D'Agostino ends UK Formula Ford Championship with brace of podiums
Northants, England -- American Formula Ford ace Joe D'Agostino finished his season on a high note with a brace of 2nd place finishes in the final rounds of the UK Formula Ford Championship, held on the 2.249-mile Silverstone International circuit.
After a solid qualifying session the Brackley-based D'Agostino took 2nd position for both races and had high confidence going into Sunday's races. "The car felt good and the session went well for me," said the Floridian. "After analyzing the data I know that we are capable of a very quick pace for the two races, we'll just have to see how things play out and hopefully I am in a position to win."
With the track very damp from overnight rain, conditions were extremely difficult as the majority of drivers chose slick tires to start the race. After a blinding start and a committed first few corners D'Agostino began to open up a sizeable gap over the competition and looked to be en route to his 7th victory of the year. However, Duncan Tappy soon found his feet and began to close down the gap fully exploiting his chassis's potential in the better-suited conditions for the Mygale. Struggling for mid-race pace D'Agostino ceded the position to Tappy but continued to shadow his rival all the way to the flag, finishing less than a second behind and taking his 15th podium of the year.
As the British weather showed it's better side the sun was out and the track completely dry for the final UK Formula Ford race of the 2005 season. With another solid start D'Agostino fended off an outside challenge from Charlie Donnelly into turn 1 as the first three ran nose-to-tail until a safety car was brought out to clear an incident further back in the field. As Donnelly dropped back after the safety car D'Agostino then turned his focus on the bright red Jamun Racing machine of Tappy, steadily closing down the gap lap after lap. The gap was down to just 0.4 of a second when D'Agostino suffered a slight gearbox problem, allowing Tappy to edge away. With only a few laps left D'Agostino tried to make another charge but could not close the gap quick enough, coming home to end his Formula Ford season with yet another 2nd place and podium finish. "I'm not quite sure what happened, everything felt fine up until I went for 4th gear and it missed. It's possibly a dog-ring but we'll have to have a closer look at it back at the workshop-- a good result none the less," explained D'Agostino after the race.
"I felt my pace this weekend was very good, especially in the second race. It hasn't been easy jumping back and forth between a Formula Ford, Formula Renault and a Formula 3 car but I've just got on with the job and given it my best at all times. It has been a busy but really fun past few weeks driving a racing car at least a couple days each week, it's every driver's dream scenario. However, I'm glad to have a week off now to prepare and refocus for the upcoming Formula Ford Festival. I am very excited about the event as I surprised a lot of people with my performance last year-- hopefully I can do the same this year closing what has thus far been a fantastic chapter in my life."
D'Agostino aims to become the first American to win the prestigious 34th-Annual Formula Ford Festival, being held on the 21-23 October at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
D'Agostino would like to thank Team JLR and all of his supporters: Arai Helmets, Kuzzins Kustoms, Doug Mockett & Co., Sutton Images, Sparco USA, and all of his personal sponsors.