HAND BACK ON TOP WITH DOMINANT WINNING DOUBLE
A double pole and double win more than made up for Charlie Hand’s disappointing Knockhill weekend, as the JSCC made a second visit of the season to Snetterton.
From lights out it was Hand leading into Riches, from Aaron Walker, Oliver Cottam and Harvey Caton.
Caton was tapped wide at Wilson Hairpin dropping to 10th, while Ruben Hage came charging through and was third by the end of the opening lap.
The lead duo had already broken clear and after a couple of laps, Hand had escaped, while Walker’s hold on second became threatened as Hage towed a train of cars back into contention, with Cottam, James Wallis, Alfie Jeakins and Harry Rice in line.
As Hage and Cottam then duelled for third, Walker got away again, but behind Wallis was a solo fifth and in sixth Jacob Heap hit the front of another group, from Jeakins, Matthew Cripps, Caton and Rice.
It looked relatively settled at the front, but Wallis was able to take advantage of the continuous battles to make an escape for fifth.
Heap had made a mistake and lost sixth at Murrays, and Cripps was out after his engine let go.
Wallis then ousted Cottam at Agostini’s for fourth, before both moved up when Walker’s engine went sick.
Over the remaining laps Hand increased his lead to over 9.5 secs. “I had a good start, but didn’t expect Aaron to so close for so long,” he said.
Hage and Wallis consolidated the other podium places following Walker’s demise. “I had lost the gap to Aaron after the side by side battle with Oliver,” Hage admitted.
“My best finish yet though, it was a hard race, but I was persistent,” added a delighted Wallis. “I was having a good battle with Ruben, but then started to lose power,” said Cottam after taking fourth.
Caton and Jeakins completed the top six, with Rice and Ashley Gregory not far behind. Tommy Gilham and Scholarship winner Chloe Grant rounded off the top 10.
It was an immediate four-car break at the start of race two, with Hand heading Walker, Cottam and Caton, with Hage leading the pursuers.
Walker was on the attack and began to press Hand hard, going ahead through Oggies on the second lap.
Hand stayed close and Walker was unable to retain his new found lead. “The plan was to let Charlie through, follow him and then try again to challenge near the end, “said Walker.
So into Wilson Hand and Caton went through, but Walker managed to reclaim second on the exit.
Hand had broken the tow quickly and was pulling clear when the race was red flagged, after Jamie Goode had piled into Heap and taken them both out.
The safety car soon became a red flag and the race declared at three laps, with taking his second win over Walker, Cottam and Caton. “Disappointing as I think I was in with a shout there,” said Cottam.
Hage was fifth and in sixth Jeakins just held off Wallis. Gregory, Rice and Adam Harding were the rest of the top 10.
Published for the Junior Saloon Car Championship by Peter Scherer, July 5th 2021