History was made in the Junior Saloon Car Championship in 2020 as Lewis Saunders cemented his legacy as one of the series’ most successful competitors by becoming the first-ever double champion.
Lifting the coveted crown in 2018 before narrowly missing out on retaining it the following year, the 16-year-old entered his third season as the hot favourite for the title and he duly lived up to the hype by producing a virtuoso performance from start-to-finish.
Providing the first steps on the motorsport ladder for 14 to 17-year-old’s and bridging the gap between karting and cars, the one-make category has become the perfect platform for teenagers to forge a career behind the wheel at an affordable price.
With a blend of experienced and rookie drivers making up the bumper entry list for this year’s revised seven-round schedule, the usual edge-of-the-seat entertainment that has become customary in the championship took centre stage once more – with Saunders emerging as the benchmark.
Retaining the support from British Touring Car Championship outfit Ciceley Motorsport, the cornerstone of Saunders’ title charge began as soon as the lights went out in July as he embarked on an impressive winning streak that would stretch across ten races.
Double wins at Cadwell Park, Croft, Brands Hatch, Knockhill and Mallory Park built up a commanding lead at the summit of the standings, however he didn’t always have things his own way.
Alex Solley, Charlie Hand, Ruben Hage, Benjamin Greenhill and Scholarship victor Deagen Fairclough were just some of the regular challengers towards the sharp end of the field, all of whom constantly remained within striking distance of Saunders as each round passed.
Solley would come to the fore towards the end of the season as he scored a brace of wins at both Silverstone and Oulton Park, however by then it had proved too late in the day to overhaul points leader Saunders.
Finishing hot on the heels of the youngster in the remaining four races of the campaign, Saunders bagged valuable points to put one hand on the championship trophy heading into the series finale at Brands Hatch.
Unfortunately, due to a second national lockdown being implemented in the days leading up to the final two rounds of the year, the annual visit to Kent was cancelled and that subsequently meant Saunders was crowned as champion for the second time in his career, rewriting the history books at the same time.