James Taylor took his maiden Ginetta Junior victory in treacherous conditions during the opening race of the season.
After a damp qualifying, the Brands Hatch Indy circuit was even wetter for the race, but Taylor stayed in control of his car – and the race – to take a lights to flag win.
Taylor was challenged off the line by Ethan Hawkey, who made a strong start from fourth on the grid. The Total Control Racing driver pulled alongside Taylor, taking the outside line at Paddock Hill Bend, but lost control of his car in the slippery conditions and beached his Ginetta in the gravel.
The safety car was called to neutralise the field as Roman Bilinski also beached his car further down Hailwoods Hill. Bailey Vosin also suffered a half spin, dropping to the back of the field, while Ethan Brooks managed a complete 360 while behind the safety car.
Racing resumed with Taylor leading Douglas Motorsport duo Lorcan Hanafin and Gus Burton.
Taylor was able to pull away from the rest of the field as Hanafin, Burton, and Zak O’Sullivan battled for the podium positions, but came under pressure from O’Sullivan in the closing laps.
O’Sullivan ran out of laps before he could make a move on the Richardson Racing driver, and Taylor took the victory by half a second.
Hanafin dropped down the order after he span and hit the tyre barriers. Another safety car was avoided as the Douglas Racing driver bounced off the barriers and managed to keep going, crossing the line P9.
Burton also suffered from a late race mistake, running wide on the penultimate lap and dropping to fifth.
The mistakes allowed James Hedley to take the final podium paying position, though he finished three seconds behind Taylor.
Theo Edgerton took fourth, ahead of Burton, Will Martin, and Casper Stevenson.
Tom Emson, Hanafin, and Harry Dyson rounded out the top 10.
|1||James Taylor||66||Richardson Racing||20m50.387s (16 Laps)|
|2||Zak O’Sullivan||51||Douglas Motorsport||+0.595s|
|3||James Hedley||67||Elite Motorsport||+3.123s|
|4||Theo Edgerton||54||Total Control Racing||+4.113s|
|5||Gus Burton||57||Douglas Motorsport||+5.210s|
|6||Will Martin||10||Richardson Racing||+6.754s|
|7||Casper Stevenson||25||Richardson Racing||+7.441s|
|8||Tom Emson||27||Elite Motorsport||+7.652s|
|9||Lorcan Hanafin||23||Douglas Motorsport||+11.795s|
|10||Harry Dyson||20||Premiership Academy||+14.962s|
|11||Josh Rattican||21||R Racing/In2Racing||+15.195s|
|12||Ben O’Hare||95||Premiership Academy||+15.154s|
|13||Joel Pearson||29||Elite Motorsport||+19.107s|
|14||Daniel Gale||68||Total Control Racing||+33.398s|
|15||Frankie Taylor||32||SVG Motorsport||+36.721s|
|16||Bailey Vosin||22||Douglas Motorsport||+40.469s|
|17||Charlie McLeod||37||Premiership Academy||+54.434s|
|19||Molly Dodd||47||Premiership Academy||+1m04.286s|
|20||Will Rochford||11||Total Control Racing||+1m08.740s|
|21||Ben Kasperczak||35||In2Racing||+1 Lap|
|DNF||Ethan Brooks||86||Total Control Racing||+15 Laps|
|DNF||Ethan Hawkey||40||Total Control Racing||+16 Laps|
|DNF||Roman Bilinski||55||In2Racing||+16 Laps|
Image Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography