Seventh win of the year for Richardson Racing on home soil
The Richardson Racing team secured a seventh victory of the season in the latest rounds of the Ginetta Junior Championship at Rockingham.
The Corby-based team made the short trip to its home circuit eager to push for strong results with an expanded five car line-up after Will Martin joined regular quartet Luke Browning, James Taylor, Matt Luff and Emily Linscott.
Friday testing saw the drivers given the chance to take to the track in both dry and damp conditions, with Luke leading the way with the second quickest time and James just outside the top ten in eleventh.
Matt and Emily would end up 13th and 15th despite showing impressive pace in the damp second session – where both lapped inside the top seven – whilst newcomer Will ended up 19th on the combined times after an incident in the second session cost him valuable track time.
Luke was again the best placed of the quintet in qualifying as he secured third on the grid, with James lining up ninth, Matt 14th, Emily 18th and Will 19th for the opening race of the weekend.
It would prove to be arguably the toughest race of the season for the team however with Luke forced out early with damage sustained as the field concertinaed up going into the Deene Hairpin for the first time and both Matt and Will also failing to make it to the finish.
In Matt’s case, a broken throttle cable robbed him of a potential top ten finish whilst a brush with the fearsome Rockingham wall was enough to damage the right rear wheel on Will’s car and put him into retirement.
It left James to lead the team’s challenge in seventh spot, whilst Emily crossed the line in 14th having fought back well from a moment on the third lap that dropped her to the back of the field and left her with an ill-handling car.
Keen to put the disappointment of race one in the past, the second race on Saturday evening would provide more reason for cheer, with Luke and James both running right at the sharp end of the field.
Having started on pole, Luke was shuffled back to third on the opening lap but showed strong pace throughout as he eventually crossed the line in second spot with James running eighth before he was able to benefit from a clash of drivers ahead to vault up to third with three laps to go – a place he would then maintain to the finish.
From 13th on the grid, Matt missed out on a place in the top ten by just three tenths of a second at the finish, whilst Will took his first finish for the team in 15th. A 16th place for Emily was an unrepresentative result after she lost ground when tipped into a spin on the opening lap.
The final race of the weekend on Sunday brought with it the added challenge of rain after a heavy shower hit the circuit just before the start.
Undeterred, Luke made the ideal start from second on the grid to take the lead on the run to Deene for the first time – a position he would then hold right through to the end of the race for his seventh victory of the year.
Behind, a solid run from James saw him cross the line in fifth spot before a penalty for one of the drivers ahead promoted him into fourth, with the rookie having fought back well from a mid-race spin after contact at the Deene hairpin.
Will, Matt and Emily meanwhile took the flag in 13th, 14th and 15th spot in the challenging conditions; the latter two both being forced to battle with a trip off track and visibility issues throughout the race.