Posted by Amanda Whitaker on October 19, 2009 at 10:09 AM
County Durham's fast female Amanda Whitaker has finished runner up in the 2009 HSCC Historic Formula Ford Championship, narrowly missing out on her chance to become the first female in history to win a National Formula Ford title.
Amanda finished 7th at Silverstone, and with title rival Westie Mitchell finishing 4th in his first comeback race since his injuries sustained at Mallory Park, she missed out on the title by just 3 points.
Amanda qualified 7th on the grid of 33 cars, with Westie only a couple of places ahead in 5th, although she struggled with a lack of grip and slightly incorrect gearing causing her to be off her normal pace.
However, she made a good start in the race to jump to 6th place and diced for position with Robert Wainwright & Derek Rodgers. However, Wainwright misjudged his braking for Becketts corner and made contact with the back wheel of Amanda's car, knocking her wide and loosing her position to Wainwright & Simon Toyne. However, she quickly fought back & re-passed Toyne for 7th place, although the resultant melee caused her to loose time to the pack in front. But Amanda got her head down & closed the gap, although ran out of time to challenge the pack.
Into the last lap, Amanda sat in 7th with Westie on the tail of the pack ahead in 6th. If they finished in that order, Amanda would have lost just one point to Westie and would have claimed the championship. However, in an usual overtaking place out of the final corner on the final lap Westie slipped past David Wilds and Derek Rodgers to take 4th and the title.
"I'm obviously disappointed to take second, having fought for the title all year" said Amanda. "However, Westie is a worthy champion and it's good to see him racing again after his injury. Between us, we have had a good, clean, close fought championship this year."
"We have had lots to handle this year - missing a race, engine issues, braking problems, a big accident, etc. So after all the trials and tribulations this year, I'm actually relieved it's over! I guess 'the best man won' " she said.
She races again for the final time this year at Silverstone at the ultra competitive Walter Hayes Festival on November 1st - where over 100 of the world's best Formula Ford racers compete in a series of heats & finals.