1st Central racing driver Sebastian Priaulx has continued his sensational run of form in the Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship with a brilliant pair of victories in the fifth meeting of the season at Croft (10/11 June).
Carrying the momentum from a glorious double victory at Oulton Park last month, Priaulx would once again prove to be the class of the field during the visit to North Yorkshire as he secured a podium hat-trick to make it five consecutive top three finishes in the series.
Priaulx would lay down a marker for the success ahead by topping the timesheets during the championship’s official test day at the circuit at the end of May, and he successfully carried that pace into the race weekend despite encountering drastically different weather conditions.
Torrential rainfall greeted the field as they took to the track for qualifying on Saturday, but the Guernseyman would feel immediately at home in the tricky conditions as he produced a blistering pace in his JHR Developments-prepared Ginetta G40.
Setting the pace throughout the fifteen minute session, Priaulx would stun the paddock as he lapped the 2.125 mile circuit over a second quicker than his closest challenger on his way to securing a superb double pole position for the two races later that afternoon.
The sixteen year old would go on to produce a supreme drive in the opening encounter as rain continued to fall over Yorkshire, with a great launch off the line ensuring he led the field through a tentative first few laps as they got to grips with the greasy conditions.
By mid-distance Priaulx was confident of where the grip was though and started to stretch his legs at the front, posting the fastest lap of the race as he impressively pulled away to a near four second victory – a winning margin he would almost replicate in race two.
An equally dominant display from the reigning Ginetta Junior Winter Series champion would see him immediately pull clear of the field behind, pulling over three seconds clear within four laps on his way to another eye-catching success to cap off a perfect day.
Those victories filled him with confidence heading into the live televised final race of the weekend on Sunday, and with the grid decided by the race two finishing positions, Priaulx was in the perfect position to try and complete an historic victory hat-trick.
In front of the ITV4 television cameras and a bumper crowd trackside, Priaulx would once again convert pole position into an early race lead, though a 1.4 second advantage at the front was then wiped out by the emergence of the safety car.
When the racing resumed, Priaulx would find himself soaking up some immense pressure from the pack behind, though his strong defensive efforts would unfortunately be breached in the closing stages, with a robust move into Tower pushing him down to third.
In the middle of a fierce six-way battle in the final couple of laps, Priaulx produced a mature drive to bring his 1st Central Ginetta G40 home in the podium positions and cap off a sensational weekend ahead of the seven week summer break before the visit to Snetterton on 29/30 July.
Sebastian Priaulx: “It’s been a really enjoyable weekend. I couldn’t be happier to have been back on the top step of the podium in the first two races, it was a truly perfect day to take a pair of pole positions and turn that into victories to make it four wins in a row.
“We were a bit unlucky with the safety car in race three. I had built a good gap and was confident I could have maintained it, but that’s racing and to come away with a podium hat-trick for the weekend is fantastic.
“To head into the summer break with five consecutive podium finishes under my belt is a brilliant feeling. I’m now looking forward to heading over to Le Mans to watch my Dad compete in the 24 Hours, before we turn our focus to Snetterton and the second half of the season.”
*Photos by Jacob Ebrey Motorsport
Author: Clerk of the Course
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