Qualifying was difficult for Tom, as he was plagued by a mechanical issue that blunted his pace and progress throughout the short session. A broken damper meant that he was losing valuable time in every sector. Tom however managed to salvage a 7th position on the grid for the opening two races of the weekend.
Race One saw Tom make a good start, making up 2 places and was instantly set on challenging the top 4 - just before the safety car was deployed for an incident on the first corner. A good restart meant that Tom was right up there and threatening the top 4. One lap after the restart, Tom made a tight move on Smalley for 4th position and set his sights on Jewiss for the last two laps. Tom tried to make a move but Jewiss defended well as Tom's tyres began to fade. On the last lap with three corners left, the car snapped and threw him wide and off into the gravel costing him two positions, just saving 6th position over the line at the chequered flag.
Another good start in race two promoted Tom to 6th, when once again the safety car made an appearance - rebunching up the field. The laps that followed after the safety car came in, were made up of Tom trying his up-most best to get past Jewiss and the group of cars fighting for the lead. Still in 6th on the last lap, Tom made a bold move round the outside of Jewiss on the exit of Druids to steal 5th position, before trying another brave overtook into turn 6 - this time on teammate Priaulx to secure 4th over the line.
Race 3 saw a bad start cost Tom three places round the first corner but a red flag meant that the race was restarted - giving Tom another attempt. His second start was a lot better and he held onto 4th place in the opening sequence of corners. On the 2nd lap, Tom made up a place to 3rd after the leader made a mistake and ran wide.
But a few corners later, Tom was demoted back down the order as Jewiss crashed into the back of Tom's HHC Motorsport and Scannervision machine, dropping him down the field. Tom battled back brilliantly, passing cars with ease as he clawed his way back into contention in battling for the podium. Tom had got back up to 5th with two laps to go. Priaulx and Jewiss battled on the inside as they competed for the final podium spot. This opened the door for Tom as he made a move for 3rd round the outside of them both. Tom incredibly pulled it off - allowing him to defend on the last lap and finished his last race in Ginetta Juniors in 3rd position to round out the 2017 Season.
Tom Wood "It was good to finish the season with a 3rd place podium at Brands GP. It’s been a roller coaster season in Ginetta Juniors but I have had plenty of podiums and stood a chance of winning the title. Two DNF’s and mechanical issues lost me valuable points, so 5th overall is still a very good result. HHC did a fantastic job and a massive thanks goes out to Charlie Kemp, Jodie Hemmings, Dave Singleton and Phil Glew for all they have done for me this season”
Tom finished the 2017 Ginetta Junior Championship in 5th overall in the Championship standings, after taking; 1 Race Win, 9 Podiums, 1 Pole Position and 4 Fastest Laps in a season where Tom showed himself to be one of the best overtakers on the TOCA package - especially after his race winning, around the outside move that sealed victory at Snetterton.
Tom's 2018 season plans will be announced in due course over the coming weeks. Thank you to all the partners of Tom Wood Racing for all their support during the season and we hope to work with you again next season!