Liverpool-based teenager Declan Jones took his very first victory in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Silverstone last weekend (October 6-7).
The 17-year-old, who maintained his strike rate at Rockingham last month, taking his fifth podium rostrum in as many events, was on the pace from the off on Friday in his Century Motorsport-run Ginetta G50 and was right up with G50 class championship leader, Mark Davies, in the first test session, a battle that continued on Saturday and Sunday.
Indeed despite having to start the first race from the back, after a driveshaft failure in qualifying, Declan stormed back through, finishing second in the G50 class and twelfth overall.
Better was to come though, and on Sunday, in the second race which was screened live on UK television on ITV4, Declan hounded Davies from lights-to-flag, eventually taking the G50 class win and tenth place overall, when his rival was handed a 5 second penalty for unfairly exceeding the track limits.
“It was an absolutely fantastic weekend for me,” said Declan, who is now seventh in the G50 Cup standings with 192 points, “yeah, we had the issue in qualifying, but other than that it was all good.
“In the first race I made a strong start and over the first five or so laps got myself to second. I then pushed and pushed and tried to catch Davies. But I just had too much to do early on and after he maintained the gap. We were matching times, which was frustrating, but it was also fantastic too, because over the weekend I was the only person that could do that. It was only us two on the same pace in the G50s. We were something like six tenths quicker than the other guys.
“Then on Sunday to take the win was great. It is a massive confidence boost for me. All through the race I was matching Mark’s times and I was either a bit quicker than him or he was a bit quicker than me. We were within hundredths of each other.
“It was only when a G55 caught me up and he went for a couple of moves that I had to back out of it and I lost a bit of time. That is the only reason Davies managed to pull away from me.
“Overall though, it feels brilliant to get my first victory in the Ginettas and it is a fantastic way to start the end of the year. I have got to say a massive thank you to Century Motorsport – the car was great and very well prepared. A big thanks as well to my sponsors, Chicago Soft and The London Perfume Company Limited, because without them, and of course Century Motorsport, it wouldn’t have been so good a weekend.”
Declan now heads to Brands Hatch in two weeks time (October 20-21) for the final Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup round of the year and the event there is a triple header with three races on the bill.
“I am really looking forward to it. I like Brands Hatch. It is like a big brother to Oulton Park in a way and they are my two favourite tracks. I will be aiming to try and build on what we did at Silverstone. I can’t wait,” Declan added.
Declan’s dad and manager, Kelvin Jones meanwhile was over-the-moon to see his son bounce back from the driveshaft failure in qualifying and still come through to break his G50 winners duck.
“Declan just keeps getting better and better,” Kelvin continued. “We are so pleased and these results are coming at a crucial time as we plan for 2013.
“It is also worth pointing out this is only Dec’s fourth outing in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup and for him to already be achieving what he has, including of course taking the G50 class win on Sunday, is really remarkable. I am very proud and we will be hoping for more of the same at Brands.”
Photo courtesy of Jakob Ebrey