Drinkall Enjoys Positive Formula Ford Festival
Exmouth based Formula Ford Academy scholarship winner Jack Drinkall enjoyed an encouraging weekend at Brands Hatch as he finished eighth in the final after going up against 55 other drivers over the two days of the 2010 Formula Ford Festival.
Racing in the Kent class for Alan McGarrity Racing the 16-year-old headed in to qualifying in a car that he had only stepped in to the day before and promptly put in a time good enough to start the weekend from third place.
"Qualifying was really exciting and the conditions were in my favour with a damp, slippery track." admitted Drinkall. "I spent the first half of the session getting used to the track conditions and warming the car. I then went to work for an ultimate lap. For the last couple of laps I was pushing the car to the limit, knowing the track had dried slightly. I tucked up behind a car going into clearways and got a good tow past the line and clinched third."
The first race of the weekend saw Drinkall finish in a promising fifth place. "First heat was dry and I knew I wasn't completely on the pace in these conditions with a slight over steer problem around clearways. I was happy to finish fifth." said Drinkall.
With confidence growing Drinkall would finish the second race in sixth place after battling with the frontrunners. "The second heat was up and down with the front runners and I felt better within the car in these dry conditions. Once again I was really happy with a 6th place, which put me 12th on the grid for the final." he said.
"Sitting on the grid for the final was tense." confessed the Devon youngster. "I felt I'd done a good job sitting there in 12th place out of 56 entrees. My start was reasonable and I moved into 10th around Paddock Hill Bend. I then set myself upon Scott McGaritty and put a move on him around clearways, which moved me up to 9th place. The race was stopped and re-gridded for the last 8 laps. Once we got away again I moved up into 8th and held my position comfortably until the finish."
Summing up the weekend Drinkall said: "I thought the weekend went very well as I kept on the track and constantly exceeded my times. Qualifying was a high point, knowing I was quick in slippery conditions and achieving 3rd with an entree of 56 international drivers. The McGaritty team were so professional and I couldn't have asked for more.
"It was a challenging weekend but I feel I adapted quickly and performed to my best with good results." he finished.
Matt Kelly of Mattkelly.co.uk driver management team was impressed with Drinkall's performance: "Jack's learning curve over the festival week was almost vertical, everything was new to him but he didn't let it faze him at all, he raced well and was exceptional in the damp conditions qualifying in a fantastic third place in his group. I coach and manage a number of young up and coming drivers and feel that Jack has real potential to make it in Motorsport, defiantly a star of the future, a fantastic performance on a high pressure weekend"