Dicing in the Draft draws results for Johnston. Drafting, in motorsport terminology, is when one car uses another's "tow" to increase it's speed and ultimately, assist the pursuing car to pass the one in front. It is a technique used most...
Dicing in the Draft draws results for Johnston.
Drafting, in motorsport terminology, is when one car uses another's "tow" to increase it's speed and ultimately, assist the pursuing car to pass the one in front. It is a technique used most effectively on high-speed tracks around the world, and in series' like NASCAR where staying in the draft at some super speedways is the key to winning.
Drafting is also highly important in Australian Formula Vee racing, as 18-year-old South Australian Asher Johnston quickly found out last weekend when he took to the track at the second round of the 2005 Victorian State Circuit racing Series at Sandown Raceway in Melbourne.
In what was his first experience at a high speed track where drafting is super important, Johnston impressed in the massive Formula Vee field, continuing his strong form shown at the first round of the Victorian Series' held at Mallala in March.
Qualifying started strongly for Johnston, taking second position on the grid (With a time under the existing Formula Vee lap record) and becoming one of just three cars to lap within a second of the pole sitter in the 15 minute qualifying session.
The opening race (10 Laps) was a learning experience for Johnston - who quickly became accustomed to using the other cars in the field to pass his way to the front after an opening lap that saw him drop to 7th position. He recovered well, though, to score second place at the line after a strong and determined drive.
Race two -- a shorter six lap sprint -- was an easier event for the young driver from Glenelg, who along with the race leader managed to break away from the chasing pack and score an easy second place, just a few seconds behind the winner.
The third ten-lap race was a carnage filled affair. Johnston made the beast start and had worked it into a 100m lead by lap 7, when the safety car was called out to recover a stranded car at turn 1. After dropping to fourth at the restart, Johnston carved his way back towards the front in the final couple of corners before a coming together with another car resulted in a spin and an eventual 17th place finish -- not the way the weekend was supposed to end after a highly promising start.
"Going into the 2nd to last corner I went around the outside into 3rd place," explained Johnston about the last lap. "I had the inside for the final turn, but unfortunately the other car turned down on me and we hit front wheels - He rolled and I spun off before recovering to 17th."
Despite the incident, Johnston said that he was pleased with his weekend as a whole.
"Apart from all that I'm really happy with the weekend. The car had great speed, and I'm happy with the way I drove and adapted to a different style of racing then what I'm use to. To lead the final like we did was satisfying and if the safety car hadn't have come out we would have won it - its just a shame it ended up like it did, but that's just racing I guess!"
Johnston is competing in the full Victorian State Circuit Racing Series Formula Vee title, as well as contesting selected rounds of State and National Level Formula Ford with the experienced G-Force Mygale Team.
He finished well inside the top 20 at the opening round of National Formula Ford at the Clipsal 500 (His First ever Formula Ford meeting), and also currently lies 2nd in points in the Formula Vee standings after two rounds, just 17 behind the series' lead.
The next round of the VSCRS will be held at another track where drafting will play a key role -- the awesome 4.45 flowing Kilometers of Phillip Island Raceway - on June 11th and 12th.
<pre> Points -- after Round 2. 1. Paul Sexton 166 2. Asher Johnston 149 3. George Panagiotidis 120