Last Tuesday morning I flew out from Dublin to Gatwick, heading for Brands Hatch for the opening rounds of the British F4 Championship, and met up with the Fortec Motorsports team at the hotel ahead of a test day on Wednesday.
My aims for the day were to start off solid and consistently improve throughout the day. I did that and built on my times steadily. We knew it was going to be hard to get right on the pace because we were only using one set of tyres and by the end of the day, we were just a few tenths off so it was a solid start to the weekend.
The next day my teammate Hampus Ericsson and I went back to the factory for the final preparations of the weekend. We did some gym work and a few laps on the sim along with our other teammate Jonathan Hoggard. After that my engineer Ross and I headed back to the hotel to meet the team again.
I had two 40-minute practice sessions on Friday before we went into qualifying on Saturday. We had some unfortunate problems in the first session so I had just one full session to prepare for the following day’s start of the racing season. Not ideal but after all the preparation, planning and waiting around during the winter I was really fired up to be finally doing it for real.
Qualifying on Saturday morning was held on a damp and drying track so the times were consistently getting quicker through the session. A few mistakes from my side at the start of qualifying reduced the amount of push laps but I still managed to get a decent lap in by the end. I qualified P12 for the first of two races on Saturday.
Race 1: I started P12 and managed to make my way up to tenth and defended that position from two cars for the majority of the race. I knew consistency would be key for these races and that’s what kept my ahead of the two hard-charging cars behind me to score my first points of the season. This was a solid start and we knew we could improve.
Race 2; I started P10 due to my placing in race 1 and made great progress in the early laps. I made my way up to P6 and was in a great battle with other cars throughout. In the end I finished eighth and right in the mix with the cars ahead. Again, this was an improvement so the team and I were very satisfied with the result.
Race 3; I started P13 for the final race of the weekend on Sunday afternoon. I didn’t get the best of starts due to being left on the damp part heading into turn one but I made my way up to P10 and I was soon fighting for ninth place.
Unfortunately, about half way through the race another car made contact with me and I didn’t finish the race but that happens in racing and we kept our heads up. I was still happy with my weekend as I went in with goals of making progress, achieving good consistency and coming out with points, I did those three things so I was happy for that. I would like to thank all the team at Fortec and my Dad for helping me along the weekend.
The next round is Donington Park in two weeks. I was pretty strong there at the test so it should be a good weekend, I’m going in with the same goals and hoping for even more points than Brands! I’ll let you know how I get on and if you’re in Leicestershire on the weekend of the 28th 29th pop over and say ‘hi’!
Bye for now, Lucca.