MAILER SIGNS-OFF ROOKIE SEASON WITH BEST RESULTS OF YEAR AT BRANDS GP
Hillspeed’s Harry Mailer rounded-off his first season of car racing in the Ginetta Junior Championship with his best points haul of the campaign at a rain-affected Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, 11th/12th October.
Chalking up a brace of 11th place finishes in rounds 19 and 20 of the season, the rookie racer displayed an impressive level of pace and skill as he battled just shy of the coveted top 10 in both encounters at the challenging Kent track.
Fellow first year racer Benjamin Wallace, taking part in only his third Ginetta Junior event, posted a best result of 14th position in the final race of the year while team and championship newcomer Seb Perez tackled his steep learning curve well to claim a best of 16th place in race two.
“It’s been a very challenging weekend for all three drivers with the weather constantly changing, but they all did a good job and we’re delighted Harry put together his best results of the year”, said Richard Ollerenshaw, team principal of the Hathersage squad, “It’s been a tough year for Harry, but he’s really come on strong over the last couple of rounds and this weekend was a real highlight.
“Brands Hatch was obviously only Ben’s third race weekend but he performed well, didn’t do anything silly and brought home a couple of strong finishes and important experience as well. For Seb, it was always going to be an incredibly tough challenge but he applied himself very well and was a pleasure to have in the team. Despite the weather, it wasn’t a bad weekend.”
Qualifying on Saturday took place in challenging damp conditions with Mailer emerging as the quickest of the Hillspeed trio, posting the 13th fastest time, while Wallace lined-up 17th on the grid for race one with Perez alongside in 18th position for his debut.
Despite slipping to 12th place on lap two, Mailer re-took 11th position soon after while Wallace and Perez were nudged back to 18th and 20th positions respectively. Racing soon fell under caution, however, when the Safety Car was deployed on lap three due to a car stranded at Paddock Hill.
Having moved into 11th, 17th and 18th places prior to the emergence of the Safety Car, Mailer, Wallace and Perez remained there to the finish which came after just four laps due to the allotted time elapsing through the recovery process.
For round 20 on Sunday, Mailer held 13th place initially before climbing into the top 12 on the second tour. Gaining another place on lap four, the first year driver impressed and the next time around he grabbed 10th position. On course for his maiden top 10, the teenager soaked up significant pressure from behind but unfortunately slipped to 11th on the final lap.
Wallace, starting in 16th position, held station during the early going before moving into 15th place on lap two and then 14th spot on the fourth tour. Pushing hard, and exploring the limits of the track on a few occasions, Wallace did slip back to 15th place late on but regained 14th before the chequered flag following an excursion for Jamie Chadwick.
Perez, running under the Dansport banner for his car racing debut with engineering assistance from Hillspeed, improved on his race one result in round 20 with 16th place. Holding 18th position early on, the teenage rally driver – son of 2010 BTRDA Rally Champion Steve Perez – did lose time mid-race after a moment but recovered to 16th position by the finish.
While the Ginetta Junior Championship season has now concluded, Hillspeed will be back in action a fortnight from now when the final three races of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship take place on 25th/26th October at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk.
Final 2014 Ginetta Junior Championship Standings:
17th Harry Mailer, 104pts; 19th Pedro Cardoso, 76pts; 21st Ben Wallace, 32pts; 24th Seb Perez, 8pts
Final 2014 Ginetta Junior Championship Team Standings:
6th Hillspeed, 222pts