A solid 4th place finish in this years Formula Ford Festival Grand Final.
Had hoped for a bit better to be honest, but considering our early exit last year, it was nice to finally get a decent result. Not too bad out of a field of 70 drivers.
I, like many of the other entrants had a few days testing in the build up to the weekend. All went to plan and we looked like we had good pace through the range of varying conditions.
Qualifying went reasonably well, I was drawn to take part in Heat 2 which had a particularly competitive entry. I ended the session P4, not ideal, but the best I could do that particular run with the setup we had, and the mass of traffic on track.
Our Heat Race got off to a flying start, with the rain coming down pretty hard, I managed an immense launch off the line, taking two position into the first corner. I had gone really well throughout testing in these conditions, and was going equally as well in the race. I had better pace than the leader, and tried to find a way through, but there were no easy options with the conditions being as bad as they were. By this point, the car behind was chasing us both down, I had to go for a move. I tried to make a pass down the hill, briefly got my nose ahead, but couldn’t get the car rotated and on the power enough to match the other car off the corner. In doing so, it also allowed the car behind to overtake as well. I spent the remainder of the race stuck in 3rd, struggling to see the track in front of me, conditions were not great. On the plus side, we were through to the semi finals unscathed.
Sunday came and I would start P4 again for the semi final. I got away fine and held my position, before the safety car was deployed for a stranded car. After a few laps, green flags were waved and we were racing once again. I managed to work my way to 3rd before getting stuck behind 2nd position. I was struggling to find a way through, which allowed the following cars to close up again. Next thing I knew, there were a bunch of cars in my mirrors. After a lot of jostling back and forth, I managed to keep my position. Unfortunately second place had now stretched ahead by over a second. In the remaining laps I closed that gap to a tenth of a second.
After all the qualifying races I would line up 5th on the grid for the Grand Final. It was a tense race from start to finish with oil going down around the halfway mark, making it particularly challenging. I managed to get up to 4th, but that is as far as I would progress. The top two checked out and we just didn’t quite have the pace to match them in times. I was only 2 tenths of a second away from the podium at the finish (which would have been a real plus), but it wasn’t meant to be.
Looking at the weekend as a whole, I think myself and the team did everything to extract what we could from the event. Overall really pleased with my performance. I cannot tell you just how excited I am to have a crack at the Walter Hayes Trophy again this weekend! I want that Grand Final win there so bad, and I’m going to do everything I can to end the year on a high and make it happen!
A huge thank you as always to the Kevin Mills Racing team, my mechanic Alex, BOLD Racing Engines, my Mum and Dad, Keelyn and all my friends and family for the support!
Off to Silverstone now! Let’s do this!!
Courtesy of Bourne Photo