So its the halfway point in my first year of Formula Ford. Its also the first time that I am doing a blog for Motorsport.ie, so I suppose I better introduce myself! I’m Jordan Dempsey, and I’m 16 years of age. I am the current Ginetta Junior Ireland champion with two out of three lap records in the series and being only a few thousands off the triple!
Last year was the best year of my career so far with a lot of success and a lot of experience gained! But as David Coulthard would say “past glory does not guarantee future success”. As being one of the finalists for the Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver Of The Year Award, I was announced as a member of Team Ireland, which is an initiative to help young race and rally drivers to work on their fitness, their psychology and their nutrition. This program was set up by Motorsport Ireland, with the kind support of John Campion. As part of this I have been up to Declan Brennan Sports Management in Monaghan many times and I have gotten to know the experts up there really well and I have been able to use his fantastic facilities to improve on my physical and mental fitness for inside the car!
As this year is my first year in the UK and my first year in Formula Ford, I haven’t exactly been winning straight away and with little mileage before the year started I have been spending the start of this year just learning learning the car, learning the tracks each time I come to them and learning about my racecraft. Every time I have gone out in the car this year, I have been getting quicker and quicker so it won’t be too long until I’m fighting for podiums!
Last weekend I was at Rockingham Motor Speedway for rounds seven and eight of the Avon Tyres National Formula Ford Championship as part of the Mazda Road To Indy Shootout. For me last weekend was really a “character building” weekend. In testing on Thursday I struggled a lot compared to the other Formula Fords out testing. Because of this I started getting very frustrated because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t match the fastest times. However on Friday in testing it became quite apparent that I wasn’t the only one struggling as all of the other Van Diemens (which is the make of car I have) were really struggling compared to the softer Rays and Mygales ahead of us.
So I was quite pleased with how qualifying went as although I was just over a second off the pace, I was the third quickest Van Diemen! And I was a fair bit closer to the quickest Van Diemen/Championship Leader. Unfortunately however the race didn’t last so long! I made a fantastic start going from seventh right up to third going into turn one. However I had been forced to the outside which was dirtier and I slightly outbraked myself and locked up the front left wheel. Because of this I got a wheel on the grass which put me into the wall which was just off the track. Game Over! This was really disappointing for me because it probably would have been my best ever result had I kept it on the black stuff!! But as Ayrton Senna once said “If you no longer go for a gap, You are no longer a racing driver!” I will bank this and learn from it and come back stronger!!
I look forward to the next two rounds at Brands Hatch for rounds nine and ten on the 9th and 10th of July, where hopefully I’ll have a longer run than this one!! A huge thanks to my Dad for not losing it with me too much after my mistake and running the car faultlessly all weekend! Also thanks to my sponsors, SureSkills, Ergo, Comsys, TBRM, and Novitas! And to Murphy Prototypes for their continued support! Thanks to Bernard Dolan for transporting the car and giving me advice during the weekend and to P1:Digital for doing my social media posts throughout the weekend!
Until the next time