Carnaby Closes Ginetta Title Gap

 WITH SECOND MALLORY WIN With just two races now remaining in the incredibly close battle for the 2008 Ginetta Junior Championship, it’s anyone’s guess who will claim the title victory after Thomas Carnaby once again made inroads into Dino Zamparelli’s points lead following his second win of the weekend at Mallory Park on Sunday, 7th September.Doing exactly what he needed to ensure he has a realistic chance of usurping the Muzz Racing driver during the series finale a fortnight from now at Brands Hatch, Carnaby performed very well indeed to take maximum points from round 22 with bonus points for pole position and fastest lap to add to his win.Zamparelli was a much bigger threat in the second Mallory Park encounter than in the first where his wet weather set-up didn’t pay off. This time he was a constant thorn in the side of Carnaby but a race stoppage on lap 13 blunted his attack.  Jake Farndon, meanwhile, was less than a second further back in third – his fifth visit to the podium of the year – ahead of Josh Hill, Daniel Lloyd and George Richardson.As the lights went out at the start of round 22, Hill looked to have made a good getaway initially from fourth on the grid but third placed starter Farndon had other ideas as he managed to get back ahead through Gerard’s Bend.Carnaby led Zamparelli through the first corner as he tried to build an early advantage but at a circuit renowned for slip-streaming, and with everyone running with dry settings in the second of the Mallory Park races, his task would prove to be much greater.Into lap two, Carnaby led Zamparelli, Farndon, Hill, Walkinshaw and Jake Batty but on the following tour, the top two started to break away as a huge battle over third place erupted. Quite literally, a blanket could have covered Walkinshaw, Farndon and Hill as they rounded Gerard’s on lap three. As the trio diced for position, Batty came through superbly to edge ahead of Hill into fifth place. His glory was unfortunately short-lived though when contact with Walkinshaw, as they battled at Shaw’s Hairpin, resulted in a double retirement and the appearance of the Safety Car a lap later.Through the chaos at Shaw’s came Daniel Lloyd, the Tockwith Motorsport racer having climbed up the order very well indeed from an uncharacteristically low grid start of 12th position – the result of an accident early in the morning’s qualifying session.  As the Ginetta G50 Safety Car circulated, the top eight was Carnaby, Zamparelli, Farndon, Hill, Lloyd, Alice Powell, George Richardson and Dominic Pettit. The latter, once again, was in stunning form having come through from 21st on the grid.After a lengthy delay, racing resumed on lap 11 but a spin for Powell as she headed through Gerard’s on the following tour saw her car embedded in the gravel in a dangerous position very close to the edge of the track.

With no option but to bring out the red flags, officials acted swiftly and so the race was declared a result after 11 laps. Although a shame to see a great race cut short, safety is obviously paramount at all times.Carnaby took the win from Zamparelli with Farndon rounding out the podium in third place. Hill took fourth ahead of Lloyd, the latter feeling a podium was well within reach had the race run its full distance, with Richardson sixth, Pettit seventh and Alex Austin in eighth. Jake Rattenbury took a season’s best of ninth place just ahead of Sarah Moore.Speaking after the race, winner Carnaby said: “It was hard when the Safety Car came out but I was confident I could stay ahead as there were places I was quicker than Dino and if he had have got past me I was confident I could have re-taken the lead. I tried as hard as I could, drove as fast as I could and it paid off.“The championship still isn’t over by any means, heading to Brands Hatch now for the final two races I am feeling confident. We were quick there last time at the start of the year, only unfortunate events dropped me down but I’m looking forward to it – the title is still all to play for.”On overall scores, Carnaby now trails Zamparelli by 16 points with Hill in a clear third place some 70 points ahead of Lloyd.Taking into account the championship’s ‘drop score’ ruling, which sees each competitor having to discard his/her worst four results of the season, Zamparelli leads by 25 points from Carnaby with Hill over 100 points shy in third. Lloyd still holds fourth ahead of Pettit and Farndon.Ginetta Junior will return to its regular slot on the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship package a fortnight from now, 20th/21st September, for the final two rounds of the 2008 season at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent.Provisional 2008 Ginetta Junior Championship Positions (after Rd 22):1st Dino Zamparelli, 578pts; 2nd Thomas Carnaby, 562pts; 3rd Josh Hill, 446pts; 4th Daniel Lloyd, 376pts; 5th Jake Farndon, 350pts; 6th Dominic Pettit, 340pts

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