Keith Donegan secured his first Rookie Cup win for Hillspeed during round 14 of the Ginetta Junior Championship season at Knockhill on Sunday with a hard-fought top six finish overall in the second of the weekend’s races.
Eradicating the memory of an unfortunate non-finish in round 13 on Saturday, Donegan claimed the first silverware of his maiden car racing season in only his second race meeting driving for the multiple championship-winning Hathersage team.
Qualifying as the best of Hillspeed’s trio of racers in a rain-hit session with the ninth fastest time for each encounter, the 15-year-old quickly moved into eighth on lap one of round 14 after neatly avoiding the spinning Ginetta G40 of Sennan Fielding.
Running close behind Harry Woodhead, Donegan looked set to pounce but at the end of lap three the hard work was done for him when Woodhead made contact with William Palmer, who in turn was cannoned into the car of Hillspeed racer Pepe Massot.
Although profiting from the contact by sneaking through into sixth place, Donegan was shuffled back to eighth on the fifth tour. He hit back well though and after taking seventh when Oli Basey-Fisher slid off the track on lap ten, Donegan took sixth on the last lap from Woodhead.
Unfortunately for the Hillspeed racer, round 13 wasn’t as enjoyable when a tangle with Ollie Chadwick resulted in an excursion and instant retirement for the teenager.
In contrast to his teammate, Massot had better fortune in the first encounter where he raced to a sixth place finish overall and second in the Rookie Cup from tenth on the grid.
Having suffered clutch cable problems in qualifying, the Spaniard was unable to show his true pace in the grid-determining session but he performed impressively in race one with a strong result.
Moving into ninth on the first lap, Massot climbed into eighth on the third tour and then usurped Donegan for seventh position.
Hillspeed will be in action for rounds 15 -6 of the Ginetta Junior Championship at Rockingham on September 22-23.