Will Martin converted pole to victory in the first Ginetta Junior race of the weekend at Oulton Park.
The Richardson Racing driver was kept under pressure by championship leader James Hedley throughout the race, but a faultless driver denied Hedley a chance to take the lead.
Hedley attempted a dive up the inside of Martin on the final lap, but Martin held on to take his third win of the year.
Casper Stevenson and Lorcan Hanafin stuck with the leaders throughout the race, but were mostly occupied in the battle for P3. Stevenson passed Hanafin on the opening lap, but a strong move at the hairpin a few laps later allowed Hanafin to reclaim the position. The Douglas Motorsport run car seemed the quickest of the leading quartet, but a wide moment dropped Hanafin back down to fourth midway through the eight lap race, and he was unable to reclaim the podium position.
Stevenson finished just 0.635s behind race winner Martin, with Hanafin a further 0.294s behind.
After passing Gus Burton and Josh Rattican early on, Ethan Brooks spent most of the race trying to close the gap to the leaders. Despite setting the fastest lap of the race on the final lap, the Total Control Racing driver finished 0.6s behind the pack.
Further down the order, second in the championship Zak O’Sullivan was struggling to recover after a difficult qualifying. O’Sullivan, who switched teams to In2Racing ahead of the weekend, was running at the back end of the top 10 in the second half of the race, in the midst of the battle for P7.
He initially led the battle, but came under pressure from Joel Pearson, who was in turn trying to defend against Roman Bilinski and Tom Emson. O’Sullivan was shuffled backwards as Bilinski took the front of the battle, but a brave move around the outside of Cascades saw Emson sweep into the lead.
Once ahead, Emson began to pull away from the train of cars, closing the gap to Josh Rattican ahead. He ran out of laps before he could close in on the R Racing driver, settling for seventh.
Behind him, positions swapped at every corner and it wasn’t until the run up to the line that the order was decided. Bilinski finished eighth, ahead of Pearson and Daniel Gale, who joined the fiht in the closing laps.
O’Sullivan finished just outside the top 10 in P11.
Third in the championship James Taylor also endured a difficult race. The Richardson Racing driver started in the mid-field and became sandwiched between Ben Kasperczak and Bilinski on the opening lap after Kasperczak ran wide over the grass. Both Kasperczak and Taylor were sent off, with Taylor suffering enough damage to the front of his Ginetta to end his race.
The difficult races for O’Sullivan and Taylor means Hedley extends his lead at the front of the championship order by 20 points.
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|1||Will Martin||10||Richardson Racing||14m14.426s (8 Laps)|
|2||James Hedley||67||Elite Motorsport||+0.443s|
|3||Casper Stevenson||25||Richardson Racing||+0.635s|
|4||Lorcan Hanafin||23||Douglas Motorsport||+0.929s|
|5||Ethan Hawkey||40||Total Control Racing||+1.580s|
|6||Josh Rattican||21||R Racing||+13.049s|
|7||Tom Emson||27||Elite Motorsport||+16.836s|
|8||Roman Bilinski||55||Alastair Rushford Motorsport||+18.509s|
|9||Joel Pearson||29||Elite Motorsport||+18.655s|
|10||Daniel Gale||68||Total Control Racing||+19.167s|
|12||Freddie Tomlinson||62||Douglas Motorsport||+20.142s|
|13||Ethan Brooks||86||Total Control Racing||+21.405s|
|14||Bailey Vosin||22||Douglas Motorsport||+21.574s|
|15||Theo Edgerton||54||Total Control Racing||+25.953s|
|16||Haytham Qarajouli||75||Total Control Racing||+26.532s|
|17||Will Rochford||11||Total Control Racing||+32.607s|
|18||Ben O’Hare||95||Premiership Academy||+32.801s|
|19||Frankie Taylor||32||SVG Motorsport||+35.077s|
|20||Molly Dodd||47||Premiership Academy||+41.172s|
|21||Ben Kasperczak||35||BK Racing||+44.399s|
|22||Gus Burton||57||Douglas Motorsport||+1m38.755s|
|DNF||James Taylor||66||Richardson Racing||+8 Laps|