//ROUND 6

SYDNEY MOTORSPORT PARK

CHAMPAGNE TIME

 

//24th-25th October 

Having sealed the NSW Championship in Round 5 the pressure was off but it turned out to be a weekend plagued with engine problems. It was a shame as we hadn't had a single reliability problem prior to this round. 

A misfiring engine limited our laps in all four of Friday's fifteen minute practice sessions. Unfortunately this meant we weren't able to focus on lap times or work on car setup and we still weren't sure if the car would be trouble free for Saturday morning's Qualifying session.

Qualifying - Snuck a quick lap in before disaster
What a relief it was to accelerate out of pit lane and feel the full power of the engine, misfire free. On my second flying lap I clocked my fastest time more than half a second clear of the rest of the field. They say it's crucial to get a lap time in qualifying ASAP as you don't know what will happen later in the session - how very true. I lost power accelerating through Turn 3 and suffered severe engine damage - the air cleaner post had worked it's way loose allowing a washer to find it's way into the carby and then wreak havoc in two of the four cylinders.

Race 1 - 11 Laps - 4th Place
The cylinder head of the engine sitting on a bench an hour before a race isn't ideal. Tim and Luke did a fantastic job to make it possible to contest Race 1. We knew that we would be down on power due to the engine damage but I still drove out of the pits with the full intention of winning that race. It seems it wasn't meant to be. I lead from the start till lap three when the engine began misfiring badly halfway through Turn 1. I dropped back to fourth, losing up to ten seconds a lap!! I still gave it everything in hope that the misfire would go away and I could close the gap as the three cars in front were  fighting but I wasn't that fortunate.  

Race 2 -  11 Laps - 1st Place + Fastest Lap
Anglo Australian Motorsport Team Owner Tim Beale and my engineer Luke Emerton had a late night changing engines in the car - we weren't going down without a fight!!  Jumping from fourth to second by Turn 1 was a solid start to this race and I was able to take the lead at the end of the second lap. After missing a gearshift I dropped out of the lead on the third lap. The car was a handful with turn in oversteer for the high speed corners and mid-corner to exit oversteer on the slower corners. A real challenge, not to mention the fight for the lead all the way to the flag - we swapped positions a number of times and at one point were side by side down the main straight all the way to Turn 4. It was a great battle and it came down to a margin of just 0.292  seconds across the finishing line!!  It was  good clean racing with Simon Hodges - super precise as contact doesn't belong in open wheel racing as it can easily result in cars upside down or in walls and injured drivers!

Race 3 - 12 Laps - 1st Place + Fastest Lap
This was it! The last race of the year...but... it wasn't going to be drama free! Luke did up my seat belts one last time and we headed off. My launch as the lights went out kept us in first place into Turn 1. Simon was able to take the lead on  Lap 2 but I had it back on Lap 3 and I   was able to start building up a gap each lap after that. With five laps to go the engine water temperature that normally averages around 90 degrees over the course of the lap started approaching 100. I began altering my driving, trying to keep the temperature down but  with four laps to go the warning lights were on, the engine over 110 degrees and my heart rate almost at it's max - constantly above 190bbm as  the possibility of a breakdown loomed and Simon  closing back in as I tried to nurse the car. I slipped up in the last corner with three laps to go, hurting my speed down the straight and Simon was able to take the lead. I knew that sitting behind his car would worsen my overheating problems and that I had to regain the lead as soon as possible. I was able to do that with two laps to go and then bring the car home in 1st place!!! The margin... just 0.531 seconds. Another incredibly close and intense race with my team mate.

The two wins on Sunday felt absolutely incredible! They were hard fought, down to the line and in front of a crowd of my beloved supporters -  the best way to finish off an amazing year! Thank you for organising the Champagne Jess so that we could celebrate in style!

A year that wouldn't have been possible without Tim Beale, Anglo Australian Motorsport and the full support from my girlfriend and family.

Thank you for joining me on the journey to becoming the 2015 NSW FORMULA FORD 1600 CHAMPION!!!!

