A remarkable effort from the Elite Motorsport team to repair his car after an opening race incident ensured Greg Johnson came away from the penultimate meeting of the 2018 Ginetta Junior Championship season at Silverstone with a pair of points finishes.
Johnson headed into the meeting on a great run of six consecutive top six finishes in the series, and he was confident of continuing that run around Silverstone’s short, fast National circuit, which was the scene of his best result during the 2017 campaign.
The Fanatical backed driver kicked off the weekend in hugely positive fashion as he ended Friday’s opening free practice session second fastest overall, while another top five result in the second outing meant he entered the weekend in high spirits.
It unfortunately wouldn’t quite go Johnson’s way in qualifying though as a slight mistake on his best lap left him seventh on the timesheets, however an outright quickest time in the first of the circuit’s two sectors confirmed his clear front-running potential.
The 17 year old didn’t get the chance to show that come the races however, with the opening encounter ending in sudden, dramatic fashion on lap two as he found himself unable to avoid a spinning car ahead, resulting in heavy contact between the Ginetta G40’s.
While Johnson fortunately emerged with only some bruising, the same couldn’t be said for his car, however that didn’t faze the Elite Motorsport team who produced a sensational effort to repair the extensive front-end damage to his car ahead of race two.
The job was complete with minutes to spare, which allowed Johnson to take his eighth position on the grid. It sadly proved to be a difficult race for the Staffordshire racer, who battled his way to 13th at the chequered flag to end a rollercoaster day.
The final race of the weekend took place in front of the live ITV4 television cameras on Sunday afternoon, with Johnson putting in a spirited effort in a car that was unfortunately still suffering after-effects of the opening race incident.
The Driving Test Success and Staffordshire Car Care backed racer emerged with a hard-fought 11th place finish to cap off a rollercoaster weekend, which he is aiming to bounce back from in the final rounds of the season at Brands Hatch GP on 29/30 September.
Greg Johnson: “What a weekend that was. It’s hard to put into words the emotions we’ve gone through over the last few days. From a meeting that promised so much after testing and practice, it’s frustrating to see it turn out the way it has.
“We were right on the money during Friday practice and I knew we had the pace in the Fanatical G40 to be right in contention in qualifying, but unfortunately I just didn’t get my lap together in that session and I qualified much lower than we should have.
“There was nothing I could have done differently in the first race. I was unsighted until the last second and could only brace myself for impact. I can’t thank the team enough for the incredible job they did to fix the car in such a short amount of time.
“For the final two races I was focused solely on keeping it clean and picking up some championship points, so it was mission accomplished there. I love the Brands Hatch GP circuit, so I’m determined to bring my time in Ginetta Juniors to an end on a high.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography