Ready to Race: Part One
The Junior Saloon Car Championship continues to grow into what has now become the best junior supported car racing championship in the world.
Entries are already looking good with 24 cars due to line-up for the delayed start to this years Championship, which will finally get underway this weekend at Cadwell Park on July 4th/5th.
Over the last few years the championship for 14-17 year olds has continued to flourish and with nine double headers squeezed in between July and November, the 2020 season already looks like another record breaker.
The success of the championship has also attracted backing from some of the BTCC teams, and a number of cars last season were resplendent in a matching livery to their bigger brothers.
The majority of this years grid are returnee’s from 2019, but two notable exceptions are Lewis Saunders and Molly Dodd.
Both debuted in the JSCC in 2018, completing a full season. Lewis, son of former Mini racer Ralph, came from Junior Short Oval Racing. He was second in his first race at Silverstone and took his first win at Rockingham in round eight. With three more wins before the end of the year and numerous podiums, he was a clear champion.
He decided to defend his title, and had support from BTCC team Ciceley Motorsport. Major engine problems throughout the season however left him on the back foot as Scott McIntyre took the crown. But Saunders still managed five wins, including a double at the Brands Hatch finale, securing him second in the Championship.
Molly was karting for five years and has had two full seasons in the JSCC. She also contested last years Ginetta Juniors.
In 2018 she had four top 10 finishers, with ninth at Rockingham in round four her best. During 2019 she managed to improve on her best result with a seventh in round six at Snetterton. Having secured four other top 10 results, her experience should see her moving up the order this season.
Archie Handy was new to the championship last year, debuting at Oulton Park and taking ninth in the second race of the day. As well as his JSCC racing, Archie has been starring in the Junior Subaru Karting over the last two seasons. He was Winter Champion in 2018 and 19 and last year he won the outright championship and the Kent Cup too.
He finished seventh in last years championship and secured his first podium at Mallory Park, taking third place in both races.
2019 Scholarship winner Harry Rice began his motorsport experience at the age of eight when he started Karting. He moved into the higher ranks of the sport in 2017 joining the Mini Max grid, moving on to Junior Rotax for 2018.
He spent most of last season trying to break into the top 10, which he succeeding in doing in fine style at the penultimate meeting at Cadwell Park, with sixth in race one before a seasons best fifth in the second race.
Alex Solley was another to join the Championship from Karting. He raced in Cadets before making his car racing debut at Oulton Park. He got his first top 10 finish with a seventh in the fifth round at Snetterton, but was rarely out of it for the rest of the season. His best result was fifth in round seven at Silverstone.
The third of the three female drivers coming back for a second season is Ashley Gregory. A few mechanicals woes plagued her towards the end of last year, but she has plenty of experience to call on. She started Ministox in 2015 and was second in the final race of her debut season.
She had her first Ministox win in 2017 and won the title the following year, with 23 victories under her belt. After retaining her title in 2018, she joined the JSCC and recorded a seasons best eighth place at Snetterton in round six.
Harry Ashley was another young driver that didn’t follow the Karting route, he went Autograssing a Mini before turning to the circuits last year. His best weekend by far last season was at Anglesey, when his fifth place in the first race led to third in race two.
Published for the Junior Saloon Car Championship by Peter Scherer, June 29th 2020
Photos courtesy of Chris Kings.