Ginetta Junior Championship front-runner George Gamble capped off a very strong weekend in Scotland with a richly deserved victory during round 14 of the season at Knockhill in Fife on Sunday, 4th September.
The TJ Motorsport racer, who finished runner-up to dominant points leader Seb Morris during the opening encounter on Saturday, was in outstanding form throughout the seventh event of the 2011 season and headed the times from the off during testing on Friday.
Locking out pole position for each encounter, Gamble was disappointed to have missed out on the win during round 13 due to a couple of minor mistakes but he more than made amends in Sunday’s outing with a superb drive – taking the win almost 2.7 seconds clear.
“It’s been a fantastic weekend, it all came together for us here”, said the round 14 winner, “I’d never even seen the track until Wednesday but everything went really well from the start and after testing we knew we had a great set-up. The team has done a fantastic job.”
Getting away from the grid well, the youngster led up until lap four when Tollbar Racing’s Tom Howard moved ahead into Clark’s. The latter, though, was adjudged to have made a false start so he had no option but to serve a drive-through penalty.
Initially failing to heed the warning, Howard eventually pitted at the end of the sixth tour although Gamble had already moved back into the lead by that point. Behind, a superb battle took place involving Sennan Fielding, Niall Murray, Charlie Robertson and Struan Moore with positions traded at a rapid pace.
Rookie racer Christie Doran, making her motorsport debut at Knockhill this weekend, had an unfortunate spin at Scotsman and this resulted in the appearance of the Safety Car for three laps as the Falkirk driver’s Ginetta G40 was recovered.
When racing resumed on lap 10, Gamble judged the re-start perfectly and pulled away at the front while Fielding didn’t anticipate things so well and was passed by Robertson on the way through Leslie’s and Scotsman. The 14-year-old’s hard work was undone though at the hairpin at the end of the lap when he was tagged into a spin, dropping him to eighth place.
Back at the front Gamble continued to storm away, with his lead up to 3.4 seconds at the beginning of lap 11, while the ever-changing order behind continued to alter with Moore now in a sensational second place ahead of Murray and championship leader Seb Morris. Fielding, Myles Collins, the recovering Howard and Declan Jones were also all in the mix.
Onto the final tour, lap 13, Gamble serenely cruised to the win – his eighth podium of the year – with Moore racing brilliantly to a career-best second place, added to his Saturday podium, while Robertson made third his own after a very tough and hard-fought battle. In addition, the ever-improving Moore posted the fastest lap of the race as he did during Saturday’s encounter.
Moore commented: “It’s been a very good weekend, third yesterday and one better today is really great. It was a bit of a dogfight between a few of us for quite a few laps but I managed to break clear and after that it was all ok.”
Third placed Robertson added: “I did have a little bit of contact with (Sennan) Fielding at the hairpin and I was surprised I got back through so quickly. We’ve been consistent time-wise, qualifying just didn’t go quite to plan. It’s great to be on the podium at Knockhill though.”
Murray claimed fourth place ahead of Jones, easily marking the most impressive drive in the latter’s career, with Morris in sixth following a robust outing in which he was bundled down the order on a couple of occasions. He edged out Collins, Max Coates, Fielding and Brad Bailey with Oliver Chadwick the final classified finisher in 11th position.
With six races remaining in the Ginetta Junior Championship season, a possible total of 222 points is up for grabs to any one driver so the title race is still very much alive. That said, for anyone to topple Morris and negate his current 100 point advantage will be an incredibly tall order.
Rockingham in Northamptonshire is next on the Ginetta Junior Championship calendar with rounds 15 and 16 of the 2011 season set to take place over the weekend 17th/18th September.
Provisional 2011 Ginetta Junior Championship Positions (after Rd14):1st Seb Morris, 437pts; 2nd George Gamble, 337pts; 3rd Charlie Robertson, 311pts; 4th William Foster, 257pts; 5th Max Coates, 225pts; 6th Tom Howard, 217pts