Douglas Motorsport’s 2019 wasn’t the best year in the team’s Ginetta Junior history. Outshone by Richardson Racing, Elite Motorsport and, later, R Racing, the team only claimed two race wins throughout the season.
But a deeper look at Douglas’ season shows plenty of potential and drivers with bright futures ahead of them.
Zak O’Sullivan, Gus Burton, and Lorcan Hanafin were all consistently fighting at the front of the field throughout the season.
While O’Sullivan was the man most often on the podium in the first half of the year, it was Burton who took the Mr Consistent title for the team.
In 30 races, Burton only finished outside the top five 10 times – nine if you ignore a 10 second penalty that turned a P3 to a P10. He picked up four podiums over the course of the season, but couldn’t manage to finish higher than third.
O’Sullivan’s maiden victory may have had to wait until he switched to R Racing, but he picked up five second place finishes with Douglas, results which put him in a comfortable second place by the summer break.
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Lorcan Hanafin was Douglas’ top driver at the end of 2019, but he didn’t enjoy the consistency his team-mates had, which cost him in his championship fight. In the first half of the year he finished inside the top 10 more often than not, and claimed a podium finish at Brands Hatch, but couldn’t battle at the front of the field as often as Will Matin, James Hedley, and O’Sullivan.
He was left a distant fourth by the summer break. Hanafin’s second half of the season was even more versatile, but he was also fighting for the victories on a more regular basis than he had been before the summer break. He claimed both Douglas Motorsport’s victories and picked up seven podium finishes in the final four rounds.
It was too late to challenge for a position in the top three, but his strong results kept Hanafin ahead of a James Taylor and Casper Stevenson in the championship fight.
Douglas Motorsport ran two other rookies in 2019: Bailey Voisin and Freddie Tomlinson. Neither driver were regular top 10 finishers, but regularly battled in the mid-field as they developed their race craft in their maiden year. The progress they made was clear in the Winter Series where Voisin, who switched to R Racing for the weekend, was regularly battling for the podium finishes.
Tomlinson remained with Douglas for the meeting and took a best finish of eighth. The rookie wasn’t one of the stars of the championship, but did show growth over the course of the year and could come back as one to watch in 2020.
Images courtesy of Caroline Rhea
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