Motorsport: Teenage Rotherham driver Taylor secures second victory of season
Donington Park provided mixed blessings as the ‘home race’ for local drivers and local team in the BTCC Support Races, with some tasting glory.
For the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship round 3 Rotherham’s James Taylor qualified in 5th place while Sheffield’s Josh Rattican qualified 16th.Multiple crashes in the opening laps of the race brought out the red flags, and forced a restart after a lengthy delay to clear the track.Rattican benefitted, now started the race in 10th, but 17 year-old Taylor was obliged to start from the back of the field.Determined to make the most of it, Taylor was up to 11th by the end of lap 1 and took places on every lap until he was 6th with one lap to go.As he was slicing though the field, Taylor caught up with Rattican who had managed to get around the first corner accidents climbing to 6th.The pair raced in tandem until the last lap when Taylor swooped by Rattican and only just missed out on a podium, with a remarkable 4th-place at the flag, while the Sheffield 15 year-old fell back slightly crossing the line in 7th, and 4th-best rookie.Starting round 4 in grid 3rd, Taylor was soon locked in wheel-to-wheel dicing over the race lead, managing to work his nose to the front after 4 laps.The pair ran side-by-side towards the chequered flag, dramatically crossing the line in a photo finish, just 0.024 seconds apart: Taylor emerging victorious for the second win of his 2019 campaign.For round 5, Taylor had pole position but didn’t make the best start, losing a place into the first corner and eventually finished in third spot.Rattican just missing out on a round 4 Rookie-class podium finish following working his way up from grid slot 14, to Rookie 4th and 9th-place overall.Having started in 9th position, Rattican had a less fraught round 5, holding 10th position, until lap 11. He took the flag in 15th.Chesterfield’s Seb Perez qualified in 5th-place for the Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain round 3, holding his position at the start, he overtook Lewis Plato for 4th exiting the first corner. However, Plato fought back and reclaimed 4th-place down the Craner Curves but was still going too fast downhill into the Old Hairpin and ran wide, only to re-joined the track rather awkwardly.Perez was unable to avoid his Porsche eventually slamming into the barriers at high speed, where thankfully, he was unhurt, but the car was extensively damaged, requiring his team to burn the midnight oil returning the car back to pristine condition.Perez had to pay the price in lining up 9th for round 4.Any chance of picking his way through the pack was halted. “The car developed a slow puncture so I couldn’t hit the brakes hard to try to make a move on someone,” Perez lamented, having to nurse the car home to be 7th at the chequered flag.Although some consolation came when an exclusion promoted him to finish in 6th-place. “It is a shame about the puncture, but we are happy how we did,” he said. Perez is now 5th overall in the championship.