Crawley teen racer Hand takes Junior Saloon Car title after record-breaking season

Crawley teenager Charlie Hand completed a record-breaking season by securing the 2021 Junior Saloon Car Championship in the final round at Brands Hatch.

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 3:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 3:58 pm
Crawley teenager Charlie Hand completed a record-breaking season by securing the 2021 Junior Saloon Car Championship in the final round at Brands Hatch. Pictures by Graham Holbon

Despite having dominated this year’s championship, it was still mathematically possible for Charlie to be beaten to the title, due to double points being awarded for the final rounds.

From the start of the action however the Crawley teenager had his plan for the weekend firmly set out.

He said: “In qualifying I was looking for someone to tow with for a faster time, but then the red flag came out,” he explained.

Charlie Hand in action at Brands Hatch

"From the restart there was no one on the same pace so I was on my own and still got two flying laps to secure pole position for both races."

As the lights went out to start their first race of the weekend, Charlie hadn’t made the best of getaways.

Charlie said: “I dropped the clutch and was too aggressive, just wheel spinning and then had to defend."

He was side by side with Will Redford into Paddock Hill Bend, but Harvey Caton led until he slid off at Graham Hill Bend.

Following Caton’s demise, Hand led the field through to complete the opening lap, but the safety car was out for three laps before the action was under way again.

Charlie said: “Redford managed to catch the tow but didn’t get close enough to really challenge me.

"I was more cautious on the last lap though, didn’t push too hard and knew that win was for the title."

With the pressure off and the title sealed there was one more race to finish the season off.

His start was much better. Charlie led from the off and, despite another three lap safety car intervention, he was in charge throughout.

He said: “I had been watching in my mirrors and was ready for any pressure, but I managed to control the gap well and it was another comfortable win."

From the 19 races this season, Charlie has broken numerous records. He has won 14 races and secured 16 pole positions, which is a new championship record.

He set nine new lap records and secured the title with over 100 points, both new championship records too.

From the 19 races in the Championship this season he was on the podium no less than 18 times.

Charlie was quick to acknowledge the backing and support behind the scenes that enabled him to take the title.

He said: “I was utterly speechless and still can’t believe it. So much hard work went into this with Westbourne Motorsport and my race engineer Joel Doherty, who worked so hard all year to provide me with a phenomenal car, which I am so grateful for.”

“My coach Ed Pead has made sure I got faster at every track and supported me every weekend and my Dad who’s been there every step of the way with me."

Charlie now looks to 2022 and the continuation of his motorsport career.