Report supplied by team PR
TEAM NEWS 11 August, 2015 – After the highs of Croft prior to the summer break, the Richardson Racing team endured a more challenging weekend at Snetterton as the MSA Formula season resumed with the sixth meeting of the year.
The Grantham-based team made the journey to Norfolk seeking to build on its best weekend of the season to date, which had seen Louise Richardson take a maiden podium finish during the trip to the North East six weeks previously.
Having posted the 14th quickest time in qualifying, Louise would race her way forwards to finish the opening race of the weekend in 12th spot and went into race two keen to try to at least match that performance.
Sadly, a spin on the fourth lap after being forced to take avoiding action to prevent a collision with rival Petru Florescu dropped her to the back of the field, although she fought back well to cross the line in 14th – the end result leaving her wondering what might have been without the earlier incident.
Race three would end with a similar result despite a mid-race excursion at the final corner, leaving Louise 16th in the championship standings at the end of the weekend. “After a great weekend at Croft before the summer break, this one has been tough and to be honest, I think we just need to try and draw a line under it and look forward to the next round at Knockhill,” she said. “Qualifying was difficult as I didn’t feel completely comfortable with the car and struggled to make much progress, but the team made some changes for race one and it felt much better.
“Unfortunately, races two and three just didn’t go my way. In race two, I was making a move on Florescu when he closed the door and I spun in avoidance, and then in race three, the car snapped under braking for the final corner and I had a spin across the grass. It’s disappointing that we weren’t able to build on the podium at Croft with some similar results here, but we’ve shown what we can do in previous events and will just put this weekend behind us and come out fighting in Scotland.”
Team-mate Ollie Pidgley had looked well set for a solid race weekend after qualifying 15th on the grid in the sister car, with the single-seater rookie running well in the midfield pack through the opening six laps of the opening race.
Unfortunately, his race would then be brought to an early end when heavy contact from one of his rivals at the Montreal hairpin on the seventh lap left his car extensively damaged and forced him into retirement.
With the car repaired, Ollie lined up at the back of the field for race two but having made solid early progress, he was then forced to pit for further repairs after being hit again at the same corner. Whilst the deployment of the Safety Car minimised his losses, he dropped off the lead lap and was left down in 19th place as a result.
Despite the car not being at its best, Ollie then picked up a 15th place finish in race three, leaving him to reflect on a weekend full of missed opportunities; with the results of the three races being an unfair reflection of his performance on track.
“Qualifying went well but sadly it turned out to be the only decent session of the weekend for me,” he said. “We could probably have gone even quicker but we looked good going into race one and I was racing with the pack for the first time. It was going well and I felt comfortable, and then I was hit going into the hairpin and that was it – game over.
“In race two, I was hit again at the same place by another driver from the same team and in both cases, they were deemed to have been at fault. I know that I’ve made mistakes myself in the past, but this time around it was just really bad luck for me to be caught up in two incidents that were caused by others. Because of those two incidents, and the fact we picked up some debris, the car wasn’t at its best in race three and the performance wasn’t what we’d hoped for. Overall, it’s been a frustrating weekend where we could have had so much more.”