Declan Jones took a confidence lifting first-ever top-ten Ginetta Junior Championship finish at Donington Park last weekend, in rounds three and four of the series.

Declan, who has graduated to the Ginetta Junior Championship for 14-17 year-olds this season, following several successful seasons competing in the Lewis Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone Formula One Management-backed Formula Kart Stars Series and in the British Super One Rotax Series, began the weekend solidly and he was 13th in qualifying in his Kevlin Jones Motorsport family-run car.

"I thought that was a pretty good effort," said Declan, who had a hard debut weekend at Brands Hatch earlier this month. "13th wasn't too bad - especially considering it was only my second qualifying session and I am obviously still getting use to the Ginetta G40J."

The Chicago Soft-backed youngster then maintained that momentum in the two races, finishing 14th in the first race and scoring seven precious championship points, despite losing a lap early on when he had to pit when his front nose got damaged.

"I had a coming together on the second lap and that popped my bonnet," explained the 15-year-old. "We had to come in and get that fixed.

"Then I went back out and my aim was just to finish and I did, even though I had another coming together with another kid, who just came across my nose and just cut me up."

The highlight of the weekend though came in the second race and he put in a good run. Indeed he gained a number of places at the start and was running sixth, until a mistake dropped him back.

Despite that however, he still managed to bring his car home in eleventh, gaining a further position post-race when one of his rivals was disqualified for what officials described as overly 'robust' racing.

"The second race was a lot better," Declan continued. "I was actually lying sixth at one point and just made a mistake and spun. That was a bit annoying. But other than that I thought it was a really great race."

Declan thus finished the weekend with 18 points on the board and he was pleased to have opened his account and he is now looking forward to the next event in two weeks time when the MSA British Touring Car Championship-support series heads to Thruxton (April 29-May 1).

"It was a massive learning weekend," added the Liverpool-based teenager. "But we still came out of it with a lot of points. I now feel a lot more comfortable - really comfortable with the car. I felt it was a really, really good weekend and the second race obviously pleased me most. I will be out to finish again at Thruxton and get some more points. That is what I need to do."

Declan's father and boss of Kelvin Jones Motorsport, Kelvin Jones meanwhile was delighted to see his son bounce back after a rather tough baptism at Brands Hatch.

"I think Dec drove really well. After what happened at Brands, with two DNFs, his confidence had taken a bit of a knock. So what we really wanted this weekend was two finishes and that is exactly what we got," Kelvin continued.

"In the first race his nose came off after a coming together and it was rubbing on the wheel. He had to come in. But we got him out and at least he got to the end and got lots of precious miles under his belt.

"Then in the second race he had a good start and was up to sixth or seventh, before he made a mistake and fell back to twelfth. But then he made his way back up to tenth.

"Overall two finishes was good and I was really pleased with him. His confidence is back up. He just needs more time, more time in the car, and we will just keep working away now and working our way up the grid.

"For him to finish in his second-ever weekend and to finish in the top-ten was a very good result.

"We are now looking forward to Thruxton. Dec has never been to that track before. He will have to arrive and learn it. There is no pre-testing there. It is a very fast circuit. But I want him to show the same sort of form.

"I want him to use the Friday to learn the track, then qualify as best as he can and then try and collect some points until we go to our home race at Oulton Park on June 4-5."



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