FIESTA JUNIORS GET SET FOR PEMBREY DEBUT


The BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship gets set for its second race weekend of 2019, as for the very first time our young charges make the trip to South Wales and Pembrey Circuit in Llanelli for Rounds 3 and 4 of the season. Heading into this weekend, all of the usual suspects are in attendance from Silverstone, plus the debut of a brand new name on the grid too.

Silverstone was a special weekend for Olly Turner and one which he will remember for the rest of his racing career. In the opening rounds, Olly made the most of his new car that had previously been in the hands of former FJC and Fiesta champion Harry Gooding to take the fight to 2018 Fiesta Junior champion Magnus Kriklywi in both races. After a thrilling battle in each, Olly showed true pace, grit and determination to snatch the win away both times from Kriklywi, driving his way to his first pair of circuit racing victories since he joined the championship back in 2017. With Kriklywi not scheduled to appear this weekend, Turner may feel as though he goes into the weekend as the favourite, but at the same time he knows that the contenders are lining up to challenge him.

One such contender could definitely be Joel Wren, who had mixed fortunes on his opening Fiesta Junior weekend but still impressed many people in the paddock. With a season of junior racing elsewhere under his belt prior to the event, Wren took to the Fiesta quickly and after settling for 6th place in Race 1 with a car that had gone into “Limp Home Mode”, he picked up his first podium in an undramatic second race. Joel’s next target will be to move up the podium a couple more spots and pick up his first race win, so expect him to be the main person to mount a challenge to Turner’s place at the top of the points table for the time being.

That doesn’t mean the other drivers won’t be a threat either. Silverstone didn’t really give us a chance to see Alfie Glenie’s true pace as bad fortunes cost him a good result on both races. He eventually had to settle for a pair of 5th places, but will be more fired up than ever to have a better weekend this time around. Ted Potts, son of veteran racer Stephen, was overjoyed and almost lost for words after he clinched 3rd place in Race1 at Silverstone in only his third weekend in FJC after debuting at the same venue last September on the International circuit; he will hope for more of the same this time.

Abby Lock has made some superb progress over the winter too and thanks to tuition from driver coach and The Grand Tour star Abbie Eaton, she propelled her Scholar Engines prepared Fiesta to a brace of 4th place finishes, the best in her fledgling career so far. A podium finish will be next on the cards for her, but Abby knows that to achieve it she will have to step it up a notch and get her elbows out to ensure those around her don’t steal it from her grasp,

should she find herself in that position. Nonetheless, Abby continues to find more and more pace with every lap she drives.

In addition to the regulars, Pembrey also sees the welcome debut of a new face to the Fiesta Junior paddock. Graduating from karting courtesy of David Ellesley’s Race Car Consultants squad, Joseph Loake heads to South Wales to compete just days after his 14th birthday. Testing at both Silverstone and Blyton Park has gone well with reports suggesting that he’s not too far off front running pace, so be sure to keep an eye out for Joe as he adapts to circuit racing for the very first time. Best of luck, Joe!

In previous visits to Wales, albeit solely at Anglesey, four different drivers have taken wins in the four races run in across 2014 and 2016. This weekend, at least one more Fiesta Junior name will add to the tally of Welsh circuit winners, but the answer remains to be found when pondering just who will come away with silverware this time. Whatever happens, it should be a thrilling venture into the unknown as the Fiesta Junior Championship makes a rare debut on a brand new circuit!

Scott Woodwiss