By Oliver Sweetman

BOLTON racer Callum Grant closed out his 2019 season with a win, edging out a rival on the track by the narrowest of margins.

In an action-packed final, Grant came away with the top prize after a close Janet Cesar Trophy final saw him pip Ben Tinkler to top spot on the podium by just 0.087secs.

The weekend began with a damp qualifying session after early rain had made the conditions more challenging for the drivers.

A dominant performance from Van Diemen driver Tom Brown, where he held a one-second advantage over the rest of the field for most of the session, saw him take pole position.

The battle for the second spot proved to be a tense affair, before a late effort from Grant, also behind the wheel of a Van Diemen, gave him the edge but saw him fall shy of pole position by just more than a quarter of a second.

Tinkler completed the top three, finishing qualifying more than a second away from pole position.

Brown continued to prevail over the rest of the pack through the pre-final race, having battled with Grant throughout the eight-lap competition.

The two were swapping places regularly during the encounter, as they put on a textbook display of slipstreaming on the now-dry Silverstone circuit.

Grant snatched the lead away from Brown and managed to pull almost half a second ahead by the halfway point.

However, Brown quickly closed the gap, posting the fastest lap of the race to pull himself back into contention, 0.086secs behind.

With time quickly running out, Brown made the decision to move for the lead, and did just enough to edge in front of Grant and keep his car’s nose ahead on the run to the chequered flag.

Tinkler had made an attempt to join the battle in the closing stages, however, time ran out and the Reynard driver had to settle for third place.

After the closely contested race, the stage was set for an entertaining final the following day.

With Brown and Grant resuming their battle from the previous day, the early stages saw the Van Diemens leading the pack, with Tinkler, Joe Porter, Jaap Blijleven and Ryan Campbell following closely behind.

Grant did not take long to find a way past Brown, but the pair went side-by-side several times, before Brown spun his car in lap seven, dropping him out of the top six.

Grant now had a firm grasp on the race, though Tinkler launched a challenge for the win in the closing stages.

The Reynard driver took the lead in lap 10, but Grant quickly snatched the upper hand back a lap later, and then managed to hold on to win by the narrowest of margins, with less than a second separating the two.

After his spin, Brown made his way through the rest of the field to at least secure a podium spot with third.

Grant’s victory signalled the end of his 2019 season, which has consisted primarily of highs, with just the occasional low point.

He and his team will now be focusing their attentions on the March racing car they are due to be picking up in the coming weeks.