 

//ROUND 5

WAKEFIELD PARK

NSW CHAMPION

 

//22nd-23rd August

FULL WRITE UP COMING SOON - In the meantime check out the cool photos from the weekend here.

Winning all three races of Round 5 secured the series making me the NSW FORMULA FORD 1600 CHAMPION!!!!!!

 

Wireless Motorsport

//WIRELESS MOTORSPORT

HEART RATE SIMULATION

 

//8th August

Last weekend I worked with Wireless Motorsport who recorded biometric data (Heart rate and body temp) during my races.

Whilst fascinating to see the trends corner by corner, I don't think any of us were expecting to see my heart rate sit between 181-195bpm the entire time!

This heart rate zone causes heavy fatigue as the body struggles to supply muscles with the oxygen they require. The bottom line is an increased chance of mistakes behind the wheel - no good at 200km/h!

Wireless Motorsport set me the task of jumping on the treadmill, getting my heart rate this high and sustaining it for a race distance so we could see how hard my body is working around the racetrack 

No easy task I can assure you!

I'll share the video once they have it produced so keep an eye out!

//ROUND 4

SYDNEY MOTORSPORT PARK

 

//1st-2nd August

There was so much wheel to wheel racing this weekend! Strong competition brought with it a great opportunity to work on my race craft.

This weekend was also an opportunity to gather some new and very exciting data. Wireless Motorsport set up their fantastic Biometric data recorder with the dash so we could see heart rate and temperature information at any given point on the track and identify any trends. 

Friday practice started off with a bang as all the prep work came to fruition.  In my first session out  I was consistently faster than I have ever been before around the 3.93km circuit.

Qualifying was very close - I grabbed Pole by five hundredths of a second (0.0534 seconds)!!  

Race 1 - 11 Laps
I built up a small gap early on leading Hodges and Lowing (Class H) but by the fourth lap they had reduced that gap and Lowing used the slip stream down the straight to get by. We were both leading our classes but racing is racing. We swapped positions numerous times throughout the remainder of the race with Hodges right behind looking for an opportunity. I even discovered some new track when I was squeezed towards the pit  wall in a move that reminded me a little of Schumacher v Barrichello in Hungary 2010. When we crossed the finish line I had a lead of 0.07 seconds a great indication of just how close the racing was. 

Race 2 - 11 Laps
This race was quiet compared to the first one. I remained in the lead with a good launch and Lowing and I pulled a gap on the rest of the field. This time I was able to stay in front from start to finish where we crossed the line with less than a tenth of second seperating us again.

Race 3 - 11 Laps
Lowing was able to get the jump at the start this time and I was forced to slot behind, still leading my class. Mid race I was close enough to make a move on the inside down the straight but wasn't able to make it stick till the following lap where the move was successful. A couple of laps later I ran a little wide in the second last corner and was forced to slow a little to remain on the track. As we approached the apex of the last corner Lowing made contact with me and unfortunately caused some damage to the rear of the car. I had to back off and let him through in Turn 1 while I assessed how the rear was going to hold up. As I continued round the circuit a little off the pace second placed Hodges was able to close in and take the lead from me. The fight was on for victory in the Trophy Race now. We raced wheel to wheel from then on, a move up the inside of the hairpin paid off and I retook the lead. We crossed the finish line side by side, no celebrations as nobody knew the result and we had to wait for the official time sheets. The verdict - 0.0124 seconds between us!!! It doesn't get much closer than that!!

Pole, three wins and two fastest laps gave me an almost perfect point score for this weekend! I learnt a great deal from Round 4 and I'm sure I'll remeber the close racing for a long time to come.

To see the photos from this weekend click here.

//ROUND 3

WAKEFIELD  PARK

 

//20th -  21st June

2015 Round 2

//ROUND 2

SYDNEY MOTORSPORT PARK

THREE FROM THREE

 

//2nd-3rd May

I  headed into the round eager to continue the momentum from Round  1.

Qualifying. The track was still wet after plenty of rain  and the hunt was on to find the grip in the circuit.  By the second lap we were the fastest car and it stayed that way  till the last lap before traffic halted the final lap and we got knocked back to second.  A front row start was still a great way to begin the weekend.

