On the 27th of September, I competed in my second event in Formula Ford. For this particular round, there were a few more competitors with an incredible amount of national and international experience such as Leanne Tander and Nicholas Rowe, which certainly raised the intensity up another notch. On the day, the track was very grippy, which was surprising because it was dusty, and the drifters had been running the day before.
In the first race I got a good start, with not too much wheelspin, but was overtaken around the outside of turn 1. I was stuck behind 4th and 5th for the majority of the race, and was just too far back to make a move when the opportunity arose. However, coming into the closing laps, 5th place slowed down and violently swerved to the left, giving me that place. I’m not exactly sure what happened to him, but he didn’t finish the race. In the final lap I closed right up on the back of Oliver Baxter in 4th place, but didn’t have enough time to attempt a move before the chequered flag. During this race I once again set my personal best time of 1:02.6 which was the second quickest lap of the race.
In the second race, with the grid decided from your finishing results in the first race, I started 5th. I got another good start, but again, I was overtaken around the outside of turn 1. Again, I was keeping up with the lead group, but was just out of reach of making a move. Unfortunately, coming into the left-hander, I broke a little too late and locked one of the front wheels, I went to the outside of the track and dropped to tenth. I was slowly catching 9th place, and made a move into the final corner, but I missed 3rd gear on the exit, so I lost the position. On the final couple of laps, there was a crash in front of me, and I gained two positions. I finished the race in 8th.
In the third race, with the grid again decided by the previous finish, I started off 8th, and maintained my position. Coming into the final corner I made a move under brakes to take seventh place. I did the same thing again the next lap, but the driver I was overtaking tried to hold on, on the outside, and he drove himself off the track. A couple laps later, I was overtaken into the back corner and I dropped to seventh. The same lap, at the final corner, there was a crash with the two leading drivers, this gave me 5th place, and brought out the safety car. Unfortunately, whilst under the safety car, the seal on the front brake fluid cylinder broke, and meant I had no brakes, and the pedal went to the floor. Fortunately, because we were under safety car, it meant that nothing disasterous happened. I stayed behind the safety car just in case the race finished in that manner. However, when I saw the safety car’s lights go off, signalling the restart, I pulled over to let everyone through, and had to retire from the race.
Whilst a disappointing end, there was nothing that I could do about that and I am really pleased with how competitive I was amongst such a strong field. All I my starts were much better this time as opposed to my first event, and I managed to make some good moves under brakes. Thanks as always to my sponsors Impressions the Home Builder, Grand Toyota Wanagara, Rvend, Online Logistics Solutions, Focused Recruitment, Fullwords Firesafety, Kingsway Community Bank Branch and Genesis. Thanks to Brett, all the crew at Fastlane Racing, and of course Adrian Fogliani and Tom Howe for working with the car and myself during the day. It was also great having so much support at the track, so thank you to all who came down to watch.
Looking forward to the October round!