D'Agostino has mixed fortunes despite a strong drive all weekend Northamptonshire, England -- Talented American Joe D'Agostino suffered mixed fortunes this past weekend in what has been a up and down year thus far. Despite slight setbacks ...
D'Agostino has mixed fortunes despite a strong drive all weekend
Northamptonshire, England -- Talented American Joe D'Agostino suffered mixed fortunes this past weekend in what has been a up and down year thus far. Despite slight setbacks D'Agostino pressed on with the job at hand showing his speed and professionalism.
As the UK Formula Ford Championship arrived at the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit D'Agostino looked forward to reliving his successes from last year when he became the first Scholarship driver ever to win a race outright as well as leading home the first-ever American 1-2 in an International Motorsports event and setting the Formula Ford lap record in what was a terrific weekend for the then 19-year old.
Qualifying was held in tricky conditions as a deluge of rain the night before left all pondering grip levels and optimum setups for the circuit. D'Agostino was quick out of the box posting the fastest lap of the session only to be bumped by Jamun Racing rival Duncan Tappy by 0.2 in the closing minutes. After an aborted last attempt for pole-position, D'Agostino settled for 2nd starting position for Rounds 15 & 16.
Joe commented, "I am really pleased with my qualifying laps as they were without a draft which can make a big difference and I know the Jamun boys were able to work together. We also were a little too stiff on the setup at first as it was a big unknown going into this morning's session, but I am happy with the end result."
At the start of race one D'Agostino quickly slotted in behind pole-sitter Duncan Tappy with Charlie Donnelly joining as the three regular pace setters rapidly pulled out on the rest of massive 34-car field. As the race progressed D'Agostino eased up to conserve his tires for the second of the days races as Duncan Tappy ran a heated pace at the front. On the penultimate lap D'Agostino suddenly lost drive leaving no choice but to succumb to his fourth retirement of the season. Upon further inspection by the Team a faulty fourth gear is to blame for the DNF.
After quick work by Joe's Team JLR mechanic, Kevin Whitaker, the Mockett.com Team JLR Van Diemen was ready for race two. With a strong start off the line D'Agostino was barely edged out by Tappy into the first corner. D'Agostino then applied great pressure until seeing an opportunity on the run to Stowe corner; D'Agostino first went left then immediately jinked right under braking to pull off a brave move. In the same manner as Nigel Mansell's famous move on Nelson Piquet at the same corner during the British Grand Prix of 1987, D'Agostino took the lead. After a great tussle and a lucky move Tappy would then retake the lead a lap later into Priory as the two battled wheel to wheel. After easing off for a few laps D'Agostino made one last charge instantly reeling in the leader, with only a do-or-die move to win D'Agostino decided to be sensible and bring home his 12th podium of the year.
D'Agostino commented on the weekend, "I hope this is the end of my bad luck this year, I'll take it on the chin and continue to do the best job possible for the Team and for myself. I was pleased knowing in the second race we definitely had the pace to win, but I wanted to reward the crew with a good result and drove a sensible race. It's a shame that the title is now a long shot but I think Team JLR and I have been the guys to beat virtually every weekend and that's what counts to me."
The 17th and 18th Rounds of the UK Formula Ford Championship will be held on the 24th-25th of September at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk.