TEAM NEWS: Top ten highlight for Richardson Racing

Louise Richardson / Richardson Racing

Report supplied by team PR

TEAM NEWS 7 SEPTEMBER, 2015 – The Richardson Racing team secured a strong top 10 finish to conclude a challenging race day as the MSA Formula series headed to Rockingham for the eighth meeting of the season. Louise Richardson ended her weekend on a high with an impressive drive at the unique part-oval circuit to post a second top ten in as many meetings.

Louise was joined for the weekend by Australian racer Greg Holloway, who picked up three finishes on what was his race debut at the wheel of an MSA Formula machine.

In a tightly-fought qualifying session, Louise qualified 14th on the grid for the opening race of the weekend but her hopes of making much progress were ended on the opening lap when she was tipped into a spin at Yentwood – dropping her to the back of the field.

While a Safety Car period allowed her to catch up with the drivers ahead, Louise then found herself stuck behind the Fortec entry of James Pull for much of the race. Finally able to make a move stick, Louise would take the flag in 15th spot; just five seconds away from the top 10.

Race two however would prove to be a short-lived affair, with a fuel pump problem forcing Louise into an early visit to the pits – the issue being particularly frustrating after a demon start that had seen her quickly making up places off the line. Although able to rejoin the race, it was soon apparent that the issue was too great for her to continue and Louise was forced to bring the car back into the pits to retire.

With the problem resolved for race three, Louise was in fine form when the final race got underway – making up three places on the run to the Deene hairpin for the first time. Lapping as quickly as anyone else in the field, she battled her way forwards into the top ten and found herself on the end of a six-car train battling for third going into the final lap.

Coming under pressure from Tarun Reddy behind, Louise went side-by-side through Pif Paf and looked set to maintain her place before Ricky Collard attempted a move on both drivers. As Reddy tried to hold on around the outside, the resultant contact allowed Collard to make his move and demoted Louise back to ninth.

“It’s been another weekend of mixed emotions,” she said. “Race one was just one of those unlucky things where a driver behind suffered a brake issue and I got tipped into a spin, and then in race two, the fuel pump issue forced us out.

“In race three, we really found the set-up and the car felt strong. We matched the pace of the front-runners throughout and it was another indication of what we are capable of. Setting the fourth quickest lap was really encouraging.

“Unfortunately in the last few meetings we haven’t been able to string the whole weekend together and have had a combination of highs and lows. Hopefully when we get to Silverstone, we can have a strong weekend from start to finish.”

Having tested with the team on a number of occasions during the year, the Rockingham weekend marked a return to action for Greg for the first time since the final rounds of the 2014 Formula Ford season at Brands Hatch nearly twelve months ago.

Easing himself into his new surroundings, Greg qualified 19th on the grid but, like Louise, was then delayed by an incident on the opening lap. Staying out of trouble when the race resumed, Greg took the flag in 18th spot and then followed it up with 16th place in race two.

Again running without issue in the final race of the weekend, Greg completed his return to competitive action with a 17th place finish. “It was great to get back into a car after so long away and I really enjoyed the weekend,” he said. “I think I made some good improvements across the weekend and I’m looking forward to being back out again in the future, whenever that may be. Compared to the car I raced last year, the MSA Formula car gave me a lot more confidence and I felt more comfortable behind the wheel. It was good fun.”