Race 1. Five Laps. Lots of RAIN! 1st Place
It felt sensational, I was so incredibly happy after the first race as was the team -  one of my strongest performances behind the wheel.  A slower than planned getaway didn't stop me from grabbing the lead by Turn 1 and  then set to work on being quicker every single lap.  The  chequered flag fell early but  we had built up a commanding five second lead in the space of five laps!  

Race 2.  Ten Laps. 1st Place
The sun came out on Sunday and the track was drying out. The team made the right decisions with the setup and the car felt great on the track.  A safety car was needed on lap 5 and stayed  out till the final lap.  The fight was on during that final lap but we held our ground and walked away with the win and the fastest lap!

Race 3.  Ten Laps. 1st Place
Understeer was a big problem in the Trophy Race especially in the slower corners.  I made an error in Turn 2 and ran off the dry racing line and onto the wet track surface.  Losing the lead made it a costly mistake. On the next lap I was able to make the pass for the lead stick in the same corner! The safety car made another appearance  until lap 7 when the racing was back on. Only a couple of seconds separated the front pack.   To stay out in front I was constantly working on my driving, trying to   find the best way  to get the  understeering car around the circuit and we succeeded.  

We took out the Round with three wins  and two fastest laps! The changing weather conditions made it a tough weekend but the dominant performance in Race  1 was a big confidence boost!  You know you're doing a good job when Anglo Motorsport owner/manager  Tim Beale sings you praises!  An awesome performance by the team meant we could perform at our best  and get the job done!

It's a long wait now  until Round 3 at Wakefield Park on the 20th-21st June. In the meantime you can see some fantastic photos from the round here.

2015 Round 1

//ROUND 1 

WAKEFIELD PARK

CLEAN SWEEP

 

//11th-12th April

It was only a couple of days before Round 1 that I found out I would definitely be competing - What a turn around!

Finances kept me out of a large part of Friday Practice so I had to make the most of our two afternoon sessions. It felt great to be back after six months away from the circuit!

Qualifying. Twenty minutes. POLE POSITION. 
Armed with the knowledge of what I had to do to improve my lap times from Friday I took to the track. I set the fastest time on my eighteenth lap and took my first pole by 0.7 seconds. 

Three Races. Eighteen, Sixteen and Eighteen laps. WIN WIN WIN!!!
What an absolutely incredible feeling!!! Winning all three races and setting the fastest lap in each one  was the best possible start to the Championship. In the first two races I managed to pull a bit of a gap but the pressure was on in the Trophy Race. A major accident brought the safety car out for six laps - thankfuly the driver walked away unharmed! After the restart I was under attack for a number of laps and really had to work hard to hold onto the lead. 

Massive thank you to Anglo Motorsport for all the hard work over the weekend and Tim and Hugh who always help me to improve as a driver. I also had a number of very special surprise visitors on the weekend and I can't thank them enough for their never ending support!

Bring on Round 2 at Sydney Motorsport Park on the 2nd-3rd May!  In the meantime, check out the awesome photos from the round here.

Bathurst 12 Hour

//BATHURST 

LIQUI MOLY 12 HOUR

 

 

//6th-7th February 

CAMS Motor Sport Awards

//2014 NSW

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

 

//22nd November

A day of Motorsport Awards to celebrate a year of success!

First up the Formula Ford Association Lunch Presentation. It was an honour to receive the awards by Jeff Senior who has been organising the NSW Competition since 1991!! Next was the Confederation of Australian Motor Sports Awards Dinner. A glamorous night held at the Royal Automobile Club of Australia. 

I'm ecstatic to be recognised as the 2014 NSW Formula Ford Rookie of the Year!!! I also secured 3rd place in the Championship with 395 points, finishing only 3 points away from 2nd!! 

These results were made possible thanks to the Anglo Australian Motorsport Team and the dedication that Tim Beale has for the team. There were so many people who supported me through out the year especially my girlfriend and family and I can't thank them enough for everything they have done for me.

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