Kennard has difficult start to season but underlines pace Jonathan Kennard arrived at Oulton Park for the start of the 2006 British Formula Three Championship full of optimism after a successful run of pre season tests. This season the former ...
Kennard has difficult start to season but underlines pace
Jonathan Kennard arrived at Oulton Park for the start of the 2006 British Formula Three Championship full of optimism after a successful run of pre season tests. This season the former Formula Palmer Audi Champion and BRDC McLaren Autosport Award Finalist is driving for Alan Docking Racing after a successful season with the team in 2005 which culminated with third in the National Class Championship.
Jonathan led out onto the track for the first qualifying session of 2006. On new tyres, he immediately began setting good times, running as high as second in the first half of the session until problems with high speed understeer began to hinder his progress. "I just had to wait for ages to put the power down, the understeer definitely prevented a top 6 time." The problems eventually left the Honda powered car in 14th overall.
The team cured the problems for the start of the second qualifying session; however Kennard was only just able to improve to 13th. Commenting on his run, Jonathan said; "We have a lot of work to do to get near the straight line speed of the leading cars but I'm confident we can find the difference".
Race day dawned overcast and with the forecast for showers during the day, it was going to be anyone's race. ADR worked tirelessly over the Easter break to improve the car and all the hard labour started to bear fruit in the first race. Starting from 14th on the grid was always going to be tough for Jonathan, "I am right in the thick of it here - I'm just going to give it all I've got and score some points".
And that he did, driving a superb race to move up to finish in the points and post the second fastest Honda powered lap time of the race on his way to 10th overall, finishing less than six seconds off a maiden podium. "It's one point so I guess we can take that away with us- it would have been good to have this pace in qualifying obviously, but its very early days in the championship and there's one more race to go today."
In the second race, Jonathan started from 13th on the grid and made up three places to be back in the points again when he was tagged from behind by Yelmer Buurman damaging Kennards diffuser. A lap later entering the Knickerbrook chicane James Jakes launched his car over the back of Kennard, both escaping injury but ending Jonathan's charge through the field and another points paying position.
"I am pretty disappointed with the whole weekend to be honest - I know we can do better. We have a few weeks until the next race so I will be working very hard with the team."