|Posted by Amanda Whitaker on September 14, 2009 at 3:52 AM|
Amanda took the HSCC Formula Ford Championship points lead this weekend with 5th place at Brands Hatch.
The day started well with Amanda qualifying 3rd, just 5 thousandths of a second from 2nd place Robert Wainwright. However, all was not well with Amanda's engine.
"We had a misfire, starting after a few laps in qualifying and getting progressively worse" said Amanda.
Her team Amaron racing set about trying to solve the problem, but despite hours of frantic work & the help of some of her competitors, the issue couldn't be resolved in time. However, with title rival Westie Mitchell still out of action due to injury, Amanda was aware to simply pick up as many points as possible for the title battle in which she was 10 points (a 6th place) from the lead.
At the start, Pole Position man Darren Burke dived into a lead he never looked in doubt of losing, as he immediately pulled clear of the pack at over half a second per lap.
Amanda slotted into 4th with the engine dying slightly as she started. She was then pushed to 5th on the opening lap by Andrew Willis' Lola T200. She gamely hung on to the position, catching her competitors in the corners but loosing time out of corners and down the straights as her engine was still cutting out.
She was then pushed back to 6th by Will Schryver's Titan on lap 6. However, she could then maintain position and held the gap to Paul Sleeman constant.
By mid distance, 6th became 5th as Willis pulled off with mechanical failure and she held this position until the end of the race, despite the misfire slowly worsening towards the end.
"That was a very frustrating race, I think I could have finished at least 2nd with no problems" said Amanda. But I'm really just thankful that I didn't fall back further and we could get some good points which are very useful at this stage.
The position gives her 12 points and the title lead by 2 points from Westie. With the potential of Westie's return at the final round at Silverstone in 5 weeks time, all may not be over.