The Ginetta Junior Championship crowned Adam Smalley as its champion at Brands Hatch this past weekend (September 29/30) following a dramatic final event of the season around the iconic Grand Prix circuit.
Having served up a year of thrills and spills, the Junior category had one last chapter of 2018 to write and it proved to be entertaining all the way.
After showcasing themselves to being in a league of their own against the rest of the field, Smalley, Louis Foster and Luke Browning all arrived at the Kent venue with a chance of being crowned champion.
All three would shine over the course of the weekend with Richardson Racing’s Browning being the first to do so in race one. With the lead pack bumper-to-bumper throughout, overtaking moves were being made at almost every turn and the decisive one came in the closing minutes as Browning muscled his way past Smalley into the lead.
Going on to score a pivotal victory, Browning kept his title hopes alive whilst Smalley banked solid points in second. Foster meanwhile could only salvage fourth as Patrick Kibble rounded off the podium.
Arguably the most crucial race came in the second Junior duel as Smalley prevailed to extend his points lead. In a race of attrition, the Elite Motorsport withstood a barrage of attacks from the chasing pack before a late safety car neutralised the race, and due to the clock ticking to zero, that is how things would finish.
With all three drivers heading into the final race of the season still in contention, Smalley found himself in the pound seat holding a 26-point advantage over Foster. Starting on pole position, Smalley dropped down the order early on as team-mate Foster stormed to the front of the field.
As the laps ticked by, the battle for supremacy hanged in the balance but as Foster crossed the line to record his latest victory after a back-and-forth battle with Browning, Smalley finished fifth and with it, sealed the championship crown.
“It was pretty horrific!" he said after the race. "I got passed on the first lap, and then beaten up after that. I knew I had to finish around sixth to take the title comfortably. The goal was to go out and win it, but I did what I needed to to.
"I couldn’t control the emotion, it was too overwhelming, I’m over the moon. We’ve been unfortunate in races, coming out on top is great.”
For the full final championship standings and results from all sessions at Brands Hatch, click here.