GINETTA Junior driver Oli Basey-Fisher encountered a tough event at Knockhill Circuit in Scotland last weekend, but still managed to deliver a seventh-place finish – third in the Rookie Cup – during his first ever race at the challenging Fife track.
Beginning round 13 on Saturday afternoon from 11th on the grid, following a tricky run in the preceding wet qualifying session, the 17-year-old from Great Finborough made excellent progress throughout the 12-lap encounter to secure an important haul of championship points.
Maintaining his position off the start, the Tollbar Racing with WIRED driver moved into the top 10 on lap two at the expense of William Palmer and then gained another position the next time round when Scottish racer Elliot Paterson dropped back.
Running in ninth place into the closing stages of the race, he profited from an incident involving Ollie Chadwick and Keith Donegan to leap into seventh position where he remained to the chequered flag – keeping a recovering Paterson at bay by 0.4 seconds.
However, round 14 on Sunday afternoon, was not as fruitful for Basey-Fisher with an excursion on lap 10 leading to retirement following contact with the barriers.
He made a good getaway on the inclined starting grid to quickly move up from 13th position and subsequently threaded his way neatly through a multi-car incident – triggered following a spin by erstwhile championship leader Sennan Fielding – to climb into ninth place.
Driving well, he made further gains on lap three when Harry Woodhead, William Palmer and Pepe Massot got too close for comfort – opening the way for the Century Logistics-backed Tollbar driver to climb into seventh place and second in the Rookie classification.
Dicing hard with Donegan for the position over the next few laps, his rear wheels locked under braking and he slid off into the gravel and retirement.
“It’s definitely been a character building weekend”, he said.
“It’s a hard track to learn – even though Knockhill is short it’s very technical and requires a lot of commitment.
“The changing weather hasn’t helped either, as well as learning the circuit I’ve had to learn the conditions too at the same time so it’s been very challenging.
“Race two was going well until the off. It’s thought Harry Woodhead’s car may have dropped some water as it was overheating. I did miss my heel and toe at that point though and locked the rear wheels so it looks like it could have been part my error and maybe partly because of some fluid on the track.
“I’m definitely aiming for better at Rockingham next month.”
There is now a four week break in the Ginetta Junior Championship calendar with rounds 15 and 16 of the season scheduled to take place at Rockingham in Northamptonshire on September 22-23.