Jessica and Louise fight rivals and reliability

Jessica Hawkins (photo by Marc Waller)


Jessica Hawkins (photo by Marc Waller)After a disappointing time in Scotland, both Louise Richardson and Jessica Hawkins headed for the challenging circuit of Rockingham hoping for a change in fortunes.

Both drivers had been knocked off the track at Knockhill in incidents which weren’t their fault and it spoiled both their weekends so trying to avoid unwanted attention from other racers on the track would be an important part of this weekend! 

The two drivers made progress during the practice sessions and had high hopes for qualifying. The session proved to be very close leaving Louise in fourteenth for Richardson Racing and Jessica in seventeenth for Falcon Motorsport. They were confident of moving forward in the races, the first one of which was later that day on Saturday afternoon.

As the race got underway, it didn’t take long for Louise’s misfortune to strike once again as she was spun off the track at Yentwood. Fortunately, a safety car period enabled her to catch back up to the rest of the field. Louise then battled for the rest of the race with the Fortec run car of James Pull. She passed him in the closing stages to take fifteenth spot, missing out on the top ten by only five seconds, an excellent achievement from being dead last on the opening lap.

Jessica had a strong race moving up six places from her seventeenth place starting spot to take eleventh, just one place off a top ten spot. The two of them had shown their pace and would be pushing to move still higher in race two on Sunday.

Jessica got a great start this time and she was fighting with the front running pack in a strong tenth place but on the fifth lap she was forced wide exiting the Tarzan hairpin and her car hit a particularly severe bump, breaking the rear suspension which put her out of the race. Louise’s race hadn’t gone any better but for different reasons. She too made a good start but her car then faltered. She visited the pits and tried to continue but it soon became clear that the car wouldn’t be able to complete the race. Her team later diagnosed a fuel pump issue.

Hopefully race three would prove to be a more successful affair for the duo. Louise made her best start of the weekend to pass three cars on the run to the Deene Hairpin and she fought her way up to the six car battle for third. Louise had to defend from Tarun Reddy and the two went into Pif Paf alongside each other. Behind Ricky Collard was trying to pass them both. Reddy then made slight contact with Louise leaving Collard to zip past them both. The incident left Louise to finish in ninth, her best result of the weekend but maybe a little disappointed to end up ninth after the contact. But she had set the fourth fastest lap of the race showing she had the pace to run right at the front. She spoke about her weekend afterwards

Louise waits to go out (photo by Marc Waller) Jessica fighting for results (photo by Marc Waller) Louise was fearless on the banking (photo by Marc Waller) Jessicas suspension fails (photo by Marc Waller) Louise was a strong contender in race three (photo by Marc Waller) Jessica on Rockinghams banking (photo by Marc Waller) Louise was fast around the track but luck wasnt always on her side (photo by Marc Waller)

“It’s been another weekend of mixed emotions,” she said. “Race one was just one of those unlucky things where a driver behind suffered a brake issue and I got tipped into a spin, and then in race two, the fuel pump issue forced us out.

“In race three, we really found the set-up and the car felt strong. We matched the pace of the front-runners throughout and it was another indication of what we are capable of. Setting the fourth quickest lap was really encouraging.

“Unfortunately in the last few meetings we haven’t been able to string the whole weekend together and have had a combination of highs and lows. Hopefully when we get to Silverstone, we can have a strong weekend from start to finish.”

Jessica’s race three was also a strong one, she was also lapping around the pace of the front runners and was in the pack just behind Louise’s, with Jessica’s battle being for tenth. She was actually lapping faster than the eventual tenth place finisher, Josh smith but found herself in twelfth by the end. It was a strong finish and it shows the progress she’s made despite having missed the first three meetings in the season. She’s shown she’s capable of running in the top ten and she’ll be pushing to make further progress in the remaining two meetings.

The next rounds of the MSA Formula will be on the Silverstone National circuit on the 26th and 27th September. Why not come along and support Jess and Louise as they take the fight to their rivals in MSA Formula. Tickets are available in advance from the Silverstone website or you can buy tickets at the gate. By Marc Waller


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