Talented young racing drivers Harri Reynolds and Jack Mitchell both produced fantastic performances at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent over the weekend, 14th/15th May, as the Motorbase Driver Academy again celebrated significant success.
Added to a double podium for Motorbase’s NAPA Racing UK driver Dan Cammish in the headline Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, in the supporting Ginetta Junior Championship points leader Reynolds further increased his advantage at the top of the table with two podiums.
After racing to fifth place, from ninth on the grid, in a dry round four on Saturday, Reynolds secured third place in round five later in the day. On Sunday, in slippery damp conditions, he bagged his third victory of the season with Assetto Motorsport and now leads the standings by 12 points.
Mitchell, driving for JWB Motorsport in the MINI CHALLENGE, stormed to pole position in qualifying for round four and converted it into a lights-to-flag win on Saturday – his first. Although slipping to fourth at the start of a damp round five on Sunday, Mitchell battled back to make it two consecutive victories. Unfortunately, round six delivered a non-finish after contact late-on from a rival.
Team-mates Jamie Osborne and Ru Clark didn’t enjoy such a fruitful weekend sadly, with the former taking a best finish of 14th position in the red-flagged wet sixth round – fifth in the Rookies. Race one brought an unfortunate non-finish, but Osborne battled through the order to 20th overall in race two.
Clark faced a monumental challenge after problems in qualifying meant he had to begin round four from the back of the grid in 30th position. Impressing with a great drive to 16th place, he followed Osborne home in round five in 21st spot but a tough finale ended with 23rd position.
Porsche Carrera Cup GB driver Hugo Ellis produced a sensational qualifying performance in his JTR run NAPA Racing UK car, claiming his maiden Pro-Am pole position in fifth overall – a mere 0.107 seconds shy of the outright pole.
Round three on Sunday started dry but when rain arrived, several drivers encountered difficulties and the race was red flagged. After the resumption, drivers having been able to change to treaded tyres in the meantime, Ellis eventually finished his first wet race 21st overall and seventh in Pro-Am. In round four, Ellis took his second Pro-Am podium after charging to third place in class, 14th overall.
At Warden Law Kart Club, teenager Alfie Garford prepared for this weekend’s second round of the Wera Tools British Karting Championship at the Sunderland venue by competing in the third round of the LGM series.
Having never visited Warden Law previously, Garford spent much of the weekend learning the track and the Heats produced a mixed bag of results – fourth in the opener, 21st place in the second Heat after a collision and then 14th place in the third Heat. Starting the Final 16th out of 42 competitors, after slipping back early on he fought through to 10th place with times a match for the top four.
Pete Osborne – Motorbase Performance Team Owner and Team Principal:
“Harri and Jack go from strength to strength in Ginetta Junior and MINI, they both performed superbly at Brands Hatch. It was great to see Harri take his third win of the year, and enhance his championship lead, and brilliant to see Jack take his first two wins in the MINIs. Jamie and Ru had a mixed weekend unfortunately, in difficult conditions, but I know they’ll both bounce back.
“In the dry qualifying for the Porsches, Hugo’s pace was sensational – taking Pro-Am pole was great but to only be a tenth off the outright pole was fantastic. After an unlucky race one, it was good he got back on the podium in race two. Alfie made some good preparations up at Warden Law for the second round of the British Championship this weekend too, we’ll be watching with interest!”