Douglas Motorsport win Ginetta Junior Team Championship
October 24, 2012 by Paul Grogan
On the back of a strong weekend in Silverstone where Andrew Watson claimed his maiden Ginetta Junior victory and championship contender Niall Murray returned to the podium in race two, Douglas Motorsport had a strong but not fully secure Ginetta Junior Teams Championship lead approaching the final weekend of the season in Brands Hatch. Despite being one of the newest teams in the championship, Douglas Motorsport has proven to be one of the best teams this season with podium finishes at almost every round.
Qualifying was as ever a very close affair with Andrew Watson hoping to continue his superb Silverstone pace and Niall Murray needing to ensure he was near the front to keep his championship aspirations alive. By the end of the dry session the top six was split by just 0.9 seconds but it was Andrew Watson who lead the way for Douglas Motorsport putting his car in second with championship contender Niall Murray qualifying fourth along side his nearest rival Charlie Robertson.
Saturday afternoon’s race one remained dry despite the cloudy sky’s looking rather ominous of changing conditions. When the lights went out it was Murray who got the best start to slip right up behind pole man Massot and by Druids was now into second just ahead of team mate Andrew Watson. Murray only had his eyes on one prize however and that was race victory. Over the next sequence of laps Murray applied all his Ginetta Junior experience to find a way past the rookie driver. Andrew Watson in third was once again locked in battle with current championship leader Charlie Robertson and certainly wasn’t phased by the pressure he was applying. Back in front however it was Murray who after a series of attempts to get into the lead now had a superb run on Massot out of the first corner and on the run up to Druids Murray threw it down the inside to move into the lead. Watson briefly found a way past into second on the following lap but Massot grabbed the place back on the following lap. At this point Murray was now in a convincing lead and as the chequered flag dropped Niall took a fine victory followed home by teammate Andrew Watson in third.
A wet Brands Hatch GP circuit greeted drivers for the Ginetta Junior race two on Sunday morning. Douglas Motorsport drivers Niall Murray and Andrew Watson lined up third and fourth on the grid, both keen to secure their respective positions in the championship. Despite both drivers getting a good start off the line, Harry Woodhead had now moved ahead into third with Watson leading the Douglas Motorsport pair in fourth. Bad luck however would deny Murray any chance to moving up the order as contact from Pepe Massot left him down in tenth with a lot of work to do to get back up the other. With cars now off in the gravel at Paddock Hill, the safety car came out which bunched up the group. The Safety car pulled off with just one lap to go so it was a one lap shoot out for the final positions. Sadly Andrew Watson’s good run in fifth was denied as contact with Massot at Druids left him running on the grass but Murray was now in the mix to capitalise. As the flag dropped it was Murray who led the team home in fifth with Watson finishing seventh.
Team Manager Wayne Douglas expressed his delight at winning the Ginetta Junior Team Championship in their maiden season, “I’m absolutely delighted that in our rookie season in Ginetta Junior we have come out as Team Champions. Naturally we’re really disappointed for Niall as he was easily one of the best drivers on the grid this season, but third is still a fantastic result in such a competitive championship. Andrew has come on leaps and bounds over the course of this season and proves that the combination of team and driver has really worked well for both our drivers given that we’ve been on the podium at almost every round this season.”