FPAUDI: Ryan Hooker Brands Hatch race notes

At Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2003 Visma Software Formula Palmer Audi championship held at Brands Hatch, Essex racer, Ryan Hooker added to his points tally, even after a hair raising moment in Round 8. Round 7 saw Ryan make a blistering start from...

At Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2003 Visma Software Formula Palmer Audi championship held at Brands Hatch, Essex racer, Ryan Hooker added to his points tally, even after a hair raising moment in Round 8.

Round 7 saw Ryan make a blistering start from his 5th position on the grid. "I made a really good start" says Ryan, "I could keep in touch with the lead pack and then later the safety car was brought out for one lap which really bunched the field up. As the safety car went in I was comfortably in fourth and couldn't make those last few car lengths to the cars in front but was able to pull away from the guys behind. Towards the end of the race I knew to take it more cautious to protect the tyres so was happy to finish fourth and looking forward to the next round where I felt a podium was a real possibility."

For Round 8 Ryan started from 6th position on the grid and once again made a great start. "I had a great start " Ryan says, "Taking two cars on the outside, first at Paddocks and next at Druids. I was able to pull away and was having a good mid-race, set fastest lap and was battling for third when once again the safety car was brought out and bunched us up again." As the safety car went in Ryan went in to the newly named Sheene Curve, "It felt like normal" Ryan recalls, "but whether I just got slightly on the marbles I don't know. It sent me into a spin - well four complete spins actually! Luckily I kept the car going, hit nothing and no-one hit me so was able to rejoin but with only two laps left I could only fight my way up to fourteenth and six points."

Though disappointed to finish 14th Ryan remains philosophical, "It's disappointing but at least I kept the car going to salvage some points. It has dropped me in the overall championship to third but not by too much and with four races left there's still everything to play for."

The next two rounds take place on August 31st at the historic Belgian circuit of Spa Francorchamps, "I can't wait to race at Spa" says Ryan who will return from the Belgian round to take up his new job as a race car instructor.

-rh-

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