Louise, a student at Aston University arrived there buoyed by a seasons-best seventh place finish in the previous event at Snetterton, and a good day on Friday in testing set her up well for the weekend at the wheel of her family run Mygale.
Qualifying went well initially and for a while it looked like she may make the front row but eventually she secured eighth on the grid, a mistake towards the end of the session that saw off into the gravel meant she lost out on being on track at the quickest time. Despite that, her best time was just over seven tenths of a second away from the front row, providing further indication of her continued progress in her maiden single-seater season.
Race one was on Saturday and a heavy shower just before the cars headed onto the circuit meant the team were forced to make a late call to switch to wet tyres. This would now be Louise’s first wet race in Formula Ford.
Louise got a great start and although she didn’t make up a place by the closing stages she was challenging rival James Abbott. But he remained ahead leaving her eighth overall and third in the scholarship class, just short of matching her best result so far.
Race two was on Sunday morning and this time she moved up to sixth but then spun dropping to seventh. Fortunately she was far enough ahead to avoid dropping any further and finished in that position taking second in the Scholarship class, her best result yet in that class.
Race three has a reverse grid putting Louise in fourth and this allowed her to race right with the front pack from the start and she looked like might have a chance for an overall podium but by the time the pack sorted itself out she found herself in seventh and in another scholarship class podium spot after fending off Abbott in the closing stages.
Louise was pleased with her weekend;
“I’m really happy with the weekend,” she said. “We’ve made good progress and I’ve been a lot closer to the pace which is pleasing. Now, I just need to find the consistency in terms of my lap times to push forwards.
“The third race in particular was great as that was the time first I’ve been right in the mix and have been under real pressure throughout, so I feel that I’ve been able to learn a lot more and it has improved me as a driver. I always had to be on my guard and to beat Abbott at the end was great.
“Knockhill is a circuit where you need to be confident in your car, and I had the confidence to really go for it. While I may have made a mistake in qualifying, it was because I felt I could really push, and I just overstepped the mark a little bit.
“That is something that happens, but I think the way the team worked this weekend and the way I drove is something we can be really happy with. With the extra confidence I’ve gained this weekend and the fact that I’m getting more experience every time I go on track, I’m confident I can move forwards up the grid in the races still to come.” by Marc Waller