Moh Ritson, the young Co-ordSport sponsored driver, recently competed in two races and won the JSCC Driver of the Meeting award for his performance in last month’s previous two rounds at Brands Hatch. Read his report of the races below:
Moh reaps success at Rockingham with two strong results and performance award
Saturday’s (16th June) BARC Junior Saloon Car Championship meeting at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Northamptonshire represented rounds seven and eight for 14 to 17 year olds driving identical specification Citroen Saxo VTRs, the event witnessing 15-year old racing driver Moh Ritson deliver a strong performance to finish 10th and 11th in the day’s two races.
Adding to his achievements on the track at the weekend, Moh was also presented with the JSCC Driver of the Meeting award for his performance in last month’s previous two rounds at a rain soaked Brands Hatch.
Unlike other drivers in the Championship, the Leeds-based teenager does not have a history of professional karting, grasstrack or oval racing but is already proving to have great potential.
It would be fair to say that Moh has had a busy few days: on Thursday he took the last of his GCSE exams at Woodhouse Grove School. Then, on Friday, he headed to Rockingham to drive the Citroen on a circuit modelled on the banked tracks of the USA. During the day’s two test sessions, the Tockwith Motorsport team that looks after Moh and prepares his car amazingly, provided driving advice and tried different set-ups in order to gain as much performance as possible.
Saturday began with an additional practice session, during which it became apparent that the previous day’s work by the team had paid dividends. The session was followed later in the morning with 15-minutes of Qualifying, which was interrupted in its early stages by a red flag. Un-phased, Moh was able to time his runs well and found space on the track for a series of clear laps that would see him start from a solid P12 and P13 on the grid respectively for the two races.
The first 15-minute encounter got underway late in the afternoon and his now trademark great reaction to the green light saw Moh move up the field by the time he reached turn one – a tight left-hand, double-apex hairpin that takes competitors off the steep banking and onto the flat in-field section of the circuit.
Moh skillfully held position for the next three laps, challenging the cars ahead of him whilst defending those behind. His efforts were rewarded when he made up another place with an impressive late breaking manoeuvre coming into turn 1 and, after some extremely close and well-judged racing, he crossed the line to finish a more than credible 10th.
With the meeting’s extended timetable running from 9am to 9.30pm, the second race started just after 8pm, making it an extremely long day for teams and drivers. However, Moh used the time between his outings wisely, discussing tactics and taking on-board information from his driver coach Sarah Moore, former Ginetta Junior Champion and her brother Nigel, Asian Le Mans Series Winner and youngest ever British 24 Hour Le Mans driver.
Once again, Moh proved that his blistering starts were no fluke and, in the second race, again moved up by the first corner.
Then, with three laps to go the safety car was deployed whilst an incident was dealt with by officials. Although he was aware of the procedure, it was Moh’s first experience of a safety car period and when the lights went green, he found himself back in the thick of the action for the remaining two laps.
He was pleased to be able to stay on the pace, but was overtaken on the exit of the penultimate corner on the last laps to then cross the line in 11th place and in doing so, record two strong results from the day’s two races. At the finish an exhausted but extremely happy Moh said:
“It’s been a long day, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The racing was close, but clean, which makes it even more exciting. I am really pleased with the outcome of both races and to have gained so much experience because of all the things that have happened today, like dealing with the safety car, attacking, defending, overtaking and judging braking points. I was also pleased that my fastest laps in the race were quicker than my qualifying time, which means that my race pace is good – even when I’m battling against other drivers.
“I am extremely grateful to Sarah (Moore) my driver coach and Nigel (Moore) for their fantastic advice and encouragement. I also have to thank the team at Tockwith Motorsport, who did a great job with the set-ups for the circuit and provided me with a car that ran perfectly throughout the entire weekend as usual”
Moh also thanked his sponsors for their valuable support: Co-ordSport, Fusion Learning, Fusion by Design and most recently, Novo Integration Ltd.
The next event in the calendar takes place on 18th August, when teams and drivers to head to Snetterton in Norfolk for rounds nine and ten of the BARC Junior Saloon Car Championship.