Roe Wins at Action Packed Kirkistown #FF1600 Meeting
18 year old James Roe starred as the Britcover.Avon Tyres BRSCC Formula Ford series visited Kirkistown in Northern Ireland on Saturday.
Fresh from sitting his Leaving Certificate Exams, the Naas driver approached the high speed circuit brimming with confidence, knowing his first category win wasn’t far away. As the only driver competing in both the BRSCC and the Kirkistown based series, the Team Ireland charger would compete in four races over the weekend.
Having tested well, James clinched the all important pole position and when the lights changed, he made no mistakes to lead the pack away. From here, it all went to plan as the Bernard Dolan tended Van Diemen eased away from the pack, setting fastest lap as he controlled the gap to take a dominant debut FF1600 victory.
The second UK round gave Roe the chance to do the double and again he led away, but Jordan Dempsey clipped the rear of Roe’s car as he tucked in behind, retiring immediately. James looked set for a repeat performance as he eased away once again. Unfortunately, in the closing stages a suspension failure, a legacy of the first lap clash, meant James had to retire on the spot. In the third UK round, James’ charge from 24th on the grid was stymied by a safety car period, but despite this, he managed to climb to eighth by the flag- in just seven racing laps!
In the Dawson-WAM Northern Ireland championship rounds, the Team Ireland driver was once again in the thick of the action. In the opening race, he led the pack away before becoming embroiled in a hectic battle with Niall Murray and Kevin O’Hara- both former Motorsport Ireland Young Driver Award winners- with the lead changing on numerous occasions, keeping the large crowd on their toes throughout. At the flag, it was Murray, with James right on his gearbox, the official gap being given as two tenths of a second, James also setting fastest lap of the race. The second of the NI series races was no less exciting. Murray, Roe and O’Hara again battled mightily with all three taking stints at the head of the field. In the closing stages, Murray and O’Hara made contact and James lost places as he avoided O’Hara. A charge brought him back to second though, to cap off a fine weekend.
“Obviously I am delighted to take the win but a the BRSCC double would have been wonderful. We were on the pace all weekend and the WAM-Dawson races were great fun- no quarter given or expected!”
James Roe returns to the BRSCC UK National Formula Ford Championship on July 8th and 9th at Donington Park.
Images from Bourne Photographic