A MALMESBURY SCHOOL student came away with three trophies on his debut in the Ginetta Junior Championship

The 2024 season kicked off at Oulton Park in Cheshire over Easter weekend. 

The 15-year-old pupil Jude Peters, from Brinkworth near Malmesbury, was awarded recently awarded a life-changing opportunity after beating tough opposition at an intense three-day competition organised by British car manufacturer Ginett to win a fully-funded scholarship to drive at the prestigious racing championship this year. 

Oulton Park - 30th March to 1st April 2024 Race Report

Mixed track conditions and the sprint format mean there are only 3 laps to produce your starting position.

Attacking the session, an uncharacteristic spin at a wet turn one lost Jude one of his qualifying laps.

He did well to keep the car on track and continue the session.

A mid pack qualifying position was not ideal but left him in contention for a top 10 finish, with the main goal being just to finish and capture the experience.

Never having raced before, everything Jude experienced this weekend was a first.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: 15-year-old Jude Peters on the podium on debut at the Ginetta Junior Championship

Race 1:

After a good start, Jude settled into his rhythm making up a place in a very competitive pack. 

Jude was tagged mid race, which snapped the bonnet pins on his car making the bonnet flap up and down.

Apart from being distracting, this unsettles the cars handling, and slows it on the straights. Battling to maintain position and defending against faster cars, with the handling compromised Jude went offline and lost a couple of places.

He fought back and closed the race in 17th.

Despite not making it to the top 10, Jude did land a podium as the second-place freshman, Freshman are those drivers who have never raced before.

Race 2:

Race 2 was in very wet conditions.

Despite feeling somewhat pensive Jude’s smooth driving style works well in the wet. From 16th position, Jude had a great start, and over the course of the first couple of laps made up some places.

A near miss on a spun car, and Jude made his way through the pack to 11th place. He battled to get past the car in front for a number of laps.

Whilst faster, he could not find a safe way through. At the last corner of the last lap, he moved for the outside for a pass, and was held out to the edge of the track compromising his line and unfortunately losing one place to finish back in 12th.

An improvement on race 1 and top step of the podium in the freshman category.

Race 3: 

More rain was in store for race 3 and Jude was struck with a windscreen wiper not being as effective as it could be. S

tarting from 12th another good start was stifled at turn one with nowhere to go. Jude settled into his position, and with the confidence gained from race 2 set about working his way forward.

He made it to tenth position, and with another driver incurring a 10 second penalty this would have Jude in 9th position. Just before a safety car, Jude had his pocket picked into the first chicane with a bold move that put him back to 11th on track, and 10th overall.

He maintained this position, fighting to get past the same car that held him in race 2. Another safety car left the race with a one lap shoot-out to the finish.

Approaching the final turn in 12th on track, 11th overall, an ambitious move from another driver pushed Jude offline, and lost his momentum, allowing another car through and taking Jude over the line in 13th.

A post-race decision put Jude back to 12th, and another Freshman top step podium.

A huge learning curve, and main objective achieved, finishing all three races in some very difficult conditions, and taking three trophies.

Off to Silverstone next at the end of April, and top 10 finish in his sights.