Posted by Amanda Whitaker on November 2, 2009 at 11:14 AM
Amanda Whitaker raced in her most competitive outing of the year at the ‘Walter Hayes Trophy’ festival.
The festival - named after the Ford racing boss (who was in charge of Ford’s famous Cosworth DFV engine program amongst many other things) - is for all types of 1600cc Kent engined Formula Ford cars & attracts a worldwide entry of over 120 drivers. The racing is decided over the course of 3 days with a number of heats, last chance races moving through to semi-finals & a final on Sunday with 36 cars on the grid.
It was the first race of the year for Amanda’s SC93 Swift and due to focus on trying to win her main championship this year, the team were working against the clock to get the car ready in time.
On Saturday Amanda made a good start to her campaign with a heat finish of 7th place from 16th on the grid, but was struggling with poor engine power, preventing her from moving further forward through the field. However, the result was enough to put her straight into the semi-finals - the only female to make it that far.
Overnight her team Amaron Racing sorted a number of electrical issues, making the problems better.
She started Sundays semi-final in 20th position and gambled with a wet setup amidst a windy & wet morning. However, the weather had improved by the time her race had started and she struggled with a car setup for the wet on a quickly drying track.
Her car also developed a steering problem which was stopping her from putting the correct amount of steering lock through the corners: “It stopped me from making some passing maneuvers and I was running wide on the exits on occasion because of the problem - I only had half the lock I needed”. She battled valiantly despite the issue but finished a disappointing 24th.
“To be honest, this weekend was a bit of a test session for us really - it was the first time we’d been out in the car competitively. I am sure without the problems we would have easily made the final - once sorted, it should be a quick car. So I’m looking forward to racing the car again next year in some of the Scottish and North West Formula Ford Championship”.
The overall Walter Hayes Trophy was won by American Connor De Philipi.
This is Amanda’s final race of the year, although she will be doing some promotions through the end of 2009 and will be accompanying her partner Anthony Dunn on select visits at schools in the North East as part of the MSA’s Go Motorsport campaign. For a visit to your school please call Anthony on 07771 857818.