Rookie Victory and more silverware for Smalley at Silverstone
19 September 2017
Ginetta Scholarship winner and HHC Motorsport driver Adam Smalley took another Rookie Victory in the Ginetta Junior Championship, as well as 2nd on the Rookie Podium in the final race of the weekend.
Silverstone played host to the penultimate round of the 2017 Ginetta Junior Championship on the 16-17 September.
Adam Smalley endured a difficult qualifying session at Silverstone, struggling with straight-line speed in the crucial second sector of the lap on the short 1.64km National Circuit – finding himself 9th fastest in the classification, with his second fastest lap 7th quickest when the second-best lap was taken to form the grid.
Race one saw Smalley make a great start to move himself up the order, as the 17-car grid jostled for position through the opening sequence of corners. Smalley managed to make a few bold moves stick, making ground up on his rivals with some tactical race-craft, whilst defending his position well on the long Wellington Straight.
Smalley continued to make progress, getting to the front of the train he was battling in and up to 5th position just past half distance. He was unable to make many inrounds into the battle for the podium ahead – as a gear selector issue hampered his progress and costing him both acceleration and braking stability.
Smalley managed the issue well to make it to the finish line in 5th position – taking the Rookie Victory in the process.
The second race of the weekend saw Smalley start from 7th position. Smalley once again made a strong start to the race, keeping out of trouble in the opening corners and rose as high as 4th position during the opening exchanges. As the race wore on though, it was clear Smalley was still struggling with outright speed, as he was unable to prevent some of his rivals from drafting past him on the straight.
Determined to make up the deficit in the few corners on the National Silverstone Circuit, Smalley was commitied through the first corner at Copse – however he was deemed to have exceeded track limits and gaining an advantage at turn one, meaning that when he crossed the line at the end of the race in 7th position, he received a 5 second penalty – demoting him to 12th position in the final classification and denying him 2nd on the Rookie Podium.
The third and final race of the weekend, starting from 12th position saw Smalley clear a brace of his rivals early on to move himself into the top 10. A huge train of cars began to form behind Harry King as he strongly defended 2nd position from the opening lap of the race. Smalley managed to move him up to 8th by the end of the fourth lap and onto the tail end of the train of cars battling. However ahead of him, two rivals began to battle which meant that Smalley became disjointed from the main battle ahead.
Smalley made a brace of late braking moves to secure 7th position with a few laps to go – holding this to the chequered flag. He was then promoted to 6th position after Jordan Collard was penalised for exceeding track limits. Smalley ended the weekend with 2nd on the Rookie Podium, meaning another collection of silverware would be taken home from what was a difficult weekend for the HHC Motorsport Driver.
Adam Smalley “We seemed to just struggle with straight-line speed and that final bit of pace all weekend. Nevertheless, it was a good result to claim a Rookie Win and a 2nd position to take some more trophies home. Thank you for the support as always from Total Rail Solutions and all my partners. We have one more round left at Brands Hatch GP, with three more races, and I am aiming to get back up on the overall podium and end the season on a high!”
The final round of the 2017 Ginetta Junior Championship takes place at Brands Hatch on the 30th September – 1st October. Smalley is currently 8th overall in the championship standings on 294 points – with his main aim now on consolidating his position in the overall and Rookie Championship, alongside taking home overall podium finishes in the final round to end his impressive and promising maiden car racing season in the strongest way possible!