Rowledge crowned 2022 Ginetta Junior champion

Josh Rowledge is the 2022 Ginetta Junior champion.

The R Racing driver finished second in the opening race of the weekend at Brands Hatch, securing his position at the top of the championship standings.

Title rival Will Macintyre needed to finish comfortably ahead of Rowledge to keep his championship hopes alive. But with only a handful of racing laps in the truncated race there was no opportunity to make that happen.

Pole sitter Liam McNeilly managed to take his first win of the season, finishing 1.4s ahead of Rowledge in P2.

It was a stop-start opening race. McNeilly got a good start from pole position, managing to hold off Rowledge, but the race was red flagged before the end of the opening lap. Kenato Le and Finn Harrison came together before Zak Meakin ran off in a separate incident.

The field restarted from the original grid positions.

It was a better start for McNeilly on the restart, but he still had Rowledge and third placed Aqil Alibhai on his tail.

The top two managed to break away, leaving Alibhai in a race of his own, before racing was again paused as the safety car came out. Shravan Shanmugavel had been battling with Thomas Spragg when Shanmugavel was spun around and came to a stop on track.

Racing was resumed with just over a minute on the clock. McNeilly seemed to get the jump on Rowledge on the restart, but Rowledge closed back onto the Fox Motorsport driver’s tail. Rowledge seemed to be looking for a way through when a mistake sent him wide, dropping him back off McNeilly’s tail.

As McNeilly took the chequered flag – winning his first race since the final race of the weekend at Brands Hatch – Rowledge was forced to defend against Alibhai. The R Racing driver held onto the position to take second, while Alibhai completed the podium.

Behind them, Will Macintyre took P4. Macintyre had started eighth on the grid but was immediately on the move after the red flag. He climbed up to fifth, ahead of the battling Joe Warhurst and Luke Watts, and was behind Harri Reynolds when the safety car came out.

Macintyre passed Reynolds on the restart and closed onto the back of Alibahi but ran out of time before he could make a move.

The Elite Motorsport driver was the winning rookie, ahead of Freddie Slater, who passed Reynolds late on to take fifth overall.

Slater ended the race with a train of drivers behind him. Maurice Henry was less than a tenth of a second behind Reynolds, with Mckenzie Douglas, Alisha Palmowski and Warhurst all close behind.

Warhurst and Watts had both fallen backwards before the safety car and struggled to make up positions. Watts took 12th overall, behind Luca Hopkinson.

Full results to follow

Image credit: Ginetta/Jakob Ebrey Photography

PR available: Ginetta Junior Update writer Bethonie Waring is available to supply PR and communications services to Ginetta Junior drivers and racers in other selected series. Visit the PR Opportunities tab for more details

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