08 Aug 2011
MORRIS BOOSTS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD WITH ANOTHER DOUBLE WIN AT SNETTERTON
RACE 12 - Snetterton - Win no. 9
3rd Struan Moore, 1st Seb Morris, 2nd George Gamble
Seb Morris got the second half of the Ginetta Junior Championship season off to a near-perfect start at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk over the weekend, 6th/7th August, with two hard-fought victories in rounds 11 and 12 boosting his lead in the driver standings to an amazing 120 points.
Chalking up his eighth and ninth victories of the season, the 15-year-old’s return to the top step of the podium marked his fourth winning double of the year – similar success having come at Brands Hatch, Donington Park and Oulton Park.
“It’s been a really satisfying weekend”, said the Marford-based driver, “Both races were really tough and we had to fight hard but to take two wins on the new track at Snetterton is fantastic. Jonathan Palmer and MSV (MotorSport Vision) have done such a good job with this circuit – I really like it.”
Although an electrical problem ruled him out of the final practice run on Saturday, 6th August, the reduced track time compared to his rivals didn’t trouble Seb and in qualifying he just missed out on the fastest time of all by a mere 0.1 seconds. Even so, his terrific consistency was such he posted the quickest second best lap of any driver to secure pole position for race two.
Making a good start to the opening encounter on Sunday, 7th August, the Liberty Properties and Legat Owen-backed racer challenged pole-sitter Charlie Robertson for the lead through Riches and although remaining in second place initially, he grabbed the lead at Agostini – the fourth turn.
As a very busy first lap neared its conclusion, George Gamble got a good run up the inside of Seb at Coram to demote the Hillspeed driver to second but into the hairpin on lap two immense pressure from Morris told and Gamble spun out of the lead under braking. From that point on Morris wasn’t headed and although pressed hard throughout, he performed faultlessly to claim the win.
Lining-up for round 12 on pole position, Seb got away from the grid cleanly but slipped to second at the hairpin behind a very fast-starting Jake Giddings. Determined to wrest the lead back in double quick time, the Welsh teenager positioned himself around the outside of Giddings into Agostini but wasn’t quite able to make the attempted pass stick on the exit.
Running nose-to-tail into lap two, Seb’s pressure paid off as he took the lead but on the subsequent tour Giddings tried to fight back. The lead bunch of four cars couldn’t have been closer but Seb held first place strongly. Then, on lap four, Robertson made a bid for the lead – having passed Giddings just before – and sealed the move out of Agostini after squeezing Seb onto the grass.
Although relegated to fourth place, Seb quickly battled back and challenged Giddings for third into the Esses where there was unfortunate contact between the two. Continuing in third place, the dominant championship leader closed down a 1.3 second deficit to the two leaders over the course of the penultimate tour – setting the fastest lap – so the fight for the win became a three-way again.
Into the final lap, the Esses provided the location for more drama when contact between Gamble and Robertson delayed both and left the way clear for Seb to position his Ginetta G40 on the inside for the run through the Bomb Hole and he went on to take the chequered flag 0.4 seconds clear.
“I’d pretty much settled for third place in race two but then the opportunity was there to take the lead so I did”, added The King’s School, Chester pupil, “Croft was a really disappointing weekend in terms of the points score, although I did enjoy the races, so it’s been good to come here, start the second half of the season with two more wins and build the championship lead even further.”
There is now a four week break in the Ginetta Junior Championship calendar with rounds 13 and 14 of the season set to take place at Knockhill Circuit in Scotland over the weekend 3rd/4th September.
Provisional 2011 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd12):
1st Seb Morris, 390pts