The Richardson Racing team secured a double victory at Oulton Park to head into the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship summer break on a high.
The Corby-based outfit headed to the picturesque Cheshire circuit in confident mood, with drivers Will Martin, James Taylor and Casper Stevenson all hopeful of fighting towards the sharp end of the field.
A strong showing in qualifying saw Will secure pole position for the first time in the series, setting a best time that was more than three tenths of a second quicker than championship leader James Hedley.
Despite having a lap-time disallowed for exceeding track limits, Casper was best placed of the rookie drivers in fourth on the grid although brake issues would leave James with work to do from 15th place – his best lap being well over a second slower than he had managed in practice.
When the lights went out for the opening eight lap race, Will made the ideal start to maintain his advantage going into Old Hall and was able to control the race from the front despite pressure from Hedley behind – snaring his third victory of the campaign in the process.
Casper also made a solid start from the second row to jump ahead of Lorcan Hanafin at turn one, and would remain part of the battle for victory throughout as he added to his podium tally and secured top honours amongst the rookie drivers.
James’ race would end early however when he was squeezed between two of his rivals on the run to Cascades and was forced to retire.
The second race of the weekend would prove to be a chaotic affair, with a number of incidents on track limiting the number of racing laps.
From pole position, Will kept his lead at the start before the first of two Safety Car periods for a multi-car incident that unfortunately included James – who was forced to retire for a second time without completing a racing lap.
Only a single lap was possible after the restart before a further incident resulted in the race ending behind the Safety Car, with Will keeping his position at the front for his fourth win of the season.
Casper had held fourth place off the line and was able to get ahead of Hanafin after the first Safety Car period to wrap up a fourth straight overall podium and rookie class honours for the second time in the weekend.
At the mid-way stage of the season, Will sits third in the championship standings, with Casper and James lying in fifth and sixth.
The action resumes at Snetterton next month.
Will Martin, #10 (Battle, East Sussex), said
“It’s gone brilliantly this weekend. We aced qualifying and did it again in the races, so it couldn’t have gone much better.
“There has been some pressure along the way and it hasn’t been as easy as the results might seem to show, particularly in race one when I had to work hard to keep Hedley at bay. However, I just kept a level head and it paid off.
“We still have work to do to try and catch Hedley in the standings and the best way to do that is to keep finishing ahead of him on track. Hopefully we can keep the momentum that we have built up going when we get back on track after the summer break.”
Casper Stevenson, #25 (London), said
“It’s been a good weekend for me. I think we could have done slightly better in qualifying but were still in a good position going into race one, and to get third place there was really pleasing.
“Going into race two, the target was to try and push forwards to challenge for an overall win but sadly it didn’t go to plan because of the Safety Cars.
“It was good to secure another podium finish although it was frustrating at the same time that we didn’t really get chance to race and I couldn’t try and fight for more.
“I’ve hit a good run of form in recent races and I’m going to enjoy my summer break. I’ll be pushing to keep this run going at Snetterton and have my sights on that top step of the podium.”
James Taylor, #66 (Rotherham, Yorkshire), said
“The weekend started well in practice but that turned out to be the highlight for me. The issue we had in qualifying really put me on the back foot and it meant I was right in the middle of the trouble in both races.
“To be honest, there isn’t really much I can say about either race and it’s difficult to find the words to say how disappointed I am at not even being able to complete a racing lap through no fault of my own.
“This is certainly a weekend to forget and I have to just focus on what is still to come.”