Double Ginetta Junior Podium Joy For Hillspeed's Gamble At Brands Indy

Hillspeed enjoyed a successful start to the 2012 Ginetta Junior Championship at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on Sunday, 1st April, with all three of the team’s drivers producing great performances – not least George Gamble who took a pair of podium results to finish the event second in the standings.Having won the 2010 and 2011 driver titles, the 2010 Winter Series title and the team championship last year, the Hathersage-based squad has an enviable record in Ginetta Junior racing and once more proved its credentials during the opening two rounds of the year at the 1.2-mile Kent track.Gamble, joining Hillspeed for his second season in the category, was typically strong throughout the weekend and after only just missing out on the round one pole position by a mere 0.090 seconds, the 15-year-old went on to claim an excellent podium.Running in second position into the final third of the race, Gamble piled on the pressure to leader Sennan Fielding but unfortunate contact at Clearways on lap 11 resulted in a delay for the Hillspeed driver and a spin for his rival. Recovering in third, Gamble then grabbed second position from Harry Woodhead on the final lap when the latter ran wide at Paddock Hill Bend.In race two, a more sedate affair than the first, Gamble held station in fourth place for the first half before increasing the pressure on Fielding ahead. With the pair running nose-to-tail, but seemingly with no way past for the Hillspeed teenager, Gamble served up a sensational pass at Paddock Hill Bend on lap 11 to seize third position.Running into the banked right-hander on the outside, the Nottingham racer produced a decisive late cut-back to dive across to the inside and make the place on the podium his. He also posted the fastest lap of the race on the final tour with a time of 54.338 seconds (80.02mph), just 0.18 seconds outside the lap record.“I’m really happy with that overtaking move, it was pretty special”, said Gamble, “To start the year with two podiums is great, I’m just glad to get the points though as consistent scoring is what we need to do to fight for the championship. Some people have had a lot of mileage on the new slick tyres, we haven’t, so I’m pleased with the pace we’ve shown this weekend.”Rookies Harrison & Massot make strong starts to debut seasonKarting graduate Nathan Harrison and Spanish newcomer Pepe Massot backed up team-mate Gamble’s results with some excellent performances for Hillspeed over the course of the opening event of the 2012 season.Starting round one in ninth position, Harrison had a lot of hard work to do after initially slipping down to 12th place but he mounted a fantastic recovery following a brief Safety Car period. First breaking into the top eight at mid-distance, the 15-year-old continued to move forward and after posting a best lap less than a tenth of a second shy of Gamble’s pace he moved up into the top five.Then, with a time penalty applied to third placed Woodhead, Harrison was able to claim a top four finish on his car racing debut – ending the race just 0.4 seconds shy of a possible maiden podium. In race two Massot starred to put behind him the disappointment of a non-finish in round one, having run superbly inside the top six up to that point on his championship debut. Since agreeing an eleventh hour deal just prior to the new season, the youngster has been something of a revelation.In the weekend’s second race he once again progressed strongly through the order from the rear of the grid. Into the top 10 by the end of lap one, Massot followed team-mate Harrison before passing his fellow rookie midway through the race.Running in seventh place on the penultimate tour, Massot was bundled back to eighth before producing his own bit of magic at Paddock Hill Bend on the final lap to sling-shot past two cars in one move to grab a richly deserved sixth place – and the Rookie Cup win. Harrison, meanwhile, claimed eighth to end his debut weekend sixth in the championship, just three points shy of the top four. “It’s been a strong weekend for the whole team, we’re very pleased with the start to the season we’ve had – some great results, very good performances from all three drivers and a lot of potential to build-on as the season progresses”, said team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “George’s pass at Paddock in race two was awesome, absolutely fantastic, and he deserved his two podiums. “Nathan raced very well all weekend and showed some great pace, he’s definitely one to watch as the year moves forward and we’re delighted with his performances so far. It was a shame Pepe had an excursion near the end of race one, having driven very well indeed, but he certainly made up for it in the second race - what a great drive to win the Rookie Cup!”Rounds three and four of the 2012 Ginetta Junior Championship will take place two weeks from now, on 14th/15th April, at Hillspeed and Gamble’s home track – Donington Park National Circuit in the East Midlands.2012 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd2):2nd George Gamble, 57pts; 6th Nathan Harrison, 36pts; 12th Pepe Massot, 18pts

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