Greg Johnson showcased impressive speed and car control as he overcame treacherous wet conditions at Knockhill to secure a pair of top six finishes in the latest rounds of the 2018 Ginetta Junior Championship at Knockhill this past weekend (25/26 August).
The annual trip north of the border to Scotland provided a unique challenge for Johnson, with a huge change with the weather overnight meaning he would tackle qualifying and the two races in completing different conditions in his Elite Motorsport Ginetta G40.
Johnson tackled two free practice sessions on Friday in his Fanatical-backed machine as well as an extra outing on Saturday morning, with encouraging lap-times across the sessions seeing him get closer to the front-running pace every time out.
The Staffordshire racer went on to produce a promising display in qualifying, lapping just three tenths of a second off the pole time as he finished fifth fastest overall; impressively doing so without a tow from another car, which can benefit drivers by up to a quarter of a second.
After enjoying dry running across the first two days of the meeting, Johnson was greeted by torrential rain for the opening race on Sunday morning, though it didn’t faze him as he immediately adapted well to the conditions and ran in sixth position in the early stages of the race.
Following a short safety car period, the seventeen year old latched onto the tail of the drivers ahead and made it a four way battle for the final podium position, however despite his best efforts in the closing laps he would have to settle for sixth place at the chequered flag.
The Driving Test Success and Staffordshire Car Care supported racer would line up sixth on the grid for the final race of the weekend, which took place in front of the live ITV4 television cameras and a packed crowd at a still sodden Knockhill circuit.
Johnson would put in a great show for the television audience and trackside fans as he enjoyed a thrilling race-long, wheel-to-wheel duel with James Taylor over fifth position, though after trading the spot on a number of occasions he just missed out at the finish.
That concluded a strong overall weekend for the Rugeley-based racer, who now lies seventh in the championship standings heading into the final two meetings of the year, the first of which is coming up in three weeks’ time at Silverstone (15/16 September).
Greg Johnson: “We had some good pace across the meeting in both the dry and wet conditions which is really positive, and with the weather like it was in the races it was all about staying out of trouble, keeping my nose clean and getting two strong finishes under my belt.
“I matched by best qualifying result of the season which was a big positive after some good progress with our speed through free practice, and I was really happy that I was able to maintain that pace in the races despite the huge change in weather conditions.
“The treacherous track meant the races were always going to be very hectic, but we battled well and came away with some decent championship points, which has put me firmly in contention for the top six in the points ahead of my last two meetings ever in Ginetta Juniors.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography