20Ten Racing were busy at Croft Circuit for the opening rounds of the Fiesta Junior Championship, with returning driver Jenson Brickley joined by debutant James Wallis.
Brickley was only 0.380 secs off pole position, but had to settle for the second row of the grid, while Wallis continued his acclimatisation from 10th.
It was cloudy but dry for the first race of the weekend, with Brickley quickly settling in second, on the tail of race leader Deagen Fairclough.
Wallis had lost a few places though on the opening lap. “I was tapped at the Hairpin and lost momentum on the exit,” he explained, after completing the opening lap 13th.
With Albert Webster making it three for the lead, Brickley made his first attempt to wrest Fairlclough’s lead as they entered the Complex.
But the battle for supremacy had allowed more cars to join in, making it any one from five, with Joseph Knight now in third.
There was a brief one lap safety car intervention, but from the green flag Brickley piled the pressure on the leader.
Into Tower on lap six they were side by side and continued along Barcroft and the Jim Clark Esses, before Brickley darted ahead into Sunny.
A lap later they had changed again, “I put a wheel off at Hawthorn and he was in front again, but we were still very close,” Brickley explained.
Knight had also closed in at Tower looking for second, but as they arrived at the Complex, Brickley was sizing up Fairclough for a run up the inside into the final Hairpin. His plan came to nought however, when Knight drove into the side of him, seeking a non-existent gap. Knight snatched second, with Brickley, rejoining the circuit for fifth, which later became fourth after a post-race exclusion. “I didn’t even think he was close enough to make a challenge,” Brickley added.
Wallis had battled his way back into eighth, which became seventh following the exclusion.
Despite torrential rain and standing water, race two was started with understandable caution.
Brickley started well and held second for much of the opening lap. But as they arrived at Sunny he hit the water. “It just spun me off, I did a complete 360 and rejoined,” he said.
Wallis was out of luck again, after being hit at the Complex, he had to pit as a damaged wing was rubbing on a front tyre tyre.
Brickley was down to eighth but hit more water, which sent him off backwards at the Jim Clark Esses, doing well to rejoin from the muddy infield.
With more cars off and three safety car laps, it came down to a one lap sprint to the flag, with Wallis 11th and Brickley 12th.
“Very disappointing, not what we had expected at all,” said team boss Simon Hunt.
Report by Scherer Race & Rally News, on 16th May 2021.