Aqil Alibhai claimed his maiden Ginetta Junior victory after a problem denied Tom Edgar the Winter Series race win.
Edgar had led every lap but, on the final lap of the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, he slowed with an issue. The R Racing driver was unable to complete the race, and Alibhai came through to take the victory.
It was not an undeserved win for Alibhai. The Elite Motorsport driver had kept the pressure on Edgar through much of the race. He got a good start from the front row of the grid and tried to hang on around the outside of turn one, only to slip back behind Maurice Henry and Max Dodds.
He spent the next few laps battling Dodds and Liam McNeilly, but was eventually able to come out on top.
Edgar had a significant lead at this point, almost three seconds down the road, but Alibhai rapidly closed the gap. Edgar defended well and even a small mistake wasn’t enough to give Alibhai a gap to come through. Alibhai seemed to be preparing for a last corner attack when Edgar slowed to a stop on the final lap.
Alibhai avoided the slowing car and came through to take the victory more than three seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
McNeilly had managed to get to the front of what was the battle for P3, but couldn’t close in on the race leaders. He spent the race with Dodds on his tail, and the Assetto Motorsport driver managed to find a way through late to take what would become P2. McNeilly took his second podium of the weekend in third.
Meanwhile, it was a difficult race for series leader Josh Rowledge. After a poor qualifying put him eighth on the grid, he was caught up in a first lap incident. Rookie Sonny Smith was sent into a spin and Rowledge was one of the drivers caught out by the incident. He dropped down the order. As he tried to recover, he was further frustrated by a wide moment and would finish the race 11th. Smith, who had put in a stunning qualifying performance, was able to recover to finish P12 and the top rookie.
Ian Aguilera had a strong race to finish fourth. He spent much of the race locked in a battle with Harri Reynolds, with the Fox Motorsport duo of Henry and Jacob Hodgkiss close behind. Aguilera would finish narrowly ahead of Henry, with Reynolds a further three seconds back.
Joe Warhurst pipped Hodgkiss to seventh while Jack Sherwood and Max Hall completed the top 10.
Image credit: Ginetta/Jakob Ebrey Photography
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