Will Jenkins produced a battling performance to secure a seventh place finish in the sole race of a quiet weekend in the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship at Oulton Park (31 July / 01 August).
Buoyed by a great start to the 2021 season that left him just three points shy of the championship lead heading into the five week summer break, the Staffordshire racer made the short trip up the M6 to Cheshire feeling confident of a strong performance around one of his local circuits.
A positive start on Friday saw the Hopkins Motorsport, Asset Alliance Group, Corroconsult and Digraph backed driver end the two free practice sessions in third overall, less than a tenth of a second off the top of the timesheets.
Unfortunately Saturday’s qualifying session would prove to be a frustrating one. The 16 year old ended up an uncharacteristic 11th on the grid for both of the races, which were scheduled to follow on Sunday in front of packed banks as spectators returned in full force.
Putting the qualifying frustration behind him, Jenkins produced a spirited performance in his Elite Motorsport Ginetta during a shortened opening encounter. Competing live on ITV4, he gained two places on the opening lap and was eyeing further progress before the safety car emerged on track.
This soon became a red flag stoppage, with the race running over just four laps at the restart. The Stone resident held position on a busy opening tour, before making a couple of decisive overtaking moves as the race developed to secure seventh at the chequered flag.
Unfortunately with a number of delays across the weekend’s racing, the decision was made to postpone their scheduled second race until the visit to Knockhill in two weeks’ time (14/15 August). That means there will be four races contested across the weekend in Scotland.
Will Jenkins: “It’s been a strange weekend. To only end up with five racing laps is a real shame, but that’s how motorsport pans out sometimes. It does mean we will have a very busy meeting at Knockhill, which we’re looking forward to.
“We were happy with our pace across free practice, so it was frustrating to end up back in 11th in qualifying. I was right in the thick of the action in race one though, so focused on keeping out of trouble and making some moves – I just wish there was more laps.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.