She announced it before the weekend got underway;
“I’m so happy and excited to announce that I will be contesting the second half of the MSA Formula season, starting next weekend at Snetterton. With the main budget secured and a deal signed with Falcon we can now build on the solid progress made in the previous two rounds.”
Qualifying was first up on the Saturday and although Jess ended up 17th, the times were extremely close and it was less than a second to make the top ten so Jessica only had to find a small amount of time to move up the field. On second fastest times which set the grid for race three, she was even further up in fifteenth again less than a second away of being well inside the top ten. The race two grid comes from the first race results.
Things were looking positive for race one late on Saturday afternoon. Jessica made a good start and passed several cars on the opening laps. Things were looking good for a top ten result when disaster struck as she was hit from behind by a rival. Jessica recovered the car back on track and amazingly it appeared to be undamaged. She then mounted an incredible fight back from close to dead last. Passing several cars over the remaining laps she crossed the line in fourteenth place, an incredible result given all the time she lost in the accident.
Now she knew she had pace Jessica was looking forward to Sunday’s races. She again got away well and started pushing forward up the field. However unknown to her, up ahead a rival was having engine issues. As his car started to fail he left a trail of oil around the track. Initially this helped Jessica as several rivals went flying off on the near invisible oil trail. Unfortunately Jess then caught some herself on a corner and she too went off. She re-joined the circuit as quickly as she good but she had lost a lot of time and there wasn’t much of the race left to go. With not enough time left to mount the sort of fight back she made in race one, she still finished creditable seventeenth. Jessica was upset that she had lost what could have been a great result but there was nothing she could do. There was still a third race to go.
The final race was held just before the final BTCC round of the day and by now the circuit had been cleaned. Jessica was determined to make the most of her fifteenth place starting slot. She started this in the best possible way with a brilliant start and then continued to make up places battling with the JTR cars for a top ten slot. Part the way through the race, regular front runner, Ricky Collard came through, this caused Jessica to run wide as the cars battled and she lost a couple of places. But she wasn’t going to give up that easily and she was soon past both JTR cars and into eleventh place. She was on the tale of the car in tenth but there just wasn’t long enough left and she crossed the line in an excellent eleventh right on the tail of the tenth place car.
This was her best result in the championship to date and Jessica is now regularly beating many of the more experienced drivers who have raced the entire season. She was pleased with her progress;
“We’re getting there, I’m finding huge chunks of time every time I go out now. A massive thank you to VCM motorsport and Falcon motorsport.”
Jessica’s next races will be at Knockhill in Scotland on the 22nd and 23rd of August. She will be hoping to break into the top ten for the first time and make more progress towards her first podium. By Marc Waller