Ellough’s Oli Basey-Fisher impressing in Ginetta Junior Championship
Teenager Oli Basey-Fisher continued the excellent start to his maiden season of car racing action at Donington Park with a well deserved top-four result during the fourth round of the 2012 Ginetta Junior Championship.
As at Brands Hatch during his category debut a couple of weeks ago, the 16-year-old Ellough racer was in the front-running fight in both Donington races but a robust opening encounter led to a highly unfortunate retirement on lap eight.
Putting the disappointment behind him and bouncing back superbly in Sunday's televised race, the Tollbar Racing driver overcame tough early laps to slice his way into podium contention in round four – missing out on the rostrum by 0.2 seconds.
His lap times, particularly in race two, were impressive with a quickest of 1:22.135 just 0.1 seconds shy of the fastest of the race. In terms of championship standings, Oli rounded-out his second weekend in car racing eighth overall with 51 points.
'It was disappointing not to finish the first race and we could have had second in race two,' he said. 'Fourth is still good though, it's good points after retiring from race one – I'm pretty happy with that really.'
Qualifying sixth fastest for Saturday's race, Oli held his placing well during the opening exchanges but slipped behind second-year racer Sennan Fielding to seventh on lap two. Remaining glued to the rear of Fielding, Oli was hampered with a spin at the exit of the Old Hairpin on lap four following contact from Pepe Massot. Recovering outside the top 10 and with a mountain to climb, the Century Logistics-supported driver sat 11th during a two-lap safety car and saw his hopes of making up lost ground ended on lap nine at Redgate when he was pushed wide before being collected by Nathan Harrison – ruling both drivers out on the spot.
Determined to bag as many points as possible in round four on Sunday afternoon, Oli lined-up fourth on the grid due to pole-sitter George Gamble having withdrawn from the race following a major collision in the opening encounter, shortly after the one which accounted for Oliver.
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He was shuffled back to seventh before fighting back into the top five and then reclaiming fourth on lap six. Following a tangle at the chicane between Charlie Robertson and Niall Murray, the door opened for Oli to nip through and take second – unfortunately, it was short-lived and he slipped to fourth.
With one-time puncture concerns, Oli had to settle for fourth – only a second shy of the runner-up spot.
Next for Oli are rounds five and six at Thruxton, Hampshire this weekend – renowned as one of the most demanding tracks in the UK, as well as the fastest.