Lorcan Hanafin wins in Brands Hatch

Yorkshire-based Lorcan Hanafin, son of well-known Tralee man Dermot, won a safety car disrupted penultimate race of the 2019 Ginetta Junior championship in fading light.

The Douglas Motorsport driver started from pole and managed to stay on track despite treacherous conditions at Brands Hatch.

After a late safety car period, racing resumed with two laps remaining. Hanafin was forced to go on the defence as Scholarship winner Ethan Brooks tried to continue his charge up through the field.

Brooks had been fifth when the final safety car of the day was called, but a strong restart allowed him to pull alongside Hanafin in the closing laps.

James Taylor made it a three-way fight for the lead on the final laps, but Hanafin just managed to hold onto the lead. He finished 0.134s ahead of Taylor, with Brooks a further 0.122s back.

Racing was halted before the end of the opening lap, when Frankie Taylor ran into the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend, prompting a safety car. Almost immediately after racing resumed, another driver – this time Josh Rattican – ran off at the same corner, resulting in another extended safety car period.

As the leaders were battling for the lead, a number of drivers came together on the final lap. Zak O’Sullivan and Will Martin had been battling for fifth when they came together, bringing an early end to both driver’s races and forcing Martin to miss the final race of the season. Haytham Qarajouli and Aston Millar were also caught up in the incident.

Joel Pearson came through to finish fourth, ahead of champion-elect James Hedley and Gus Burton, who managed another strong drive from the back of the grid after crashing out of qualifying.

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