Jonny McMullan: Hoping To Cross The Pond for 2013!
December 24, 2012 by Jonny McMullan
In 2012 for the second year we were going to be driving the NI Radiator Services Mondiale 89s in the Northern Ireland Formula Ford 1600 Championship! From a very good end to the 2011 season we went into the new season feeling confident about the year ahead! It started well and in March at the first round we started the new season with a bang winning the opening race and breaking the Open outright Formula Ford lap record and the pre ’90 lap record. The second race off the day was a tight race but contact on last lap had me spinning off but came out finishing fourth and lowering the lap record again! April saw the first round of the James Beckett Superseries coming to Kirkistown and it was a great showing. Again our pace was there all weekend and in the final myself and Ivor McCullough got away from the pack but contact on the last lap through Debtors unfortunately ended both of our races that day.. May was a tough weekend with engine problems the whole weekend which made us unfortunately getting only three laps in qualifying put us a bit down the field. Fortunately we changed engine for the races and got third and a fourth place finishes bringing us out leading the championship. June was another good points weekend with two podiums taking us into the penultimate round at Mondello Park with a 16 point lead from Ivor McCullough! Mondello was the turning point when getting hit off in both the races when lying in podium finishing positions! From a decent points gap we then went into the final round at Kirkistown 14 points behind Noel Dunne and Ivor McCullough! Martin Donnelly was the next race in October and we had a poor run there finishing a distant second behind the dominant Mccullough.. We had major engine issues that weekend which we needed to get sorted for the festival!
Fortunately for us we got loan of an engine for the Walter Hayes and Festival and it paid off.. Festival started very well with an Irish 1-2-3 in the heat with me second- three thousands off pole! The heat started well and got off to a good start but unfortunately a backmarker got in the way and I hit him forcing my steering arm to bend and I went off at paddock! Nightmare! Everything sorted for the Sunday we started 22nd and by lap 6 we were up to 6th passing for 5th and contact happened between myself and a Canadian driver unfortunately ending both our weekends! Very frustrating weekend when the pace was most certainly there! Walter Hayes next and our luck continued after qualifying third in my heat and after lap four the crank broke inside and the engine blew! Engine change for Sunday and progression race we started 22nd and finished 4th, this got me into last chance starting 36th finishing 5th which got me into the semi final starting 36th and finished 18th and the final started 36th and finished 21st! Turned out to be an interesting weekend for us but very frustrating!
Looking back now, it was a very frustrating year but we were fast enough to win the championship, but I just got to say a massive thanks for this year to my Dad, Mum, NI Radiator Services, the Dark Horse and John Harris.
For now it’s not long to the start of the 2013 season and plenty of work is around the corner because a massive opportunity has came about for me to race in America for next year. Money is tight for everyone but I will be trying everything to get a seat next year out there.