Report supplied by team PR
TEAM NEWS 24 AUGUST, 2015 – The Richardson Racing team endured a weekend of ups and downs as the MSA Formula series headed to Knockhill for the seventh event of the season. The Grantham team made the trip to Scotland seeking to fight towards the top 10 after a challenging weekend at Snetterton, with Louise Richardson keen to replicate the kind of form that saw her finish on the podium at Croft prior to the summer break.
Louise qualified 14th on the grid for the opening race of the weekend but produced a fine drive when the lights went out to fight her way forwards through the pack towards the top 10. Running in eighth, Louise was set to secure pole for race two thanks to the reverse grid regulations before an overambitious move from one of her rivals in the closing stages resulted in contact that dropped her down to 15th at the finish.
Having been delayed at the start of race two avoiding a spinning car at turn one, Louise was forced to battle through from the back of the field after an early Safety Car period and had fought her way up to 11th going into the final lap. Unfortunately, an incident involving the two drivers directly ahead as they came up behind a slow car forced Louise on to the grass and damaged her front wing, meaning she instead dropped back to 12th at the finish.
A solid start again in race three saw Louise sitting in 11th after the opening lap only for a forceful move at the hairpin on lap two to drop her back to 15th as she ran wide through the gravel. Regaining her composure, she produced a series of storming laps to fight back into the top 10, ending the weekend with a solid ninth place finish.
“It’s been a bit of an up and down weekend, and the results don’t really reflect the pace in the car,” she said. “The first race was going well and we looked on for a top eight finish until the incident and then in race two, we were in the wrong place at the wrong time when it kicked off ahead.
“In race three, I was forced off the circuit at the hairpin but I came back well and the car felt brilliant towards the end. We just need to work on it so I get that feeling from the start of the weekend. It’s a little bit frustrating that we didn’t get the results that our pace deserved, and had it not been for the incident in race one, we’d have been at the front for race two with the reverse grid and things could have been very different. That’s all a case of ‘ifs and buts’ though, so we’ll take the positives from here and come out fighting at Rockingham.”
Team-mate Ollie Pidgley was on the back foot heading into qualifying given the weekend marked his first appearance at the undulating Scottish circuit, and he qualified 18th on the grid for the opening race.
Taking things easy following a light rain shower before the start, Ollie stayed out of trouble to finish the race in 13th and then avoided much of the carnage that developed ahead in race two to finish in tenth – despite being forced to take a trip across the grass at Duffus Dip when the car of Lando Norris spun ahead.
Ollie would then end his weekend with arguably his strongest drive – emerging on top of a number of battles on track to bring his car to the flag in 12th.
“It’s been an eventful weekend,” he said. “We lost out on some track time in practice which made it tough going into qualifying so I expected to be towards the back and then it started to rain before race one and I took it a bit too easy in the early stages. Race two was complete carnage and I lost out when Lando span in front of me and I had to run across the grass. Despite that, I managed to make the most of problems for others to finish inside the top 10, and in race three, I was able to get my elbows out a bit and make up some places without needing others to make mistakes. P12 was a decent finish to a challenging weekend.”