Fox Motorsport celebrated a superb Simpson Performance Tools Ginetta Junior Winter Series as Gordie Mutch secured the team’s maiden Rookie Cup victory at Brands Hatch on Sunday. Gordie added a further podium finish later in the day to impressively finish the series fourth in the rookie points table and ninth overall within the field of largely more-experienced drivers.
The team from Maldon, Essex, had awarded the 15-year-old racer a fully-supported drive in the four-race series after he won a specially-organised shoot-out in September.
Gordie, who lives in Lockerbie and was racing a rear-wheel-drive car for the first time, had only taken part in one full day of testing ahead of the event and qualified as fifth-best rookie on Saturday morning at the former British Grand Prix venue. A pair of ultra-consistent drives ensured he was the fifth-best rookie finisher in both of the opening day’s wet encounters, but much better was to come.
On a damp Sunday morning, an unfortunate error put Gordie in the gravel without completing a lap and relegated him to ninth on the rookie grid and 15th overall. But he remained calm behind the wheel and showed extraordinary racecraft to snatch the lead of the category for Ginetta novices with a few laps to go and took the chequered flag to take the category victory.
It was Fox Motorsport’s first victory in Ginetta Junior racing and came almost one year to the day since Paul McNeilly’s ambitious team debuted in the category at last year’s Winter Series. The result – which was achieved in sixth place overall – means Fox have now won races in the six different championships; the Ginetta Jr achievement adding to successes in the International GT Open, British GT Championship, GT Cup, Lotus Elise Trophy and Ginetta G55 Supercup.
A third-place finish among the rookie contingent in the final race of the day helped Gordie, who is supported by John Clark Motors, Balmoral Group, Express Tyres Lockerbie, Ecurie Ecosse and Panda Racing, to claim the Hard-charger award; given to the driver who gained the most places across the four races.
Gordie Mutch said: “This weekend has been an absolute dream come true. My car-racing experience had previously been limited to a year in front-wheel-drive machinery in the Junior Saloon Car Cup, so to win my class on my rear-wheel-drive debut weekend is even better than I could have imagined. The team at Fox Motorsport have been incredibly welcoming and have provided exactly the kind of environment I need to develop my driving skills, technique and racecraft. I’d love to race in the full Ginetta Junior Championship in 2018 and I hope that this result makes it a little easier to find the support to do this.”
Paul McNeilly, Team Principal, said: “I’m incredibly proud of Gordie and the entire team to score our first class win in Ginetta Juniors after what’s been quite a tough season in the main championship. When Gordie contested the shoot-out for his drive with us, it was obvious that he had immense natural talent and I’ve been equally impressed with the maturity he’s shown in terms of listening and learning. His qualifying incident would have played on a lesser driver’s mind too much, but he put it to one side and delivered a sensational rookie win. He clearly has the ability to have an extremely successful career in motorsport and we’re proud to have given him the opportunity to show what he can do.”