Daniel Harper is the 2016 Ginetta Junior Rookie Champion.
Dan qualified in 6th position, a row behind his two rivals for the rookie champsionship – Seb Priaulx and Harry King, which meant it was going to be a battle to keep his lead in the rookie championship. The adandonment of the first race due to the track curfew and an accident involving pole sitter Dave Wooder meant a rejig of the grid for the re-run of the race on Sunday morning, as Wooder and other drivers were unable to compete. Harry King profited most among the rookie contenders, moving up to the first row. The race saw Douglas Motorsport’s Stuart Middleton take the win by .062 seconds with some amazing driving and a drag race to the checkered flag. This confirmed Stuart as the Ginetta Junior vice champion. Behind Stuart, Harry King finished best of the rookie contenders, but Harper was able to finish ahead of Seb Priaulx which was to prove crucial in the battle for the rookie title, as it gave Dan a 20 point lead going into the last race.
In the final race of the season, Harper knew exactly what he had to do to claim the title, as Middleton was in the thick of the action at the front of the race, Dan made sure to stay out of trouble and not let Seb Priaulx get too far ahead. As Middleton made a great move on he last lap to take 3rd place, Seb Priaulx was able to finish in 4th, but a 9th place finish for Dan was enough to take the Rookie championship.
Harper has gone from scholarship winner to Rookie champion, while Stuart Middleton has gone from scholarship winner the previous year and 2015 Autumn trophy champion to Vice-champion in 2016. It’s a testament not only to the scholarship program but also to the teamwork at Douglas Motorsport and the ability of the team to help in the development of young drivers and allow them to perform at their full potential. This 2016 season Douglas Motorsport has produced 3 vice champions (Stuart Middleton – Ginetta Junior, Will Burns – Ginetta GT4 Supercup, Chris Ingram – Ginetta GT4 Supercup AM class), a Rookie Champion (Daniel Harper – Ginetta Junior), a 4th and 5th place in the British F3 championship (Thomas Randle, who produced one of the drives of the season when winning at Spa-Francorchamps and Enaam Ahmed who claimed a 3rd, 2nd and 1st place at the very first race weekend).