up with the pair. Both were able to get past King when he ran onto the grass again.

Meanwhile, Middleton was still trying to get past Brown at the front of the field. The Douglas Motorsport driver came alongside Brown, trying to get past on the inside, but Brown stayed ahead. He tried to find another way to get past, but Brown defended the outside line well and Middleton couldn’t find a way to get alongside him.

On the final run down to the line, Middleton was able to get alongside Brown, making it a drag race to the flag. Middleton just got ahead of the race leader, getting his nose ahead and taking the race win.

Race Two

The pair got a chance to resume their battle in the second race of the day. Both Middleton and Brown got good starts. Though Perez was able to keep up with them, he couldn’t get alongside. There was nothing between Middleton and Brown through the opening stages of the race, the pair of them overlapping, but Brown couldn’t quite get alongside.

It looked like fans were going to be in for eight laps of epic battles between the two of them, but that was put on hold when the safety car was brought out.

Harry Dyson had spun into the gravel, and the car was stuck there.

The fight for the lead of the race restarted immediately after the safety car returned to the pits. Middleton managed to get a good start, but he couldn’t shake Brown.

It wasn’t until Middleton put a tyre on the grass and ran wide that Brown was able to get past. It didn’t take long for Middleton to retake the lead though, but it did bring
King into the battle. The rookie managed to get past Brown and was challenging Middleton. He got alongside the Douglas Motorsport driver and through into the lead of the race, only for Brown to snatch the position back.

King wasn’t about to give up though, sneaking past Brown and back into the lead of the race after only a few corners. He was finally able to get cleanly ahead, defending hard against Brown, but it wasn’t going to last.

Brown managed to get through, retaking the lead once again, and leaving King to battle with Middleton. The three continued to run together until the end of the race, still swapping places back and forth, but Brown ended the race in the lead, followed by King and Middleton.

Middleton’s impressive performance meant he secured second in the championship, with Brown taking third and Wooder fourth.

Image credit: Caroline Rhea

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