Back-to-front decision is vital as Hillery plots his next move on the track
PUBLISHED: 12:05 21 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:05 21 November 2017
James Hillery has an important decision to make this winter – stick with a front wheel drive car for next year or change to rear wheel drive.
The Shipdham racer is fresh from claiming third place in the highly competitive BRSCC Ford Fiesta Junior Saloon Car Championship and is contemplating moving to either the FWD Mini Challenge or rear drive Ginetta Challenge championships for 2018.
Hillery has been offered a drive in the British GT Championship, “but it’s out of our reach at this time”, said the level-headed youngster, who plans to test cars from both the Mini and Ginetta series in the coming weeks before making the plunge.
The local racer will be hoping to build on a solid season in the family-run HW Racing Team which allowed him to start the season off in fine style.
“After winning the first race of the season at Brands Hatch I knew it was possible to be a front-runner all season as the car was set-up well, and to my liking, which allowed me to race hard at every round,” he said.
Hillery headed to the final round in the series at Donington Park with an outside chance of stealing the title from Jack Davidson while fighting Nicholas Reeve for second. However, title hopes were dashed in the opening race with Hillery sidelined by a broken driveshaft and with Reeve victorious, second place looked to have also gone.
Undeterred, Hillery bounced back in fine style, despite having to start from the last row of the grid, to finish the season off with a podium position.
The original race was soon halted, with three rivals unable to take part in the second running, with Hillery quickly up to fifth place by the end of the opening lap and then he passed two more rivals to be third.
However, Reeve and Davidson had built too big a lead for Hillery to make any more progress and in the final reckoning he lost second place by 14 points, having been outscored by double winner Reeve 63 points to 27 on the day.
“Coming third in the championship is a fantastic achievement being up against two of the biggest saloon car teams in the country and on a limited budget,” said a proud Hillery who also thanked his sponsors and supporters for their part in his success.