Makela made to work for win number nine Valle Makela sealed his ninth victory of the season in the UK Formula Ford Championship at Silverstone this morning. However, American racer Joe D'Agostino pushed the series leader hard over the 12 laps ...
Makela made to work for win number nine
Valle Makela sealed his ninth victory of the season in the UK Formula Ford Championship at Silverstone this morning. However, American racer Joe D'Agostino pushed the series leader hard over the 12 laps around the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.
Makela took advantage of pole position and led the field into Copse on the opening lap, taking D'Agostino with him as he made a small break away from the chasing pack.
A handful of quick laps allowed him to pull away from D'Agostino as the American eased off to conserve his tyres for the second race later in the day. With just a handful of laps to run, D'Agostino and the rest of the field began to narrow the gap to the leader, putting him under pressure. Despite having to keep an eye on his mirrors he was able to clinch his ninth win of the year.
"I'm very pleased with that," said Makela. "It is so hard to pull away on this circuit without a tow from another car. The long straights make it difficult to get away. The car was very good though and felt great everywhere. I think that I can do the same later today."
Behind him, D'Agostino was please to have put the championship leader under pressure and was happy to have got his Scholarship campaign back on track.
"I eased off quite a bit during the middle of the race as I wanted to conserve my tyres for later," said D'Agostino. "Makela set off so quickly and kept it flat out all the way through. I thought his tyres were beginning to go off towards the end and we caught up to him fairly easily. I hope that I'm going to have the better car by the end of the second race. It's good to score a win in the Scholarship Cup. I've made a couple of mistakes this season as I've tried to go for the win every time out as I know the win is there for me," he added.
The battle for third place raged throughout the entire 12 laps. Previous round winner Charlie Kimball slotted into third on the opening lap, but was immediately under pressure from Japanese racer, Yuya Sakamoto. A brave effort on lap eight saw Sakamoto carry too much speed on the exit of Woodcote and an attempt on the outside of Kimball meant he had to take to the grass, slotting back behind the American in fourth.
A lap later and he got a better driver across the start/finish line and dived up the inside at Copse, holding the place for the remainder of the race. Kimball struggled once he had lost third place and lost fourth to Sebastian Hohenthal and came under pressure from Team JLR team-mate Daniel Clarke in the closing laps.
Charlie Donnelly managed to take sixth place after an early tussle with Julian Yap, who, in turn, ended the race ninth behind Richard Keen.
<pre> UK Formula Ford Championship -- Round 13
Silverstone -- Result: 1 Valle Makela Van Diemen RF03 12 laps in 23m56.163s 2 Joe D'Agostino Van Diemen RF03 23m56.660s 3 Yuya Sakamoto Van Diemen RF03 24m04.337s 4 Sebastian Hohenthal Van Diemen RF03 24m04.782s 5 Charlie Kimball Van Diemen RF04 24m05.695s 6 Daniel Clarke Van Diemen RF04 24m06.097s