Although neither had a prefect weekend at Oulton they each had made progress and hoped to move forward at Croft.
Louise in particular was hoping for a big jump up the grid as her team had spent the three weeks since Oulton Park making improvements. Jessica is still learning about the car and her team and so although she wasn’t expecting a big leap forward from Oulton she hoped to make further progress on from her debut.
Both girls had successful practice sessions and went into qualifying on Saturday feeling positive. Louise took seventh on the grid which then became sixth after a rival received a grid penalty. Jessica took eighteenth but she was now less than a second off the top ten.
Louise had a great race one making up a further position and taking fifth, most importantly this put her on the second row for race two. Jessica had a hard fought battle and got up to fourteenth before a missed gear dropped her back to sixteenth by the end.
Race two was even better for Louise, she passed Matheus Leist to take third at the start and then spent the rest of the race battling for second with Colton herta’s Carlin run car. She managed to get alongside him but in the end settled for third, by far her best result this season and her first podium finish in MSA Formula. Jessica again battled strongly further down the field and went one better then race 1 with fifteenth.
Race three turned out to be not as good for Louise but she still took a strong sixth and moved up to fifteen in the standings after scoring more points at Croft than in the whole of the rest of the season so far.
Louise was pleased with her weekend;
“It’s been an absolutely fantastic weekend and way more than I could have hoped for,” she said. “The team has worked really hard on the car since Oulton Park and we made some pretty radical changes to extract more performance from it. I hoped we might come here and break into the top ten, so to have three top six finishes and a podium is just brilliant.
“Race one went to plan and then in race two, I just felt so comfortable in the car and could really push. There was a chance I could have got ahead of Colton, but the team has worked so hard that I didn’t want to risk losing a podium finish and third was still a brilliant result.
If I’m being honest, I’m a little disappointed at only taking sixth in race three but when you consider the step forward we have made, I can’t really complain. All the little things we did to improve the car came together perfectly and it has given us a real platform that we can now build on during the summer. We have a test booked where we’ll work on refining the car even more and make sure that when we get to Snetterton after the break, we can hit the ground running and build on these results. This was where our season really started.”
Jessica had her best weekend of the year racing strongly and moving further up the field. She was the most competitive she had been all weekend but a few laps from the end her car suffered an oil leak, losing her power and meaning the had to back off but despite this she took a best finish of fourteenth. She to was pleased with her progress;
“It was a wicked weekend at Croft! There are many positives to take from the weekend. A huge thank you to VCM Motorsport, my supporters and Falcon Motorsport. Race three was a shame that after a great start I suffered an oil leak which lead to a substantial loss of power, but overall it was a weekend full of improvements!”
The next rounds are at Snetterton in August. Louise will definitely be back but Jess is still trying to raise funds. If you are interested in helping her continue and move up the grid she has a Go fund me page; http://www.gofundme.com/imbackingjess
If you want to go along to support the girls tickets are available from www.snetterton.co.uk By Marc Waller