Seb Priaulx added to his already impressive 2016 Ginetta Junior Championship points tally at Knockhill on Saturday and Sunday, the teenager from Guernsey romping to a maiden Pole Position, another outright podium and another rookie win in a trio of races that were fast and frantic from start to finish at the 1.2 mile Scottish venue.
A strong performance throughout Free Practice gave Priaulx the confidence that he could challenge for top honours and with a lap 0.053s quicker than his opposition the Parish Group supported youngster shot to the top of the standings in the sole qualifying session to claim a first ever Pole Position – much to the delight of his family and the team.
The opening race saw Seb drop back in the early stages before regrouping with a number of fastest laps to secure third overall and top rookie at the end of a hard fought 12 laps.
Race two was described by some onlookers as near perfection as Seb took the chequered flag comfortably ahead of the pack to claim a maiden overall win by almost four seconds. The delight turned to despair as the sun set, Priaulx was handed a thirty second penalty for a jump start relegating the JHR Developments driver to 13th.
Sunday’s televised race would always be tough following the penalty but as ever Priaulx gave it everything, charging hard on the opening lap from the rear of the grid before being spun out of contention at the start of lap two by an over enthusiastic rival.
Regrouping and lapping as fast at the podium finishers, the son of triple World Touring Car champion Andy certainly didn’t disgrace himself with the paddock and those watching around the circuit having witnessed his raw talent and true racing potential.
Saturday’s win may not count but it’s only a matter of time until Seb Priaulx can make amends.
Seb Priaulx – 7th overall in the championship standings: “Qualifying was great. It had looked like I’d be mid-pack so I pulled the pin and managed to put together the perfect lap, hitting every apex to take my first ever Pole Position by 0.053s and I was feeling good. Race one I dropped back at the start but drove defensive and even though I dropped back to third on lap five or six I was able to hang on for third overall and top rookie. It was a really fun race. Race two was probably the best race I have ever driven so far. I dropped to seventh and made no advantage at the start even though they said I was deemed to be creeping. It was a great feeling to pass so many rivals and take the chequered flag as the winner even though I was later demoted to thirteenth. In my mind it still a winning drive. Race three was tough. My team mate pushed me onto the grass at the start which was not really what I was expecting and then I got fired off in turn two so that was that. I’m looking forward to Rockingham and another triple header so see you guys there!”
The next round of the Ginetta Junior Championship takes place at Rockingham near Corby in a fortnight where another triple header awaits. Seb will arrive seventh overall in the Simpson Ginetta Junior standings.
photos courtesy of bikesportpics and Jakob Ebrey