Round 14, Silverstone Saturday 16th September Anthony Davidson (GB) scored a dramatic 3rd place finish and set fastest lap in his BIC sponsored Haywood Racing Mygale in the final round of the Formula Ford Zetec Championship at Silverstone on...
Round 14, Silverstone
Saturday 16th September
Anthony Davidson (GB) scored a dramatic 3rd place finish and set fastest lap in his BIC sponsored Haywood Racing Mygale in the final round of the Formula Ford Zetec Championship at Silverstone on Saturday. The result makes Anthony the top rookie in the series placing him 3rd in the championship, just one point behind Mark Taylor (GB) in second.
Davidson chased the works Van Diemens home after a thrilling 16-lap finale where he used speed and guile in his attempt to beat Taylor to second in the championship. Anthony knew he had to finish in the top three and also ensure that Taylor was at least two places behind him. By securing fastest lap he would stop Robert Dahlgren (SWE) snatching second place.
Anthony qualified in 5th position, his new chassis suffering a twisted brake balance cable causing too much rear bias and glazing the front pads. However, he produced another stunning opening lap to carve past Taylor and Peter Gray to take 3rd place behind the two works Van Diemens of James Courtney (AUS) and Dahlgren.
Within 4 laps Anthony had pulled away from the pack and was on the tail of Dahlgren, who was disputing the lead with Courtney. He made a move at Bridge and was through into 2nd place. With his championship rivals behind him his runner-up position in the series looked good at this point.
However, one lap later, Dahlgren towed up to Anthony along the startline straight, forcing him to defend into Copse Corner and lose revs on the exit. Dahlgren was able to pull past and drag Adam Carroll with him on one side and Taylor on the other.
Down to 5th place Anthony had it all to do. The 5-car train entered Abbey hairpin, Taylor outbraked himself touching and puncturing Carroll's rear tyre leaving the three protagonists for championship runner-up together on the track.
Dahlgren eased away as Taylor defended to stop Anthony passing. Anthony had to pass Taylor and made a move one lap later, passing his rival on the exit of the hairpin. However, Taylor was able to tow along the startline straight and pass Anthony on the exit of Copse.
"I had to get ahead of Taylor, and also had to have one car between us. Dahlgren was moving ahead as we got caught up in our dicing, so I looked behind me and saw Hideki Mutoh and Peter Gray about 30 metres back. I figured I'd pass Taylor and hold him up until they caught us," Anthony said after the race.
The pair swapped positions once more, until Anthony took Taylor into Brooklands. He then slowed the pace to allow their chasers to catch up. However, he experienced a gearshift glitch out of Copse which allowed Taylor back through.
Thinking of the championship, Anthony then made another tactical decision: "Mutoh was right behind me and anxious to get on the podium. I thought he might take Taylor off in his efforts so I let him through, but he wasn't quick enough and I re-passed him."
Anthony towed up to Taylor, set fastest lap and passed the Kent driver into Brooklands. He immediately slowed his pace so that Mutoh could hassle Taylor but the Japanese could not make it through. With 2 laps to go, Anthony decided to speed up and pulled away from the pack to finish in 3rd place in the race and in 3rd place in the Formula Ford Zetec Championship. He missed 2nd place by just 1 point.
"It has been a magic year. It has been great to race competitively in my BIC sponsored Haywood Racing Mygale. I have won races in my first year and I am the top newcomer. The Formula Ford Zetec Championship may be finished but season is far from over. I'm racing at Spa next weekend, I have some exciting tests planned and the Festival to look forward to. The next 6-weeks will be very busy!"