Richardson Racing maintains Ginetta Junior title challenge at Brands Hatch
The Richardson Racing team maintained its challenge in the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship as the series headed to Brands Hatch for the second round of the campaign.
The Corby-based team made the trip to the iconic Kent circuit for the second of back-to-back rounds to kick off the delayed 2020 season, with Georgi Dimitrov looking to defend his points lead, and both Rowan Vincent and Trennon Bettany seeking to make forward progress up the field.
Friday testing saw the rookie trio forced to contend with sweltering weather conditions on track, with Georgi ending up with the seventh quickest time, and Rowan and Trennon taking 17th and 20th.
That testing would lead into a busy Saturday that included qualifying and the first two races, with the three youngsters again battling rising temperatures at the Kent circuit that would make things even more difficult on one of the more challenging venues on the calendar.
Georgi would be the quickest of the three in qualifying as he secured seventh place on the grid for race one, whilst Trennon made big strides forwards on his Friday performance by lapping more than a second quicker en-route to 16th spot. Rowan meanwhile would end up 19th fastest, with all three drivers looking to make up places when the racing action kicked off.
The opening ten lap encounter of the weekend saw Georgi embroiled in a four-car fight for the podium places and ultimately ended with him crossing the line in fifth spot overall as third best of the rookie drivers.
Rowan and Trennon would run together on track for much of the race, with Rowan getting ahead on the fifth lap after an early caution period. The pair would eventually cross the line in 17th and 18th places.
With the grid for race two determined by driver’s second quickest times in qualifying, Georgi lined up in eighth spot with Trennon and Rowan in 15th and 19th on the grid.
Having made up a place on the opening lap, Georgi was involved in a huge battle in the middle of the pack but dropped back down to 13th after mid-race contact. However, he fought back well to cross the line in tenth spot and would then be promoted a place into ninth as a result of a penalty for one of the drivers ahead.
Both Rowan and Trennon showed improved pace in the race and would also benefit from penalties for other drivers to be classified in 14th and 15th positions.
The final race of the weekend live on ITV4 with Georgi holding ninth place through lap one but both Rowan and Trennon losing places after a skirmish in the pack at Druids to sit 18th and 19th.
A heavy hit in the rear at Druids on the second lap then dropped Georgi down to 13th, which left the three Richardson Racing cars together on track after Rowan and Trennon avoided various clashes ahead to move up four spots into 14th and 15th.
The safety car would then be deployed to allow two cars to be removed from the gravel, with the trio making up a spot before the restart when one of the cars ahead dived into the pits.
Quick on the restart, Georgi jumped back into the top ten when racing resumed and then made up two further spots to run eighth going into the final lap. Putting huge pressure on Edgar ahead, Georgi missed out on the place by just 0.042s on the run to the flag.
Rowan would climb to twelfth before a moment at Westfield that saw him run across the grass and lose a spot after contact, but he would then run untroubled to the finish to take twelfth place, with Trennon in 15th having also been involved in further contact from one of his rivals.
Georgi ends the weekend third in the standings, with Rowan in 16th and Trennon 19th.
Rowan Vincent, #19 (Woking, Surrey), said:
"Brands Hatch is a tough circuit but it's been a lot of fun this weekend. I absolutely love the track, particularly around the Grand Prix loop, and it's been a big challenge. "I think this weekend has gone better for me than Donington Park and I've been able to learn a lot. I'm not quite sure how I got twelfth in the final race because it was a bit chaotic and there was a lot of contact in the field, but it was a good way to end the weekend. "We've got a little break now before the next round so I'll spend some time on the sim and hope to come back stronger."
Georgi Dimitrov, #23 (Newmarket, Suffolk), said:
"Donington was an amazing weekend and we wanted to try and carry the momentum into Brands Hatch, although it's been a bit more difficult. I hadn't driven the circuit until a few days ago and I struggled a bit in qualifying which set us back for the races. "I'm not disheartened as there is a long way still to go in the championship and it's all about being consistent every weekend and scoring as many points as possible. It's been a tough weekend but it's been fun at the same time."
Trennon Bettany, #41 (Johannesburg, South Africa), said:
"This is a very challenging track and you need to have a lot of confidence, and I don't think I'm quite there yet. However, I'm happy with my results and I think I could have got a bit more in race three but got pushed around a bit and picked up some damage.
"I think I'm improving every time I got out there and with more time in the car, I'm confident I can move up the order. My lack of running hasn't made it an easy start to the year and I think Donington was an easier circuit than Brands Hatch which has been quite daunting when I've only had a few days in the car.
"I know that I've been thrown in at the deep end but I'll be pushing hard to improve when we head back at for the next round."