The Ginetta Winter Series took place at Brands Hatch on the 18-19 November, the annual event is the season closing championship - but still one everyone wants to win!
2017 Ginetta Scholarship winner Adam Smalley set a 57.062 lap time in the morning’s Qualifying Session to take the top grid slot, but had to settle for second in the opening race of the championship.
Kiern Jewiss took the lead and defended valiantly to keep a charging Smalley behind him in race one of the Winter Series
Race two saw Smalley's teammate Greg Johnson lead the early stages, before the race once again turned into a duel between Jewiss and Smalley - trading places for the lead throughout the race, now in fading light and making for a dramatic closing to Saturday's racing!
Smalley went around the outside at Graham Hill Bend to take the lead on the tenth lap, but Jewiss didn’t sit second for long, and replicated Smalley’s move at Graham Hill to re-take the lead. From there, Jewiss, on the defence, held on until the flag came out,
After Douglas Motorsport’s Kiern Jewiss won both Saturday Winter Series races at Brands Hatch, his title rival Adam Smalley in the #54 Elite Motorsport G40 struck back in the third race on Sunday afternoon, taking his first win of the event in dramatic fashion.
Smalley started from Pole Position after a 1:05.045 in the tricky conditions trackside in the morning’s qualifying session, but his lead didn’t last long, Greg Johnson (in the #7 Elite Motorsport G40) moving from fourth place into the lead on the opening lap of the race, Smalley dropping to third.
The Safety Car was quickly called into action though, after Fin Green had an off at Clearways, neutralising the field. At the restart Johnson dropped down the order and out of contention, creating a two-way duel for the win between Jewiss - who inherited the lead and Smalley.
The pair fought hard for the rest of the race, Jewiss unable to hold on this time, Smalley running nose-to-tail with the Maidstone-born racer, eventually taking the lead on the penultimate lap of the race at the famous Druids hairpin.
After finishing behind Jewiss in both Saturday races, the victory kept his title chances alive heading into the finale.
Then, a few hours later, Smalley took his second win in the #54 Elite Motorsport G40, in what turned out to be a disastrous final race of the weekend for title rival Jewiss.
Jewiss, who won both Saturday races to take a healthy championship lead of over 10 points, had a costly spin on the opening lap of the race, dropping him to 14th position, forcing him to fight through the field in an attempt to claim the title.
Jewiss managed to climb back up to sixth place, but it wasn't enough, the Douglas Motorsport driver needing a second place finish to have any chance of taking the spoils.
Smalley out front however had edged away from his rivals, building a steady lead to manage the race on his way to the championship.
In the end Smalley's winning margin was just 0.826, but he was rarely challenged directly by the other runners - as he crossed the line to take his second win of the weekend and his first Championship since graduating to car racing!
“It was a bit of a hectic race, three! I started on pole, it was wet and I got a horrendous start, but in the end I made the most of the opportunity at the end and came out on top. To win that brought me back into the championship.
The final race I managed to get my head down and just go for the win - luckily it went our way today, I am very proud to take the 2017 Ginetta Junior Winter Series Championship! It is a fantastic way to end the season, my first in cars and with the Ginetta Family!
Huge thanks to all my partners, sponsors and everyone else who has helped me have a brilliant 2017 season!"
It was the second title for the Elite Motorsport team which Smalley joined for the Winter Series, going alongside the main Ginetta Junior Championship title won by Tom Gamble earlier in October.
Smalley's 2018 plans will be announced in due course with his maiden season now at a close - stay tuned online and on his social media channels for the latest news!