Watts wins Winter Series opener

Luke Watts wins the opening Ginetta Junior race of the 2022 Winter Series at Brands Hatch.

The R Racing driver started from second on the grid and took the lead early on, only to lose the position to team-mate Freddie Slater.

The pair spent the remainder of the race locked in the battle for the lead. Slater took the chequered flag first, but a penalty for a false start dropped him down the order.

Alisha Palmowski started on pole in an amended grid, with Watts beside her and Finn Harrison third after his time was deleted for track limits.

Watts took the lead off the line while Palmowski and Luca Hopkinson battled for second. A wide moment for Palmowski dropped her down the order and Slater came through to snatch P2.

Slater quickly closed the small gap to his team-mate and passed Watts with ease. By this point, he had already been awarded a 10 second penalty for a false start, but Watts was pushing to win on track.

The two leaders pulled a gap at the front of the order to Hopkinson in third before battling between themselves. Watts briefly reclaimed the race lead on track, only for Slater to come back through and take P1. The battle allowed Hopkinson to close in on the battle, making it a three R Racing car battle for the lead.

Slater just had the edge as they took the chequered flag, but the 10 second penalty dropped him back to eighth overall. Watts picked up the win ahead of Hopkinson and McKenzie Douglass.

Douglass had started 14th after an incident in qualifying, but charged up through the order. He was inside the top 10 by the end of lap one and joined the train of cars battling for what was P4 on the road.

An incident for Reza Seewooruthun, who was leading the battle, dropped the rookie down the order. Douglass continued to pick up positions and managed to get ahead of Palmowski in the closing stages of the race. He began to pull away in the final laps but couldn’t close in on the lead battle.

Palmowski would finish fourth after Slater’s penalty was applied. Mikey Porter took fifth ahead of Harrison and Sid Smith, the last of the driver to make up a position due to the penalty.

Thomas Spragg and Charlie Hart completed the top 10.

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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