Smalley finishes season with Rookie Podium in Luckless Finale
01 October 2017
Adam Smalley took a rookie podium with a strong 4th place finish in the opening race of the weekend at Brands Hatch GP – before luck eluded him in the final two races of his maiden season of car racing in the Ginetta Junior Championship.
The 2017 Ginetta Junior Championship reached its conclusion at the Brands Hatch GP circuit on the 30 September - 1 October.
Tricky conditions met the drivers in qualifying with a low grip track. HHC Motorsport driver Adam Smalley and his teammate Seb Priaulx drove around in tandem around the long GP circuit, making use of the slipstreaming techniques early on to help them reduce lap times on the long straights.
Smalley remaining 4th fastest for the majority of the session, until on the final minute he was demoted to 6th fastest at the chequered flag.
His second-best time was good enough for 6th position as well, meaning he would start both race one and two from the outside of the third row.
The opening race of the weekend saw Smalley move up into 5th position, as championship leader Tom Gamble went through the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend.
Smalley spent the majority of the race racing with teammate Tom Wood in a sister HHC Motorsport prepared Ginetta Junior. These two caught the back of Harry King’s Elite Motorsport charger who was working to pass the Douglas Motorsport car of Kiern Jewiss.
These three put on a fantastic battle, with positions changing on a regular basis – as Smalley just sneaked through past his teammate Wood in the drag to the line, taking 4th position and 2nd on the Rookie Podium.
Race two, starting from 6th place. Smalley made a bold move around the outside of Druids as he battled for 5th position as they made their way onto the Grand Prix section of the circuit.
At the top of the hill, Smalley went for a move up the inside of Luke Browning – Smalley committed to the move as Browning pinched him to the inside of the corner. Smalley tried to pull out of the overtake but ran out of room as he was squeezed, causing a collision between the two, ending Smalley’s race with big damage to the rear of the car after being collected by Finley Green.
The HHC Motorsport mechanics did a great job of repairing the car ready for the final race of the season on Sunday. Starting from the back of the pack in 15th position saw Smalley make a dart for the inside and let the action unfold ahead of him.
Sadly, Smalley once again had no luck at Brands, as ahead of him three car squeezed towards the pitwall, causing a chain reaction of collision – leaving Smalley nowhere to go but into the side of Matt Luff, ending Smalley’s race and the season there and then.
Nevertheless, Smalley finished the season 7th overall in the championship standings on 377 points – giving him 2nd overall in the Rookie Championship in the process.
Adam Smalley “It wasn’t the end to the season we wanted, especially after the team did such a great job to repair the car after race two! These things can happen in motor racing though.
The first race was great fun though, we had a really good battle and I was so close to an overall podium.
Huge thanks to Ginetta and all my partners at Total Rail Solutions, Dan Morley at Snap-On, F1 Alloys, Jakob Ebrey Photography, MDM Designs and everyone that has helped me during my first season of Ginetta Juniors and car racing. Onto 2018!”