Home victory and double podium for Richardson Racing on strong Junior weekend
Richardson Racing secured another pair of podium finishes from its home weekend of the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship season at Silverstone, including a fourth v
ictory of the year.
A bruising encounter at Thruxton a week earlier had left the Corby-based team with plenty of work to do to ensure that Georgi Dimitov, Trennon Bettany and Rowan Vincent were all able to take to the track for pre-event testing at the Northamptonshire circuit - with all three cars fully repaired in time for the start of on-track action.
Georgi would be the quickest of the trio during the two Friday practice sessions as he posted the sixth best time, with Trennon 14th fastest and Rowan in 16th - the close nature of the sessions being reflected by the fact that whole field was covered by little more than a second.
Come qualifying on Saturday morning, Georgi put himself firmly in the mix for victory as he secured a place on the front row of the grid with the second fastest time, with Trennon lining up in 15th place and Rowan starting directly behind in 17th.
Having moved into the lead on the opening lap, Georgi was shuffled back to third on lap three after losing places to rivals Joel Pearson and Tom Lebbon, and was forced into an unfortunate retirement when he was caught up in an incident involving the pair ahead on lap four.
That left Rowan to fly the flag for the team as his continued improvement saw him stay out of trouble to come through to 13th place by the finish, with Trennon in 16th despite showing he had the pace to run higher up the order having been caught up in contact mid-way through the race.
Second on the grid for race two, Georgi wasted little in moving into the lead on the opening lap and was then producing a fine drive to keep the chasing pack at bay before an incident at Copse saw the race red-flagged.
Both Trennon and Rowan were able to avoid the drama that was unfolding ahead of them at the start of lap seven, with Trennon running in 14th place and Rowan in 16th.
The race would restart as a five lap sprint with Georgi keeping his lead at the start, but a multi-car incident at the final corner saw the action halted once again.
The result was then called with Georgi taking the win, and Trennon and Rowan picking up eleventh and twelfth having managed to once again avoid the carnage in front.
The final race of the weekend would see the three drivers starting from the same position in which they had finished race two, with Georgi lining up on pole as a result.
Although he would hold the lead through the opening lap, Georgi would slip back to third as rivals made the most of the slipstream effect to find a way ahead, but he produced an impressive defensive drive to hold on for his second podium of the weekend.
The race would provide Trennon with arguably his most impressive drive of the season to date as he held onto his place at the start before pushing forwards the top ten. A fine performance from the young South African saw him lap quicker than the race winner as he fought his way into ninth spot for a strong top ten finish and his best result of the season to date.
Rowan meanwhile would run behind Trennon in the early stages of the race before being shuffled down the order to 17th as he struggled with a brake problem; his end result not reflecting his performances across the weekend as he picked up his best points score to date.
Georgi ends the weekend fourth in the standings, with Trennon and Rowan in 17th and 18th.
Rowan Vincent, #19 (Woking, Surrey), said:
"It's been a positive weekend for me, even if the final race was a bit of a frustrating way to finish it off. The action on track has been a bit chaotic but I've been able to stay out of trouble and avoided some of the incidents that happened around me, and have picked up three solid finishes. "This season is all about learning for me and that is what I'm doing every time I head out on track. There is plenty for me to take away from this weekend and I can look to continue my progress next time out."
Georgi Dimitrov, #23 (Newmarket, Suffolk), said:
"It was a tough start with the incident in race one, but we bounced back well to get a win and a third place. The win was a bit of a weird one with the red flags and everything that was going on, but I kept my head and stayed out of trouble, which was key. "In race three, I think we got the most that we could from it as I didn't quite have the pace for the front two but overall it's been a weekend where I can go home happy. I've had a few tough weekends where things didn't go my way so hopefully we've turned a corner again here and can keep picking up podiums in the rounds to come."
Trennon Bettany, #41 (Johannesburg, South Africa), said:
"I'm really happy with the weekend. I was still learning the track going into qualifying so we had work to do in the races and in race one I was doing well to get up towards the top ten but got spun off - and then spun got spun again when I was coming back up the order.
"I didn't get the best start in race two but it was all a bit chaotic and I managed to get P11 which then set me up for race three. I was running in tenth and had a gap behind me so I was biding my time before making a move. I got up into P9 and had Freddie Tomlinson on my tail for the last few laps so I'm delighted to hold on for the place. I hope I can build on this at Croft and push for the rookie podium; that's the target."