R Racing’s Josh Rowledge won a chaotic final Ginetta Junior race at Thruxton.
The racing was incident packed but without stoppages, and Rowledge himself had multiple spins and incidents on his way to the win.
Sonny Smith came second to make it an R Racing 1-2, while Harri Reynold’s championship campaign was derailed with a 10 second time penalty.
Rowledge led from pole position, and managed a brief gap as Will Macintyre and Liam McNeilly fought their way past second place started Zak Meakin. It didn’t take long for the pair to join Rowledge at the front of the order though. Along with Sonny Smith, they made it a four car battle for the lead, with each driver leading at various points of the lap.
A wide moment for McNeilly dropped him out of the group, only to be replaced by Kanato Le.
Chaos continued when Rowledge was forced wide onto the grass. He missed a large part of the circuit as he cut across the grass to rejoin the track ahead of the leading group. He slowed down and allowed Macintyre, Smith and Le through, then rejoined the fight for the lead. Moments later, Rowledge was sent into a spin, and Macintyre was forced wide to avoid. In a separate incident, Le also span and dropped through the field.
Smith now led McNeilly and Macintyre while Rowledge continued running in P8. The car looked a little worse for wear, but Rowledge pushed forward. As the battle at the front of the order continued, Rowledge picked his way through the order and joined the back of the battle for the lead.
As Joe Warhurst was shuffled to the lead of the back, Rowledge climbed up to second. He managed to find a way past Warhurst and, while Warhurst tried to fight back, held onto the position.
Smith was next to put pressure on Warhurst and Rowledge was able to break away in the final laps.
Rowledge finished 1.181s clear of the rest of the field while it was a photo finish for P2. Smith just had his nose ahead, taking second from Warhurst and Macintyre. A late charge from Luke Watts puts three R Racing cars in the top five. P6 for Liam McNeilly moves him to third in the championship standings ahead of Reynolds.
Reynolds got off to a bad start when a false start earned him a 10 second time penalty. He was then spun around while fighting inside the top 10 and dropped down the order. He was running just outside the top 10 when the chequered flag fell, but the penalty dropped him to P15.
McKenzie Douglass wasn’t quite able to join the multi-car battle at the end of the race, but came home P7, just ahead of Maurice Henry.
Zak Meakin was shuffled back to ninth by the chequered flag, while Aqil Alibhai completed the top 10.
Image credit: Ginetta/Jakob Ebrey Photography
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