Liam McNeilly claims the Ginetta Junior Championship lead with a victory in the opening race of the weekend at Knockhill.
The Fox Motorsport driver managed a standing restart and a brief safety car period to take his second win of the season.
McNeilly got a good start from pole position. He came under pressure from Aston Millar on the opening lap, but Millar soon had to focus on defending his own position.
Before McNeilly could pull away from the chasing group, a multi-car accident further back brought out the red flags.
Freddie Tomlinson, Zak Meakin, Edward Pearson and Maurice Henry were involved in the incident at Clark corner. Three of the cars were stranded in the gravel trap while another ran into the tyre wall, though all four drivers walked away from the incident.
The accident played into the hands of Seb Hopkins, who had dropped backwards on the same lap after challenging at the front of the order early on. He had been running ninth when the red flags were shown, but would restart in second position as the positions were counted back a lap.
Hopkins would be unable to challenge McNeilly on the restart, despite Callum Voisin and Robert de Haan putting pressure on Millar behind.
Hopkins was eventually pulled into the battle and Millar came through to retake P2.
McNeilly had a gap of 0.872s at this point when the safety car was brought out for a spin further down the order.
Millar would have to defend against de Haan on the restart and couldn’t challenge McNeilly, allowing the Fox Motorsport driver to come home 0.196s clear.
De Haan had enjoyed a strong race. Despite slipping backwards a number of times, the scholarship winner put in some fantastic moves, including one up the inside of Voisin late on, to climb up to third, but he couldn’t find a way past Millar and would drop behind Hopkins in the final laps.
Will Jenkins had a quiet race as he climbed up through the order to take fifth after starting 15. He finished just ahead of Josh Rowledge and Harri Reynolds.
A number of small mistakes caused Voisin to drop down the order and he would eventually come home P10 behind Joe Wheeler and Aquil Alibhari, who took his best finish of the season.
Image credit: Ginetta/Jakob Ebrey Photography
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