Caroline Back To Winning Ways In Brands Ginetta Junior Finale

Jamie Caroline bagged his second win of the 2014 Ginetta Junior Championship season at a rain-hit Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, 11th/12th October, before finishing runner-up in the final race of the year for Total Control Racing to round off his rookie campaign in cars in style.Qualifying strongly for both encounters at his ‘home’ track, the teenager secured front row starts for rounds 19 and 20 and he made them count as well in two contrasting races which proved incredibly challenging, inclement weather a feature of the last weekend of the season. Making a fantastic start from second on the grid in Saturday afternoon’s encounter, Caroline took the lead straight away on the run to Paddock Hill Bend and opened an advantage of almost two seconds over the course of the first lap alone.Maintaining his lead into lap two, the TCR racer’s hard work was then undone the next time around when the Safety Car was deployed. Thereafter, there was no further racing as the encounter ran out of allotted time due to the lengthy presence of the Safety Car, so the race was brought to a conclusion under caution at the end of lap four with a win for Caroline as well as the fastest lap.Lining-up second on the grid again for Sunday’s televised final round, Caroline again aced the start to lead and into lap two he was 0.6 seconds ahead of the chasing pack. Driving well under pressure, the TCR racer remained composed and into lap three there was nothing to split the lead quartet.On lap five, though, Lando Norris – the 2014 CIK-FIA KF World Karting Champion – made a bid for first place on the run up the hill to Druids and elbowed Caroline back to second position. Determined to hit back, the pair traded the lead a couple of times before Caroline had to settle for the runner-up spot. He did, though, set fastest lap on the penultimate tour to take the flag just 0.3 seconds adrift.“We’re delighted with a win and second place on the final weekend, it was very close to two wins for Jamie”, said TCR team principal Lee Brookes, “It was good racing up at the front, Lando [Norris] is a world champion in karting and Jamie has been world class too.“We beat him on Saturday but he [Norris] beat us in race two. I thought we were going to get back at him, Jamie took the fastest lap again but we just needed a few more laps. We should have had more wins this year, we know that, but other things just got in the way.”Team-mates Matt Chapman and Billy Monger had to begin both Brands Hatch races from the last row of the grid after unfortunately crashing out, in unrelated incidents, early on during the slippery qualifying session.Chapman produced a fantastic opening lap to race one, climbing into 14th position from 19th on the grid, and he then held station before the race came to its conclusion under the Safety Car. Monger, meanwhile, also made progress on the first couple of laps to move into 17th place and he gained one more spot prior to the Safety Car emerging.With more hard work to do in race two from the back of the grid, Chapman and Monger both made significant gains once again with the former ending the race in the top 10 and his team-mate taking a 12th place finish. Producing a terrific opening lap, the TCR duo ended the first tour in 14th and 15th respectively and they each moved up a spot on lap two.In the thick of a great midfield battle featuring as many as 10 cars, Chapman moved into 12th place on lap four with Monger right behind and after taking 11th on lap five Chapman broke into the top 10 on the penultimate lap. Monger held 13th place during the closing stages but claimed 12th spot on the final tour.“Qualifying was the key for Matt and Billy this weekend, plus we’ve had a brake issue with Billy which we managed to get sorted overnight for the final race”, explained Brookes, “Both lads did a good job in the races, they had good pace and it was very tight in that pack around the top 10. All three kids are top young drivers, they definitely have bright futures.”Final 2014 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings:6th Jamie Caroline, 320pts; 13th Matt Chapman, 170pts; 14th William Taylforth, 149pts; 15th Billy Monger, 146ptsFinal 2014 Ginetta Junior Championship Team Standings:4th Total Control Racing, 530pts

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