Tom Wood battles hard at Knockhill in Ginetta Juniors

August 17, 2017

Ginetta Junior Championship

Tom Wood endured a challenging weekend at Knockhill but came away with a strong 5th and 6th place finish in the two races at the Scottish round of the Ginetta Junior Championship

Wood make a good start to qualifying, setting the 5th fastest time after the opening runs. As he went out for the next however, his car was a little on edge in the areas where you really needed to lean on the car to extract the most out of it. This thwarted Tom in the middle sector as he set the 7th fastest time – giving him a P7 grid slot for both races.

The first race saw Tom Wood make a sluggish start, but nevertheless he battled hard to maintain his position in the opening lap. With a big gap to the car behind, Wood fought hard to gain a position over the start finish line into the first corner. The Donington Park backed driver was still struggling with handling imbalances at the chicane, making a small mistake which dropped him into the clutches of Smalley behind. A couple of laps later, his rival capitalised and overtook Wood into the penultimate corner.

Wood then worked with Smalley to get back with the group all battling for the lead. With half race distance coming up, Smalley and Wood caught the lead group and he instantly made his move for 6th into the first corner. This put Wood back in contention for a podium.

Three laps later, Wood made a big move for 5th position, but he lost time as he was forced onto the grass over the start finish line. Wood dropped back to 7th and tried his hardest to get past Smalley again for 6th - but despite his best efforts, he was unable to pass, finishing 7th on the road. After the race, however another driver ahead was given a 5 second penalty, promoting Wood to 6th place.

After a good initial getaway in race two, this put Tom right in the mix for a potential podium. Positions were unchanged in the top 7 at the end of the opening lap - but out of the chicane, Wood ran a little wide and conceded to Dyson behind. Wood tried to reclaim the position by going around the outside at the last corner, but it was to no avail as he was ran out of road and conceded another two positions.

Wood immediately battled back and got passed his teammate a few corners later. Dyson got pushed onto the grass ahead, providing Wood with another position gain. This brought Wood back up to 8th with Smalley and Browning ahead. Bravely he made a move on Smalley from a car length back. On the exit, I had contact from another car which had spun. From this incident, Wood had damage to the front left wheel, but managed to keep his lap times around the same as before despite the issue. The lead group had a 2 second lead over Wood and his teammate.

The safety car came out to allow recovery of a car stuck in the gravel, which bunched the whole group up. Wood made a good restart and I was right up behind Priaulx in 4th place. They proceeded to battle for the last three laps. Wood made a move round the outside of Priaulx with two corners to go down the back straight. He then defended hard into the last corner. However his teammate Jordan Collard, just managed to get around the outside of both Priaulx drivers, edging Wood out by 0.05s, putting me 5th over the line.

 

Tom Wood “It was a disappointing weekend at one of my strongest circuits. We couldn’t seem to find the pace. I squeezed everything I could out of the car, it wasn’t enough to be able to challenge for the win, but I am still in the hunt.
Thank you to HHC Motorsport and all my sponsors once again helping us with this big trip up North to Scotland!”

The next round of the Ginetta Junior Championship takes places at Rockingham Motor Speedway on the 26-27 August. Tom Wood is currently 5th overall in the championship as he visits a circuit he enjoyed a high amount of success at last season.