CATON TAKES SECOND WIN OF THE SEASON
Second in the JSCC Championship Harvey Caton proved to be the man to beat at Donington Park. Championship leader Charlie Hand did it just in race one, but Caton secured his second win of the year at the second time of asking.
It was front row sitters Caton and Hand that led into Redgate on the opening lap, with Hand trying to take the outside line, before giving best.
But after Jacob Heap had crashed out at the Esses, the safety car was out for a couple of laps, going green from lap four.
The top five made an immediate break with Caton heading Hand, Will Redford, Ruben Hage and Alfie Jeakins.
On lap Hage and Jeakins shared a couple of exchanges, before Hage latched onto Redford into McLeans on lap six.
With the lead duo making slight a split after seven laps, Hage began to press for third, as Jeakins started to lose touch.
Into McLeans for the eighth time and Hand made his move for the lead. They exited side by side but at Coppice Hand was in charge.
“I had a good start but it started to feel loose on the rear as the tyres warmed up. I had started to lose cornering speed and once Charlie got me I couldn’t get back,” Caton explained.
“I think Harvey judged the conditions better than me, then I picked up pace when I saw a dry line,” Hand replied after taking victory by 0.496 secs.
Hage was into third on lap eight too, “I missed a gear at Schwantz Curve, but then caught up again on the last lap and just went for it,” Redford added.
Jeakins had taken advantage of Redford’s mistake and had closed in on Hage again. “I had overall pace but Alfie was able to close on the straights,” Hage admitted.
“I had contact after going side by side with Ruben and it knocked my tracking out, but then on the last lap I got a better run at the Esses,” said Jeakins.
Both Jeakins and Redford dived ahead of Hage, as all three took the flag astern.
Matthew Cripps completed the top six, after taking the place back from Aaron Walker on the last lap, while behind them Jamie Petters, Loui Hounsell and Jack Ruddell completed the top 10 and were the Rookie top three.
Caton was on pole again for race two and led the charge into Redgate from Hage, Hand, Oliver Cottam and Petters, but not everyone made the first lap and the safety car was immediately in action.
It was three more laps before the green flag was waved leaving only seven minutes of racing in an already shortened race.
The lead trio got clear quickly, with Petters ousting Cottam for fourth.
Behind it was a huge battle for sixth, with Cripps, Jeakins, Meakin, Adam Harding and Ashley Gregory.
Caton got a slight break as the battle for second intensified, with Hage and Hand sharing a couple of exchanges, which allowed Petters to catch them.
It was comfortable win for Caton with 3.270 secs to spare. “It was great fun when they were all attacking, but when Ruben was on the right and Charlie on the left, I didn’t know which one to block. But once I got a break I just concentrated and stopped looking in the mirrors,” he said.
On both the penultimate and last laps Petters had second out of the Melbourne Hairpin, as Hage and Hand delayed each other. But on each occasion the Rookie overshot his turn in for Goddards and dropped back to fourth, following Hage and Hand to the flag with only 0.227 secs covering all three.
“I was fired up for that from the start and just gave everything. Charlie and I were side by side so much I didn’t look in the mirrors,” said Hage.
“I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but just kept outbraking myself. They had done it before but I hadn’t, still my best result though,” Peters added.
Cottam retained a solitary fifth, with Cripps just holding off Jeakins for sixth. Meakin, Harding and Gregory completed the top 10.
The final rounds of the Championship are at Brands Hatch on November 6th/7th.