MIXED WEEKEND FOR HILLSPEED AT CROFT IN GINETTA JUNIOR
Teenage racing rookies Pedro Cardoso and Harry Mailer experienced mixed fortunes at Croft in North Yorkshire over the weekend, 28th/29th June, during two challenging and robust Ginetta Junior Championship races for the Hillspeed team-mates.
Arriving at the 2.12-mile track with no testing prior to the weekend, in stark contrast to the majority of championship rivals who enjoyed exclusive practice time during the build-up, both of the Hathersage squad's drivers were always going to face a tough challenge – Mailer in particular who had never visited Croft.
Cardoso qualified on the seventh row of the grid for round nine and produced a strong opening lap to the weekend’s first encounter to climb into the top 10. Although nudged back to 11th place on the second tour, the Brazilian fended off early attention from Matt Chapman and then focused all of his efforts on trying to usurp the train of cars ahead.
Running within half a second of the top 10, Cardoso piled on the pressure to Senna Proctor and out of the hairpin at the end of lap six the Hillspeed driver managed to get alongside his rival. Running side-by-side into the penultimate tour, Cardoso’s race ended shortly after at Clervaux when the racing got a little too close for comfort with Proctor – the latter reprimanded by officials.
Team-mate Mailer began round nine in 18th position but made up two places on lap one and set about challenging Tom Parker. With the latter defending his position hard, Mailer found himself in a tight sandwich with Lewis Brown starting to apply significant pressure.
On lap three at the complex, as Mailer looked to try and attack Parker around the outside, Brown dived to the inside and the Hillspeed racer ran wide over the grass. Recovering in 17th position, he was then edged back to 18th again by the recovering Dan Zelos but moved back up into 16th position by the finish on lap eight – a mere 0.2 seconds behind Parker on the drag to the line.
Starting Sunday’s televised race from the seventh row of the grid, Cardoso quickly moved into the top 12 but was edged back on lap two to 13th before gaining two positions on lap five when two rivals dropped back. Running in 11th position, the South American then moved into the top 10 three laps from the finish but was nudged back to 11th place once more on the final tour.
Mailer made terrific progress on the opening lap to go from 18th on the grid into the top 15 and although slipping to 16th position shortly after, the young British teenager continued to plug away – climbing into 15th on lap five and staying there to the chequered flag.
“It’s been quite a tough weekend for Pedro and Harry with their lack of experience at Croft, although we did at least get some points on the board”, said Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “The non-finish in race one for Pedro was particularly frustrating as he was on for a decent result, but he hit back well in Sunday’s race.
“Harry was certainly consistent in both races, we’re pleased with how he performed as he’d never even seen the place before Friday. His car, which we had to rebuild due to the extensive damage it received last time out at Oulton Park, ran faultlessly all weekend so all credit to the lads in the team for their hard work.”
Ginetta Junior now heads into a five week summer sojourn with rounds 11 and 12 of the season set to take place at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk on 2nd/3rd August. Before then, Hillspeed’s BRDC Formula 4 Championship squad will be back in action at Oulton Park on Friday, 18th July, and Sunday, 19th July, while its Protyre Formula Renault team visits Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on 26th/27th July.
2014 Ginetta Junior Championship Standings (after Rd10):
15th Pedro Cardoso, 76pts; 18th Harry Mailer, 41pts
2014 Ginetta Junior Championship Team Standings (after Rd10):
6th Hillspeed, 127pts