Chase Fernandez has won the 2023 Ginetta Junior Scholarship, securing a fully-funded season in the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship for next year.
In what is one of the biggest prizes in UK motorsport, a total of 60 drivers completed a number of driving, fitness and media assessments over the course of the three-day event at Blyton Park this week, however it was karting ace Fernandez that was eventually declared the winner.
No less than 28 drivers advanced to the final day of the competition where they faced more evaluations, before the field was narrowed down to a top 13, a top eight and then a final four.
Following one last run in a Ginetta G40 around the Gainsborough-based venue with Ginetta factory driver Charlie Robertson in the passenger seat, Fernandez’s talent and potential shone through for the judging panel, who named him the 14th different winner of the coveted prize.
Fernandez’s full prize package include all entry fees, use of a G40 Junior race car for the whole season including consumables, insurance and a season supply of race tyres and fuel, and professional car preparation from an experienced team for the duration of the 2023 campaign.
“I’m speechless,” said Fernandez. “I never expected to be here as the winner, it’s an incredible feeling. The competition has been really high this year with some great drivers taking part, so to win against such a talented entry is just amazing.
“I’m going to be making be racing debut in the Winter Series next month, which will be a great taster for what’s to come next year. I’m going to put everything I’ve got in to 2023 and I’m going to do the best I can to represent Ginetta and have a successful season.”
Steph Bush, Ginetta Championship Manager, added: “Every year we are hugely impressed by how talented the young drivers contesting the Ginetta Junior Scholarship are, and this year was no exception with a high standard being set across all the assessment areas on both qualifying days.
“We ended up with a high number of finalists and they continued to raise the bar. It was a close call between the last four drivers in particular, but Chase stood out to our judging panel and is a hugely deserving winner. We’re very excited to have him racing with us next season.”
The Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship will feature exclusively on the British GT support package in 2023.