SEASON REVIEW: MOTORSPORT NEWS FORD FIESTA JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP


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Charles Ladell is the inaugural Fiesta Junior champion. Photo: John Cooper

The Fiesta Junior project had initially faced some teething problems before finally taking to the track in 2012, for a full championship season. This great leap forward was made possible by the teams, organisers and the BRSCC all pushing forward in a spirit of teamwork.

Racing a Fiesta ST on slick tyres would present challenges for any driver, but our 14 – 16 year olds took to the track like the proverbial ‘ducks to water’, and on many occasions the water was also present in what has been described as one of the wettest race seasons. The race car was based on the senior Fiesta ST and had the benefit of extra safety features to afford extra protection for the precious cargoes.

Fiesta Junior mirrored the senior events and so a schedule of 16 races at 8 events faced the young drivers. Initially, the previous car racing experience of Charles Ladell showed through, but as the season progressed, we saw other drivers gaining confidence and race ability to take the competition to a higher level as the battle at the front became closer and closer. All told, 14 drivers raced in 2012 and the outlook for 2013 is for this figure to increase to over 20.

The talents of Jack Mitchell and James Ross, together with Aiden Moffat and Ben Wilcox were very apparent. In the later part of the season, other drivers came out to race as both funds and age allowed. Additional new drivers made their debuts at the Brands Hatch finale, including the first female, as Natasha Hussain raced under the WDE banner. A long and arduous season then and one keenly contested by all. Of course, there is only one winner. For 2012, and the very first Fiesta Junior Champion, it is Charles Ladell who in scoring 228 points pipped his nearest rival Jack Mitchell by just a handful of points.

Kevin Shortis
Ford Racing UK