Will Jenkins launched his second season in the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship with a pair of impressive performances in the opening two races at Thruxton (08/09 May).
Following a hugely positive pre-season testing programme, which included finishing fastest in the official pre-event test at Thruxton last month, the Hopkins Motorsport, Asset Alliance Group, Corroconsult and Digraph supported driver was feeling confident as he headed back to Hampshire.
Unveiling his eye-catching new yellow and black livery during a short 15 minute free practice session on Saturday morning, Jenkins went on to put in a strong performance in qualifying later that day to secure sixth on the 27 car grid for both of Sunday’s two races.
The opener proved to be a typically close-fought Ginetta Junior encounter, with the 16 year old finding himself in the thick of the action. Shuffled back to 11th at one stage, he hit back with one of the best overtaking moves of the race.
Heading round the fastest section of the circuit at over 100mph, Jenkins dived down the inside of two cars at the same time to move up to ninth. He made further progress in the closing laps to reach seventh at the flag, whilst also finishing with the fastest lap of the race to ensure a good haul of championship points.
Jenkins, who lives in Stone in Staffordshire, produced another battling performance in race two. A fantastic launch saw him grab third in his Elite Motorsport Ginetta G40, however contact heading through the complex for the first time resulted in steering damage.
That coupled with a loss of power compared to his rivals meant that Jenkins was on the defensive for large spells of the race, but a composed performance saw him stay in the mix towards the front and he impressively gained two places on the final lap to take sixth at the flag.
Will Jenkins: “Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how the weekend has gone. We knew we had some good pace in the car heading into the weekend and while the changing weather made it tricky, we were able to pick up a pair of strong finishes.
“It was a little bit frustrating to come away sixth in qualifying, as the potential was there for the top three, but I knew we could race well from there. The first race was quite chaotic, but we got through it and I was happy to have fought back through to seventh.
“The early damage made the second race a tough one, so to get another good haul of points in sixth was a positive end to the weekend. Snetterton is coming up next and we’ve had some good test days there over the pre-season, so I’m confident we can go there and have a good weekend.”
Jenkins leaves the season opener in sixth place in the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship standings, with the next rounds coming up in five weeks’ time (12/13 June) at Snetterton in Norfolk.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.