Smalley Does The Double At Thruxton

Ginetta Junior Championship
May 20, 2018

2018 Season

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Adam Smalley enjoyed an almost perfect weekend in the Ginetta Junior Championship at Thruxton this weekend (19 / 20 May) after securing pole position and a pair of wins in Hampshire. His success takes him to second in the championship, just 13 points shy of current leader Luke Browning.

In qualifying, it was Smalley who claimed his third pole position in as many races as he set a 1:32.000 lap, just 0.003s quicker than his Elite Motorsport teammate; Foster, who joined him on the front row.

As the opening race got underway, the highly anticipated battle at the front sparked into life. Smalley, Foster, Green and Browning were locked in a battle for the race lead, much to the excitement of the fans packed into the Thruxton grandstand.

The foursome swapped places throughout the opening half of the 12-lap race, but a spin for Fin Green ended his race early with five laps to go. The leaders closed up once again as Foster homed in on leader Browning. The pair raced nose-to-tail for a handful of laps, until the pair made contact and Foster was sent backwards down the order.

In the melee, Smalley nipped through into the lead, pulling Kibble through with him. Although they crossed the line in that order, after the flag Kibble was handed the win – his first of the season – as Smalley was penalised for missing the chicane.

Browning held onto third but came under pressure from Del Sarte, who had spent much of the race battling inside the top five with Kibble and Johnson, through the final few corners. Finishing on the podium, Browning was later handed a 10-place grid penalty for the second race as a result of his earlier contact with Foster. In sixth, James Hedley claimed second in the Rookie class honours whilst Matt Luff separated him from the recovering Foster, who wound up in eighth overall and third in the rookie class.

Race two was similarly exciting. Off the line, Green and Smalley took first and second place after drama for Foster saw him spin into the pit lane exit. Browning, who had started in P12 after that penalty from race one, recovered to sixth on the opening lap.

As Smalley and Green traded places for the lead, Hedley – who had started sixth – was powering up the order to move into third by the second lap, whilst Browning claimed another place; climbing to fourth. His recovery was short-lived though, as contact between himself and Kibble sent him into retirement.

After a brief safety car period which regrouped the entire field, action get back underway on lap five. Smalley and Hedley – now in second – set off down the road as Johnson was left to defend third from a racy looking Green, Del Sarte, Taylor and Luff.

Smalley managed to hold off Hedley’s advances for the remainder of the race, with the duo showing car control and skill beyond their years, much to the delight of the crowds in Hampshire.

Behind, it was Junior business as usual in the fight for third with position-swapping on every lap. Ultimately, as the flag fell, Smalley took the win from Hedley with Foster – who pulled off an epic recovery drive – crossing the line in third. Hedley’s second place gave him the rookie class win (his first of the season), and he was joined on the podium by Foster and Kibble.