Louise Richardson arrived at Rockingham for the latest rounds of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship after having a good weekend at Knockhill and so she hoped to build on her success there and push for even better results.
Friday testing was first as usual and with the team having two chassis this weekend, Louise’s brother, Andrew was able to join in testing. This gave her all the usual benefits of working alongside a team mate including being able to collect twice as much data to help with the weekend’s setup.
Louise’s car for this weekend was new and she made the most of this in qualifying taking seventh but only around a second off pole.
With race one on Saturday afternoon there wasn’t long before the start and so after a bit of tweaking she was onto the grid. A solid run followed taking her to sixth overall and a scholarship class podium in third.
Sunday morning saw the second race and she again ran sixth before a battle with James Abbott late in the race saw her come out on top and in fifth place overall, again third in the Scholarship class. The final race was on Sunday afternoon not long before the final BTCC race of the day.
The Castle Bytham-racer headed into the eighth event of the season on the back of a strong showing in the previous meeting at Knockhill, and was on the pace from the moment the field hit the track for Friday testing at the Northamptonshire circuit.
This also gave her the lead of the Scholarship class but with Collard tight on her tail she couldn’t afford to relax. The battle looked set to go to the flag but late in the race, a mechanical issue forced Collard out of the race allowing Louise to win her class and take fourth overall, her best finish so far.
“I’m really, really pleased with the way this weekend has gone, and the final race was one of the best I’ve had this year,” she said. “I know there is still work to do as it wasn’t perfect and I made a few mistakes, but to come away from the weekend with my first Scholarship Class win and my best result so far is fantastic.
“It was really helpful this weekend that Andy was out in testing on Friday as it allowed us to look at a few things and gave me the chance to see where I could improve and what I could do differently.
“The first two races went well and it felt great in the final race to be in a proper battle on track with someone. I knew our car was strong on the oval and through the first part of the lap but I could see Ricky coming back at me on the infield and there was no time to relax until he had his problem.
“This weekend has been another huge boost for me and Silverstone is a circuit I know well, so I hope we can build on this when we head there for the next round.”
Louise now heads to Silverstone on a high and her next target will be an overall podium. by Marc Waller