Jamie-Lea Hawley’s Fiesta Junior Silverstone story

Jamie-Lea HawleyJamie-Lea Hawley had the most recent rounds of the Fiesta Junior championship recently at Silverstone. Here she tells us how she got on;



Friday practice

On Friday I was feeling confident with the car. After watching the other cars all day that I knew I would enjoy the fast flowing nature of the circuit. When it was time to get ready to go out I was excited to get back in the car and put in competitive lap times. I was strapped in ready to be released on to the circuit. The first session was about learning the track and were I could push the car. I was mainly following other front running cars to get a bit of an idea on the breaking points, trying to experiment on how late I could get on the brakes and still get the car turned in to make the apex. After the first session was over me and Nicholas went over the data collected to show me where I could improve on the next session. Very quickly after we were called to the assembly area and it was helmets on to go out for our final session of the day. I knew that I had improvements to make and concentrated on making sure I tried the advice which was given. During the session I found that the car was more settled and my lap times dropped from the previous session which was a huge positive.

Saturday, practice sessions one and two

In the morning I had my first practice of the day which started on a positive straight away. Starting quicker then I finished on Friday I knew that I was determined to get a good place on the grid. I few minor adjustments were made as I came into the pits as I was not 100 percent satisfied with the car, off I went and went quicker again. As I came in I was happy with the way the session went but as a driver I still wanted to keep improving. Me and Nicholas looked through my data and compared it to his and found the areas were improvement could be made. With only one more practice session left before qualifying this was my last opportunity to make sure I was confident with the car and my lap times. Session two was underway and I was pushing the car as much as it would let me. I was chasing the cars in front and trying new lines to see which suits me better. I started to struggle with the amount of understeer I was getting but knew to carry on as new tyres would be put on after. As the session drew to an end I was happy with the chances which were made and gave the team the feedback on the car for them to get ready for qualifying.

Saturday qualifying

Now it was time to go out for qualifying. For the first couple of laps I made sure a generated the heat in to the tyres and then picked my lap to go for a good time. I was pushing the car but just didn’t quite get the lap I was looking for and ended up p13 on the grid. After coming in to the pits and being told that I had managed to place 13th I wasn’t happy with the result but I knew that on Sunday I needed to push the car and gain places up the field. On Saturday me and my family and Nicholas’ family walked round the track and reflected on the day and how it went. They re-assured me that I was doing great and that it will come to me tomorrow (Sunday).

Sunday race one

I was starting thirteenth. I was determined to make places up and get a good start to make it easier for me in race two. I lined up on the grid. Lights on. Lights out. I had the best start I have ever had so far and was in a great position. By the end of lap one I had made two places up and was sitting in a great eleventh place. I kept pushing the car and caught the next car in front. I made a clean move and was now sitting in tenth place catching the cars I front. The car was working great and I knew that this was going to be a great first race gaining points for the championship. The next lap round going in to maggotts and Becketts I got a hit from behind on the rear corner. this resulted in me going ninety degrees sideways and being hit in the drivers front wing and tyre. Unfortunately my car was no longer drivable and I had to retire from the session. With in no time at all the team all jumped on my car to get it fixed ready for the second race. I now knew that I needed to try and work my way through from the back of the grid to gain some points.

Sunday race two

I needed a good start which would set me up perfectly for the remainder of the race. After the lights went out I had another great start. This allowed me to Gain a few places in the next corners. As the race went on I began to loose a lot of front grip which was causing a large amount of understeer. I kept pushing the car as much as possible but I wasn’t able to make up many places after that. The good start to the race had put me in a good position as I had made my way up to eleventh and now I needed to make sure that I held the position I had. Before I knew it the chequered flag was out and that was the end of race two. As I came into the pits the support I got was amazing and really boosted my confidence. After getting out the car I knew that with the conditions of the track I tried everything I could and gave one hundred percent effort through out the whole of the race. me and Nicholas gave the team the feedback on how the cars were handling and we were both facing the same problems. We now are in a better position going in to Rockingham and can’t wait to make sure I am higher up in the field and more improvements are made. I would like to say a huge thank you to Specialized motorsport for being a great team and always getting my car ready for when I need to go out. The whole support from the team is amazing and .I wouldn’t have been able to do it with out them. I would also like to thank Nicholas for going through all the data with me and helping me improve my lap times to move me further up the field. He has helped me so much over the past weekend and made me realise that I am capable of being on the grid. A huge thank you to Simon and Neil for the support and helping sort out my car to make sure it was the best it could be. over the weekend my confidence has grown and I have enjoyed being there with a great team behind me. I would like to say a huge thank you to Brian for giving me this opportunity to race cars. the support and how you believe in me as a racer gives me so much confidence and makes me believe that I am capable to be on the podium. I have had a great weekend and loved every minute of being there. . I can’t wait to get back in the car in just over two weeks time at Rockingham By Jamie-Lea Hawley

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