Midway through last week, Jordan Dempsey didn’t have any plans to go motor racing. A former Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of The Year, the Mullingar man has never been short of talent. Like many racers though, he has struggled to raise the finance to progress his career.
On Friday I was delighted to receive a message from Jordan’s Dad Morgan, telling me that Jordan had done a last minute deal to compete in the BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 Championship with Kevin Mills Racing. Jordan is no stranger to the team, having previously won the coveted Walter Hayes Trophy in their Spectrum chassis and having tested with them on Friday, was confident of challenging for the win, despite not having driven a race car since late last year.
His confidence wasn’t misplaced, as he claimed pole position for the opening race, qualifying .141 ahead of Rory Smith with Lucas Romanek just two hundreths behind. Jordan led away, but in a typical Silverstone FF1600 slipstreaming battle was under pressure almost immediately. Smith made a number of challenges, even getting the nose ahead on occasion, but the leader held his cool with Smith’s final challenge seeing him run off track, dropping his down the order. With no immediate challenge, Jordan got the head down and crossed the line with a massive, by FF1600 standards, gap of 3.6 seconds.
The win gave him pole for race two and, bouyed by his earlier success, he made no mistakes to lead the pack away once again. An incident brought out the Safety Car to neutralise the race though. When the Safety Car pulled in, Dempsey used all his experience to get the jump and extend his lead, which he controlled all the way to the flag, crossing the line 2.8 seconds ahead of Smith to complete a perfect opening weekend. To further delight Irish fans, Morgan Quinn charged to 5th, having had electrical issues in qualifying and getting involved in an accident in the opening race.
Jordan Dempsey: “Fantastic weekend here at Silverstone for the first round of the championship. Our expectations coming in were quite realistic, a podium or two would have been grea,t as neither myself or the team had been out since the Formula Ford Festival last year, compared to the pre season test programmes of other teams. To come out with pole, two wins and a 19 point lead in the championship was really unexpected but a great start and shows the strength of our package! The hard work really starts now to continue this momentum for the rest of the year.
Big thanks to Kevin and everyone at Kevin Mills Racing, MCP engines and my dad on the spanners and also to all my sponsors, Rescu U, Kender Bearings, Sleator Kia and Canore Hygeine”
Jordan Dempsey now leads the championship by 19 points ahead of rounds 3&4 at Knockhill on April 10th. Race two can be seen on the below clip, starting at the 41 minute mark.
Header Image from Rachel Bourne