Qualifying: Tom worked together with a fellow driver in qualifying to make maximum use of the slipstream effect around the Donington Park National Circuit. In a short but frantic session, Tom managed to set the 4th fastest time of the session to give him a third row start for the opening race of the weekend.His second best lap of the session was only marginally off his ultimate fastest time, his consistency proved critical as it earned him 3rd on the grid for the second race of the weekend.
Race 1: Starting from 4th on the grid, Tom made a great start and forced his way up to second past teammate Scott McKenna. Tom managed to hold second up until Coppice corner where Tom Gamble got a switchback on me down the straight. Tom tried a move at the last corner, but out braked himself and re-joined in third.
The safety car then came out for an incident at turn 1. After a promising restart on the back of the front two, Tom followed Gamble through to take 2nd off of rival Andrew Harper. Although Kiern Jewiss got the run on Tom into the old hairpin and made his move, of which Tom had to avoid making contact. This cost Tom time on the corner exit and made him vulnerable into the following corners. This meant Tom was passed by another car into the last corner, another driver tried to follow but crashed into the side of Tom - costing him five positions and putting him 9th with five laps left.
Determined to finish strong, Tom battled hard making up places - two of which he gained with a bold move into the first corner. Tom now at the front of this train of cars, defended for the next two laps from his rivals and came home a satisfactory 5th positon.
Race 2: Again Tom made a good start from 4th on the grid and moved into 3rd on the first corner. On the second lap however the safety car came out and stayed out for four laps.
The safety car pulled in and Tom retained 3rd position, battling to get a podium on his home circuit . At half distance, Tom made a lunge at the old hairpin for 2nd place which payed off! Tom worked hard to defend his position for 2 laps and an incident behind enabled him to pull a gap to 3rd place. With 3 laps left however, Gamble made a move for 2nd at Coppice corner, but Tom repaid the favour at MacLeans corner - which he made stick and managed to pull out enough of a gap to finish the race in a solid 2nd place!
Race 3: Once again Tom made a great launch off the line and jumped the pole sitter to take the lead! Tom held the lead for the opening corners, but ran wide at Coppice and relinquished the lead. Lying in second, Tom defended behind the leader - however on lap three, a tap from behind cost Tom time and consequently dropped him down the order to 9th!
An incident in front meant he gained two places back quickly, before he reeled off some fast times to get back onto the back of the second group of cars behind the leaders. After getting passed Mckenna for 5th , Tom diced with karting rival Kiern Jewiss for 4th despite their battling, the pace was so good they were gaining on the leaders!
Tom, Jewiss and McKenna worked together and caught the leaders in front, making it a six car battle for victory!On the penultimate lap, Tom tried a brave move round the outside which almost payed off, but left him wide and on the grass! With two corners left Tom went for a switchback move to try and get 3rd but to no avail.
Coming into the last corner Tom made a crafty switchback move on Scott McKenna, promoting him to 4th over the line! After the race, the driver who finished in 3rd place was penalised for exceeding track limits, which then promoted Tom to a well deserved 3rd Place overall, making for a double podium finish at his home circuit.
Tom Wood “It was great to take away two podiums finishes at my home circuit infront of alot of my partners and sponsors! We will be back again at Thruxton pushing for that first win”
The third round of the Ginetta Junior Championship takes place at Thruxton on the 6-7 May.
Tom would like to give a special mention to British F4 driver Billy Monger who was injured in a crash during the weekend and hopes for a speedy recovery!