|Posted by Jonny McMullan on January 19, 2012 at 5:40 PM|
I have just competed in the prestigious 40th anniversary of the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch near Kent. We have been in England since Thursday, and we were testing on circuit the Thursday and Friday before the race weekend itself! Thursday and Friday were pretty good days testing with a few issues with the car on the Thursday but we got them sorted for Friday! The major problem with the car was understeer but a lot of adjustments sorted that problem out and when we put new tyres on during the second session on the Friday the car was prefect and we were on the pace of the front runners! This put me into a good mind set going into the Saturday with qualifying and the first heat.
Qualifying came on Saturday morning and 23 in each heat set out to put in their best time but the session was ended just after three laps due to a car putting oil down all over the track! This made the track a lot slower after the restart because it was so slippy but the guys who got a time in before the oil went quickest, unfortunately I didnt get a competitive time in due to having to pass a lot of slower cars at the start of the session. I put an average time in on the oil and qualified sixth. I started the heat in sixth and got into fifth off the line and on the third lap i went to pass for fourth into druids and unfortunately a collision in front of me left me with nowhere to go and i clipped english man Felix Fisher and ended up stuck in the gravel trap! Nightmare!!
Sunday came and due to me not finishing my heat I had to start at the back of the grid in 22nd and to make it into the main final I had to finish 14th so the pressure was on! Thankfully the car was perfectly set up and I was able to make my way up through the grip and finished 8th at the chequered flag! That got me into the main final of the day and because there was two heats I started 16th with the results of one semi final down one side of the grid and the other on the other side of the grid! I got off to a really good start and had passed four cars before paddock hill bend and I picked them off as quickly as I could! I had another brilliant race and was able to make my way up to fifth! I was over the moon with the result as on Saturday sitting in the gravel trap I wouldnt have thought I would have made it to the final!
I would just like to take this time to thank NI Radiator Services, Newtownabbey Borough Council and John Harris Motorsport for their help and support this weekend!
Depending on budget we will hopefully be attending the end of season race at Silverstone for the Walter Hayes Trophy in a few weeks hopefully with a bit more luck on our side.