Bryony King’s debut season in car racing continued recently at Brands Hatch in Kent with the latest rounds of the Formula Jedi Championship.
Unusually this meeting was like two in one with qualifying and races on both days.
Into the first qualifying session on Saturday and Bryony was going well. She ran third for most of the session but was bumped down to seventh in the closing stages. Despite this, she was just three tenths of a second off pole. Now she hoped she could get a good start in the races, something which she has struggled with this season.
She got a good start in the first race, too good as she was penalised ten seconds for a jump start! This dropped her to eighth but she managed to stay racing with the front pack and took seventh place at the flag. She also held the fastest lap time for much of the race. For race two, it was a mixed up grid and she was starting on the outside of the front row. Sadly her start wasn’t so good dropping her to sixth. By lap four the safety car was out bunching the field up and this left her vulnerable to attack from seventh who got past at the end of the tenth lap. Sadly by the end she dropped another place to eighth but it was still a good result.
“I’ve made massive progress over the last few months and am now able to race with the front pack. Just lacking some experience and lose out at the starts. Of course it’s not where I want to finish but I am getting closer and that is what matters! Onto tomorrow!”
Sunday was an entirely new day with another qualifying session to decided the grid and it rained early in the session. This turned out to be to Bryony’s advantage as she took fourth on the grid, her best qualifying session so far.
The race took place in dry weather and the track had be now dried out. Bryony was frustrated to again make a bad start dropping to ninth from her fourth place grid slot. This time though, she was determined to not stay down there and over the next six laps she fought her way past to eighth. She made up another place to seventh by the end of the race which was shortened and finished under a red flag after an incident.
She now again had a front row slot for the day’s second race. If she could make a good start she had a chance for a great result but to her huge frustration, it was a bad one again and she dropped down to tenth place. Perhaps buoyed by her frustration she now races hard and made up a place to ninth on the second lap and then took another two places to run seventh as the race reached half way. In the second half she made another pass to run sixth and started battling for fifth place but sadly ran out of laps before she could get past leaving her to take another sixth place. She was pleased with the weekend but accepted her starts need work;
“On Sunday I had a good qualifying coming in fourth, though once again the start of the race proved it’s something I need to work on. Though two 6th place finishes yesterday was positive, racing against championship and race winners. Thanks to Alice Powell, Jedi Racing and of course my parents!”
She now heads to Donington Park where she hopes to take even better results. Making better starts will be key to this and if she can achieve that at Donington, podiums could be possible. For a driver still finding her way in car racing, she is already producing some strong results. By Marc Waller