|HAYTHAM QARAJOULI GETS A DOUBLE ROOKIE PODIUM AT SILVERSTONE|
It was a rain soaked weekend at Silverstone for the 15yr old racer from Kuwait in the penultimate triple header round of the Ginetta Junior Championship.
As Haytham was new to the Silverstone track he was, excited but also a little nervous at the challenge ahead. During Thursday testing, on the hallowed 1.6mile Silverstone National circuit, Haytham and the team managed to iron out a few set up changes to suit the changing weather conditions.
Saturday qualifying seemed to offer a more competitive prospect with a starting position of 13th from 23 cars on the grid, and Haytham was a little more satisfied with his speed, although with one red flag disrupting the session, he wasn't able to get a clean lap to reflect his pace.
Race 1, (round 21) of the weekend took place on Saturday afternoon just as the rain cleared and the sun made a short appearance, he managed to gain four places in the opening lap, and for a further 6 laps had a tough battle with #21 car of Josh Rattican through to the chequered flag to take 8th position, just ahead of the former karting Vice Champion Rattican.
After a post-race penalty for another driver, Haytham inherited 3rd place Rookie podium and 7th position overall. Haytham also had recorded the fourth fastest speed during the race at 103.8mph and second fastest across the finish line.
Still delighted with his podium award and trophy from the previous day, Sunday would bring two more rounds for the young racer from Kuwait, in what would seem worsening of the weather conditions.
Haytham started 11th on the grid for race 2 (round 22), in the opening race of the morning in drizzling rain, and a fully wet track. Struggling for grip during the race Haytham finally settled for 11th position at the flag right where he had started.
Race 3 (round 23) would bring a complete change of luck for the young racer from Kuwait, with his best result of the season.
Later that afternoon, the heavens opened and the circuit had a few hours of heavy rainfall just before the young junior drivers took to the assembly area.
He lost a position on lap 3 and gained four by lap 5, moving up-to 9th place. In a nail-biting few laps, one of the leading cars spun off, Haytham managed to hold off the advancing car of Zak O'Sullivan just in time to take the chequered flag in 8th place overall and secure 3rd in the Rookie class, resulting in his first podium award of the season in front of a Live TV crew with millions of viewers on ITV4.
"I'm totally overjoyed at the weekends results, it's my greatest achievement so far this season and in my career to date. As testing started on Thursday, I couldn't dream that this result would come so soon, we worked really hard as a team on the set up, and finally it has come together. I'm confident we can have a good chance also at Brands Hatch next weekend," commented an elated Haytham.