Bristol’s Fin Green again battled for silverware in the second BTCC-supporting Ginetta Junior meeting of the season, grabbing a brace of sixth place finishes to climb to fifth in the championship.
The visit to the Leicester circuit brought a tricky mix of spring weather conditions to the table, Saturday’s opening two races held on a wet and greasy surface before Green came into his own on a dry track the following day.
The 15-year-old showed consistent pace in sodden qualifying conditions to grab eighth and fifth on the grid for races one and two respectively, backing that up with a great start in race one to leap to the head of a hard-fought battle for fourth place.
“The pace and my starts were good all weekend”, said Green. “We made a fantastic start to fourth, then it was a bit of a scrap from then on in those conditions”. That scrap also involved Elite Motorsport team-mates Greg Johnson and Adam Smalley, Green crossing the line sixth in race one.
Fifth on the grid for the second race of the day, managing wet tyre degradation on a drying track was a key factor. Unfortunately, Green was forced into a grassy moment during the race, slipping to eighth in his efforts to reach the top three after another blistering start. “I started fifth, got up to third with another good start but ended up on the grass trying to overtake, which dropped me down to eighth.”
It was the third and final race of the weekend where Green came out of his shell. Starting eighth, a rapid getaway helped him climb up to fourth place and onto the rear of a four-car breakaway train for the lead.
In an early contender for overtake of the season, Green rounded two cars under braking on the outside at Redgate to grab second place, challenging Smalley heading down Craners. Holding firm on the outside a lap later, Green was edged wide at Old Hairpin, but recovered well from the excursion to carry on his pursuit of a first victory.
An oversteering car made it difficult and on lap five his feisty battle with Smalley ended prematurely at McLeans. The latter spun into the gravel, Green losing ground to leaders Browning and Foster in the delay. The remainder of the race became a fierce scrap for the final podium position between five drivers, Green finishing a solid sixth but less than a second from the rostrum.
“I got a great start and tried to get away with the leaders”, Green added on race three. “[On lap two] everybody was on the inside, so I thought I’d try the outside line and it worked. It was oversteering like crazy, I got sideways and Adam and myself made contact which was not my intention. I lost time to the first two and had to defend a bit more, but lots of overtaking.”
Green climbs to fifth in the championship as the series next visits the high-speed Thruxton circuit in Hampshire on 19/20 May, consistency a new focal point for the youngster.
“We’ll try to relay a bit of calmness like we do in tests. The car has come home in one piece and we’re working hard to find more improvements. We were strong in our last practice so we’re looking forward to it.”