Despite this being the fifth meeting of the season, it was only the 21 year old’s second appearance of the season after a lack of budget kept her out of racing after the first meeting of the season. However she has now made a deal which will see her compete in all remaining races on the 2014 season with her family’s team Richardson Racing.
Despite having not driven the car since Brands Hatch in late march, Louise was quickly back up to speed and she qualified in tenth for race one.
Race one was on Saturday and She made a great start to take eighth on the opening lap. Sadly she spun on the second lap and dropped to the rear of the field. Louise didn’t let her frustration at the mistake affect her driving though and immediately respassed the Sinter of her rival, Greg Holloway and then set off after rival Chris Mealin. In the laps that followed, she made up 2 seconds when a three car pile-up at Tower brought out the safety car. It remained out until the chequered flag meaning Louise could make up no further positions but this gave her an eighth place finish and third place in the scholarship class.
She didn’t get a great start in race two, later on Saturday, and struggled for most of the race with gearbox issues but despite this she repeated her race one result with eighth place overall and third in the Scholarship class. The team then tried to fix the problems with the gearbox ready for the final Formula Ford race of the weekend on Sunday.
She got a good start once again and moved up to Eighth place but the gearbox once again started malfunctioning. She dropped a place to ninth and by now the car was mostly remaining stuck in 5th gear. With things still tight on budget the decision was made to retire the car before the gearbox problems caused expensive engine issues.
Louise was pleased with her weekend;
“If I’m being honest, I think this weekend went better than I thought it would, considering I haven’t driven the car since Brands Hatch and everyone else came here having done nearly half a season of racing and a lot more testing,” she said. “I was able to match the pace of the other Scholarship drivers which was really encouraging and I felt a lot more comfortable in the car.
“I know there are ways in which I still need to improve but this weekend has lifted my confidence a lot. Although it wasn’t nice to finish the weekend with a DNF, I think I’ve shown what I can do in the first two races and with more time in the car, I’m confident that I can come out fighting in the second half of the season and move forwards to start challenging the guys ahead.”
Louise next race is at Snetterton in Norfolk at the beginning of August. by Marc Waller