IFM: Mike Meadows Brands Hatch summary

MIKE MEADOWS IMPRESSES IN FORMULA MASTERS DEBUT 24 September British single-seater racer, Mike Meadows, showed impressive form on his debut in the International Formula Master championship at Brands Hatch this weekend. A top three time in the ...

MIKE MEADOWS IMPRESSES IN FORMULA MASTERS DEBUT 24 September

British single-seater racer, Mike Meadows, showed impressive form on his debut in the International Formula Master championship at Brands Hatch this weekend. A top three time in the early practice session was followed by fourth fastest lap in qualifying, a second row grid slot. Meadows suffered two retirements in the races, with a racing accident and a mechanical failure preventing him from showing his potential at the Brands Hatch circuit.

Bringing the Euronova team its best dry qualifying position of the season so far was a highlight of the weekend for Meadows, as he said, "I didn't expect to be near the top of the time sheets on my first outing. The majority of the field has completed nearly a whole season of racing, but I only stepped into the car on Friday. I didn't let that worry me, I just tried to focus on getting comfortable with the car and pushing as hard as possible once I was on the pace. Euronova gave me a good car, so I was able to get the best from it and that gave us our strong qualifying time."

The International Formula Master championship supports the FIA World Touring Cars and is a similar level to British F3, with an international field of 27 drivers competing in eight rounds, with two races at each event. Brands Hatch was the seventh event for the Series, the only round in the UK and a perfect opportunity for Meadows to sample this category of motorsport. The first race on Saturday began with Meadows running cleanly through Paddock Hill Bend and holding position in the early stages. A small error on lap four put Meadows off track and into the barriers prematurely ending his race.

He said afterwards, "I was just getting a bit impatient sitting in fourth and thought I could be running quicker if I could just get past the car ahead. I ran slightly wide onto the kerbing and that spat me off the track and I hit the barriers, so game over. I'm gutted as we had the car to win, I just should be more patient."

The second race on Sunday was always going to be tough for Meadows, with a back row start. He was determined to focus on moving through the field over the course of the 28 lap race, to finish as high up as possible. By the second lap he had made up six places, and by half distance he was lying in 19th place. As the race reached its final stages, he had improved to fifteenth place until a technical problem left Meadows with a throttle stuck open, forcing him to retire prematurely.

Meadows explained, "We were having a really good race up until I had a problem with the car. I was gaining good experience of racing in this new series. We even posted fourth fastest lap, which was on old tyres, while others were on new rubber, so I'm pleased with that as well. Although we didn't get the race results we wanted, I think I showed that with a good car underneath me I have the pace and the potential to do well. It's certainly given me a confidence boost, after the torrid time I've been having in F3."

The 20-year-old from Banbury has been competing regularly in the National Class of the International British F3 Series and was leading the championship until changing teams but his championship fight has been blighted from mechanical problems and racing incidents which have put him out of contention for the title.

-credit: mm

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Series Other open wheel