2006 UK Formula Ford Champion, Nathan Freke ended his Formula Ford Duratec campaign at the Brands Hatch Formula Ford Festival last weekend, and ultimately in disappointment. The weeks testing had gone well with nathan being consistently quickest...
2006 UK Formula Ford Champion, Nathan Freke ended his Formula Ford Duratec campaign at the Brands Hatch Formula Ford Festival last weekend, and ultimately in disappointment. The weeks testing had gone well with nathan being consistently quickest in all of the test sessions. Timed qualifying on the Friday however was a lottery on a damp / drying track, and despite his best efforts was only able to place on grid 3 for his heat, mainly caused by a slower car on his only clear lap.
Changeable weather made tyre choice critical for the heat and Nathan chose slicks and others chose wets. A stunning start saw Nathan into 2nd place and hanging onto the leader who had chosen wets. Over the next few laps Nathan chased the lead car down and swept into the lead on lap 6 as his slick tyres became more effective than the wet shod runners. Easing away he won the heat comfortably to claim the win and pole position for the Sunday morning semi final.
Sunday morning and the track is wet so tyre choice was simple. Nathan's start was poor by his standards but good enough to hold his lead into the first corner from here he was able to use his superior skills to ease away to claim the win and by having the fastest race time -- pole position for the final on Sunday afternoon.
By the final the track conditions had deteriorated with lashing rain and poor light, on the front row with the other unbeaten driver from the 1st semi final a good start would be important. The lights go out and Nathan just holds his lead on the first lap hotly pursued by 3 other cars. Into Druids hairpin for the 2nd time and a car tries to go around the outside bangs wheels with Nathan and goes off, but puts Nathan back to 3rd. Undeterred Nathan chases the front 2, one of which crashes later on the lap at Clearways. This leaves Nathan to chase Irish driver Peter Dempsey for a lap eventually overtaking him at Clearways next time around, unfortunately it transpired that if Dempsey could not win it himself he would go to any lengths to prevent Nathan doing so and after hitting Nathan into Druids he pushed Nathan off the track at Graham Hill bend and into the tyre wall and into retirement with suspension damage. Retribution was however swift as the Irish driver span out next time around and drove into another competitor ending both their races.
'It is a real shame for the team and my sponsors Newnet who have put so much into this weekend, but it was not meant to be, if I could have done one more lap I would have been clear as I was much faster than Dempsey -- he is the real loser here having to resort to these tactics. I am hoping to have one more race this year in the Walter Hayes Trophy for 1600 Kent cars but it is dependent upon a deal being completed'
' I have had a really good year and it would have been nice to go out on a high, but I did my best and that's what counts.'