Kidderminster racing driver, Nathan Freke, continued to star at rounds 7 and 8 of the UK Formula Ford championship held at Brands Hatch last weekend. Driving his Newnet plc sponsored Jamun Racing Mygale Ford Duratec, Nathan was immediately on the...
Kidderminster racing driver, Nathan Freke, continued to star at rounds 7 and 8 of the UK Formula Ford championship held at Brands Hatch last weekend. Driving his Newnet plc sponsored Jamun Racing Mygale Ford Duratec, Nathan was immediately on the pace in free testing. During Friday free practice Nathan was constantly quicker than the other racers often by 0.5 of a second over his nearest rivals, and the hotter it became the bigger the time difference. 'The car just gets better and better as the session goes on' commented Nathan.
Qualifying on the Saturday morning saw Nathan pound in 5 quick laps and then retire to the pits to watch his rivals completing the whole 20 minute session to try and match the times. Unable to do so the session ended with Nathan taking pole position for both races and the extra championship point for each.
Saturday afternoon as the race time approached the heavens opened and soaked the track, all of the teams decided to select wet tyres to race on and this proved to be a mistake. As the cars were released onto the track it became obvious that slicks would have been the right choice. Nathan made an excellent start and was into the lead, however it became immediately obvious that the car was not handling very well as he was finding it difficult to hold the line in the corners. Over the following few laps, despite defending , he dropped to 3rd place and came under even more pressure from the 4th and 5th place drivers who were circulating a second a lap faster. Trying as hard as he could he eventually dropped to 5th place where as the tyres wore down he was able to consolidate the place and stabilise his lap times to cross the line in 5th which was a good result in the circumstances. Afterward Nathan commented 'we all got caught out by the weather and I could not turn my new wets into slicks quickly enough to compete, the vibration from the steering and the inability to turn the corners made it very hard to maintain the pace, but 5th place is not a bad result -- it could have been a lot worse'
Race 2 on Sunday afternoon and the weather is back to the dry hot conditions of Friday practice. Starting from pole again Nathan made, by his standards a poor start allowing his team mate and guest driver Marc Murray to get away in the lead. However Nathan managed to slip past the leader at Druids hairpin on the 2nd lap, and from here he lead the race away for the whole 31 lap distance, posting the fastest lap of the race and also posting the fastest lap on 25 out of the other laps. Eventually he eked out a 5 second gap over the chasing cars and lapped the rest of the f1eld up to 10th place. However as Nathan crossed the line he lost 4th gear but recorded his 3rd win in the series.
'I had to nurse the car for the last 2 laps as 4th gear became more difficult to find, one more lap and it would have been very close to hold onto the lead. This win extends our lead in the championship and shows that we are leading the title chase on merit. We are looking forward to the next round at Rockingham very much, my thanks to my sponsors Newnet, and to the Jamun team for doing the best job on the car.