Pole, 3 Wins and an Exciting Finish to the Championship!

 

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A great field for the last race of the season (Photo: Graeme Howie)

This weekend was the last round of the WA Formula Ford Championship and had a very strong field of 21 drivers. I was 68 points behind the leader of the championship going in to this round, so I knew I would have to win every race, and would then also be relying on things not going their way, but for me all I could focus on was delivering 3 wins.

I qualified strongly, taking pole position by two-and-a-half tenths of a second, and I was very pleased to make this the 6th time in a row to be on pole.

Off the line for the first race, I got a little too much wheelspin and dropped to second.  After sticking close behind the leader for the first half-lap, they started to have an engine issue, meaning they quickly dropped to the rear of the field.  This gave me the lead with a little gap over the drivers behind.  Then, the drivers behind me started to battle for second place, allowing me to extend my lead even further.  This continued for the rest of the race and I took the win by 4.5 seconds.

In the second race, I started off pole again.  On this start, I lost about half a car length on the second-place grid sitter, but still had the inside line for the first corner.  However, the other driver got a much better exit than I did so I remained in second.  Down the straight I had a look at a move into the final corner, and out broke him on the outside.  I managed to take the lead, but had the outside line for the next corner, so lost it shortly after.  I tried the same on the next lap, but this time I managed to pull enough of a lead to hold it.  After this, the two drivers behind me began to battle, and I was able to gradually extend my lead.  This continued for the remainder of the race, and I took the win by 1.5 seconds.

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Leading Race 2 (Photo: Graeme Howie)

In the final race, I started off pole.  Again, with a little too much wheelspin off the start I dropped to second place.  For the first half of the race, I sat behind the leader and allowed us to pull a nice gap on the rest of the field.  After 5 laps had passed, I started to try and make a move.  Firstly, I tried an outbraking manoeuvre into the final corner on the outside, this worked but meant I had the outside line for the final corner, and I lost the position.  The next lap I tried the same, but I got squeezed by him outside of the track limits, and therefore couldn’t take the lead.  Approaching the final lap, I managed to make a move around the outside, and this time pulled enough of a gap to hold the lead.  For the remainder of the lap, I defended my line to hold on to the lead, and it worked, crossing the line 0.3 seconds ahead of second!

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Getting airborne after being forced over the kerb! (Photo: Graeme Howie)

I took the win in all three races of the day, scoring myself a maximum 75 points and the win for the day.  In the end, I barely missed out on the championship by a small margin of only 8 points.

It has been a great year of racing in Formula Ford, with some of the most close-packed and clean racing I’ve ever had. Congratulations to Sam and all of the other drivers. I’ve learned a lot about race craft, and a huge amount from Brett Lupton who has helped and guided me so much throughout the year.

A big thank you to all who have supported me this year (it was great to see so many at the track this weekend!), and of course my sponsors Truck Dealers Australia, Edith Cowan University, ES2, Grand Toyota, Impressions the Home Builder, Rvend, Kingsway Community Bank Branch, Online Logistics Solutions, Signarama Joondalup, Fullworks Firesafety, Focused Recruitment, Trizone Fitness, F45 Hillarys and my new sponsors who have come on board to join me next year TWD and McDonnell Group.

Exciting times ahead. Next week I fly to Queensland to begin testing in the Formula 3 car with Gilmour Racing!

2 responses to “Pole, 3 Wins and an Exciting Finish to the Championship!

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