Not a bad weekend! with Jonny McMullan.
September 19, 2013 by Jonny McMullan
It’s been a while since I’ve done a blog, it’s been a hectic few weeks between the last championship rounds at Kirkistown and the Leinster Trophy race weekend!
To summarize- the last day at Kirkistown we were quick in testing on the Friday but unfortunately a carburettor issue in qualifying made it flood through the chicane, loosing me a chunk of time down the back straight! Fortunately we qualified well enough for p5 on the grid but I was confident for the races if we got the car sorted we were able to fight for the win! Race one started and we got a good start up into third, myself, Murray and McCullough battled which let Dunne streak away for an easy win! The battle was on for second, with myself and Murray as I passed him round the outside of Debtors on last lap to claim second. Race two was another good start up into third, myself Dunne and McCullough got away from the pack! Defensive driving from Dunne packed the group up to the 4th place pack! On the last lap it was a five way train for the lead, but the first two tangled through Colonial, letting myself and Murray to fight for the win! A great tow down the back straight and a great move into the hairpin gave Murray the win and another second for me. It was a good points scoring weekend for the NI Radiator Services Mondiale.
Next up were the final two rounds of the Irish and Northern Ireland championship. I had never been on the International layout so I went out in a Ginetta G20 on the Wednesday thanks to Alan Byrne to learn the track! (Which may I add was great fun in the wet) Friday came and we were out in the Ford for testing before the weekend! Testing was good and we had good pace all day and was getting familiar with the track and really enjoyed the International track in a Formula Ford! Qualifying was on Saturday morning and we had an issue with getting the car stopped into Dunlop and the first corner. We were 4 tenths off but knew the pace was good if we could get the braking sorted! For race 1 we changed the two rear discs which we thought were slightly warped, this made a huge difference in the race and we got a good first lap into fourth and held it to the flag! The car was really good first few laps but
unfortunately the car went off mid race, I had a chance for third on the last lap into Dunlop but just ran out of laps. Fourth place finish in the first race! The Sunday was a complete wash out than the Saturday! It was a wet qualifying for us and more learning to try and find the wet lines around the track! Unfortunately a lack of laps and track knowledge in the wet put me P4 on the grid for race two. Fortunately for me it dried up in the afternoon for our race and back to the dry set up but had to make changes from the Saturday race! Off P4 in the race, I got a brilliant start up into P2 into turn one. Doyle was leading and we got a gap from third place O’Hara on the first lap. Murray was quick for half distance and caught us which made me defend for a lap and Doyle got a gap. Murray then dropped off from me in second and I had a good car under me to close the gap on the leader! On lap five or six I caught Doyle and he had to defend into Parabolica, making him get a poor run down to Tarzan, I got a good tow and was able to pass him on the brakes into Tarzan 1. For a lap I defended into Dunlop but I was able to get a gap on second place and control the race to the flag and win the race! Brilliant showing for an 89 car up against all the modern machinery on the grid.
This season has been pretty good, the pace has been there but unfortunately for two dnf’s cost us a good chance off winning the Northern Ireland Championship! We ended up winning the Northern Ireland pre 90 championship, second in the Northern Ireland Formula Ford 1600 championship and fourth in the Irish Formula Ford Championship.
Next up for us is the Martin Donnelly Trophy in two weeks then hopefully the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch depending on budget! Budget is crucial at this stage with the races being in England, so if anyone wants rid of a few thousand I can take it off your hands!
Thanks again to NI Radiator Services, Dark Horse, John Harris, Dad and Mum.
Until next time