FISHER THRILLS HOME CROWD WITH PODIUM FINISH In a highly dramatic weekend at Castle Combe, Team SWR-Crypton's Josh Fisher charged to a spectacular second place in the British Formula Three National Class, delighting his local crowd in the...
FISHER THRILLS HOME CROWD WITH PODIUM FINISH
In a highly dramatic weekend at Castle Combe, Team SWR-Crypton's Josh Fisher charged to a spectacular second place in the British Formula Three National Class, delighting his local crowd in the process, while his team-mate Nick Jones bravely started the races despite an enormous accident in qualifying.
Combe is very much a home track for Bridgwater based Fisher and his sponsors the Crypton Technology Group. Josh's father Brian enjoys legendary status at the Wilthshire venue thanks to his exploits in Formula Ford and sportscars in previous years, and the many thousands of spectators who flocked to Combe for its biggest meeting of the year were eager to see how the younger Fisher would get on.
Qualifying was slightly frustrating, with Josh about 0.5s off the National class pace and only sixth on the grid for both races. He still fared rather better than his team-mate Nick Jones, who ran wide at the super-fast Camp corner and slammed into the barriers, ripping one side of his SWR-Crypton Dallara off and scattering debris for hundred of metres. Nick was bruised but otherwise intact, and a remarkable effort by Team SWR saw his car back in one piece and pristine again by 3am on Sunday morning.
The team deserved something to cheer about after their late night labours, and Fisher rewarded them -- and his fans -- very well with a sublime performance in the first race. He moved from sixth place to second in the first half mile of the race, skilfully avoiding an accident that removed several of his main rivals.
"I didn't actually make any places at the start," Josh explained. "But as everyone else hugged the inside at Quarry, I went around the outside of all of them. By the time they started crashing into each other, I was already in front."
He then began to chase down National class leader Salvador Duran, applying tremendous pressure to the Mexican. On lap 18 Fisher got a little too close under braking for the Esses and had to bounce over the grass to avoid a collision, but he soon made up the lost time and pushed Duran all the way to the flag, finishing right on the winner's tail after a thrilling race.
A similarly hard-charging approach to race two didn't quite pay off, as Josh's first lap round-the-outside move at Tower left him visiting the grass once again. Dirt on his tyres then caused a second off course moment at the Bobbies chicane, before Juho Annala's aggressive defensive driving led to a third unwanted excursion and consigned Fisher to seventh place. Setting the race's fastest lap proved that Josh had the pace to win again, if not the luck.
Jones' unlucky weekend continued, as he was rammed on the first lap of race one and forced to retire, and then had to pull out of race two after his car's diffuser started striking the ground and coming apart.
"Nick really needs a race finish to boost his confidence after so much bad luck recently," said SWR Team Principal Trevor Powell. "He was on course for his best result yet in race one and deserved better than to be taken out again. Josh was absolutely superb, even if things didn't go his way in the second race, he still proved what a fantastic racer he is. Everyone was delighted to see him on the podium at home."
The series continues at Monza, home of the Italian Grand Prix, in a fortnight.