Kirkistown FF1600 British Nationals
An awesome way to kick off a late start to my race season in 2019!
A win in the first race of the Formula Ford British National Championship at Kirkistown, Northern Ireland.
It was my first time back in the race seat in seven months, and the first race I’d taken part in since the beginning of November 2018, so it was great to get a couple of days testing in the car two days prior to the weekend.
Practice went well, and I felt very comfortable almost immediately, going joint fastest in my second session.
We looked strong over the course of both days, and went into qualifying with high hopes. It was a very close grid as expected, unfortunately I failed to pick up a tow from anyone, which cost me a good couple of tenths. However, we lined up 6th for the first race, 0.2 seconds off pole, not too bad for my first official session back.
Race one was frantic from the second the lights went out. I got a really good start and moved up a position, before falling back down to sixth a lap later. There was a lot of close racing throughout, sometimes a little too close. I benefited from contact in front of me and kept my nose clean. In two separate incidents I found myself going from sixth to third, and then third to first (this was all in the space of eight laps ). Given the nature of the circuit, and it’s long, wide open straights, it was very difficult to pull out much of a lead. Fortunately though, I kept my cool and defended where necessary for the remainding half of the race, taking my first ever national win on my racing return. It was a massive boost to myself, something I really wanted to accomplish since I’d started racing, and something I’d set out to achieve before the end of the season.
Race two was a reasonable race for us, but I struggled to tow up to others and just seemed to be lacking a little engine performance (which hadn’t been the case the day before). We started on pole, but within half distance, I found myself back down in fifth, eventually finishing fourth on the last lap, a second off the leader.
Sadly our performance issues became more apparent within the first couple of laps. I made another great start, going from fourth to second, I felt like I had a really good shot at another win. At the end the second lap, the engine wouldn’t pull off the final corner well, and as a result I started to lose positions quickly. The problem worsened and I came in at the end of the third lap. It turned out that one of the gaskets had failed in the carburettor. A shame, but overall, a fantastic weekend!
A massive thank you to the whole Kevin Mills Racing
team, and BOLD engineering. Great to be back with all of you!
A huge thank you to everyone’s continued support! Especially my Mum and Dad, Keelyn, and all my friends and family.
Next race is this weekend at Brands Hatch! Looking forward to it! Hopefully some more good results!
A big thank you to Bourne Photo for the brilliant photos!