Back in the UK now with the team after an incredible weekend in Monza filled with a lot of highs, but also with more than a normal share of misfortune thrown in!
Sunday started with Qualifying 2, and as always will be the case at Monza in Formula 3, being able to tactically position yourself for a draft within the field was going to be crucial. After the game play of Saturday where all drivers were slowing considerably toward the end (and during) of a lap to try and not be in front, Race Control warned all drivers and teams “not to slow abnormally”. Well, I guess this must not be abnormal at Monza as if anything it was more so the case on Sunday.
Once again through all of the tactics, I was left only the very end of the session to be able to set my time. My second last lap was going very well, with quick times in sector 1 and sector 2, however in the last sector the driver ahead aborted their lap (presumably to get behind me) which ruined my lap and forced me to re-position myself.
In my last chance, I was really pleased to put it all together when I needed to and delivered my best lap time for the weekend of a 1:46.2 to qualify in my season best P3.
In the race off the line I made a good get away and had myself positioned well to enter the first corner. Unfortunately, into turn 1 of the race, the same driver who knocked me off the track Saturday collected me from the rear once again throwing me into a complete spin. In the process of spinning, the front of my car touched with another driver tearing the end plate and part of one side of my front wing away. This was incredibly frustrating as this was the 3rd time in the 2 races that I had been hit from behind by another driver.
I was able to restart and resume the race a considerable distance behind, however an early safety car allowed me to catch back up to the field. On the restart I quickly started to gain positions, and though the downforce was affected on the front of my car, I was satisfied to be able to come out on top of some intense battles to force my way up to an 8th place finish from being down in 13th at the restart.
Completing this round at Monza means that I have now competed on every circuit in the Euroformula Open. As such we will now switch our focus to 2019 and stepping up my program with Fortec Motorsport to compete for wins at this level.
I would like to thank Mick Kouros for all his help over the year. Never allowing me to become complacent, and constantly pushing me for greater results has meant that I have learned a lot more this year than I otherwise would have. Without it I almost certainly would not have qualified in the top three at Monza! Mick is an incredible team manager and I cannot thank him enough for all he has done for me this year.
My engineer Tom Toovey has also aided my learning greatly, after each event he has gone over the data and video footage and compared it to that of other drivers so that I can be able to know exactly what improvements to make in order to pursue even greater results in the future. His knowledge of the car and knowing what changes to make in order to suit my driving has also been incredibly important for every session this year. Tom and his family have also been kind enough to allow me to stay with them whenever I needed to, which has also amazing support as I settle in the UK. I am very grateful for this.
Thanks to all the team Mick, Tom, Adam, Ben, Luke, Ed, John, Matt, Charlie, Cory, Gerard and Andreas who have worked so hard with me throughout the year and provided such an amazing car to drive.
Thanks to all my sponsors Lazersafe, High Energy Service, Rosehill Waters, TWD, ES2, Edith Cowan University, Kingsway Community Bank Branch, Grand Toyota, Fullworks Firesafety, Rvend, Inspired Insurance Services, Online Logistics Solutions, Walker Wayland, Focused Recruitment, Signarama Joondalup, F45 Hillarys and Trizone Fitness for their ongoing and incredible support.
Thanks so much to my team of amazing investors behind my racing who not only play a huge role in helping to pull together the significant funding required to compete at this level, but who also form a such a strong part of my support network.
Finally, thanks to my Board of Calan Williams Racing, The Sports Group, and my family for all the incredible support I have received. Without the help, support and efforts of the incredible amount of people who have generously given their time to aid me in pursuing my career goals none of this would be possible. I simply cannot express enough gratitude to everyone, especially my incredibly hard-working family, for everything that’s been done for me since I was just seven years old! I can’t wait to see what next year brings and I truly look forward to sharing the journey with you all!
Now to enjoy a couple weeks of down time and light training, and then hard back into it for my preparation for a massive 2019.