Forza Racing star, George Russell, sped to a pair of victories at the third round of the British Championship at the Larkhall circuit, whilst Oliver Walker made his debut comeback in style reeling in a fine podium finish and further silverware for the team.
Despite being faced with intermittent and ever-changing weather conditions, Forza team boss, Jamie Croxford, made the call to go slicks for qualifying acknowledging that “it was a risk, but for all three drivers it was important that we went with the majority verdict on the tyres and luckily for us it paid off.” Although George ran out of time to adjust the tyre pressure he still managed to qualify a very respectable 6th place, whilst Billy Monger and Jessica Hawkins put in their greatest qualifying yet, with 2nd and 8th positions respectively. With a grid of 24 drivers, it was a fantastic feat to have all three KF3 drivers in the top eight.
Jessica made her maiden appearance with Forza at the Larkhall circuit and has shown great raw pace since joining the team, with Croxford noting “although Jessica put in her greatest qualifying to-date, 8th place did not reflect her full potential, with her flying lap being compromised by a mistake. I am, however, very confident that our only female driver will show the boys how it is done before the season is out.”
Billy did the team proud, starting from front of the grid for both of the heats. His luck was however short-lived; losing a chain just a few laps into the heat one. The second heat proved problematic for both Billy and Jessica, who were both forced onto the grass on the first corner, returning to the track in 7th and 17th respectively, the repercussions of which yielded final grid positions of 14th for Jessica and 18th for Billy.
Russell displayed his pure calibre and despite starting on the unfavourable outer grid position, he brought home a 2nd and 3rd place in the heats, to position himself in 2nd place for the final. Carburation issues looked set to flaw the final for Russell, allowing Croatian driver Martin Kodric to exploit a 1.8 second lead. Russell determined and relentless, he persisted on the carburettor, gradually reeling in Kodric and recording the fastest lap of the race. “Alex [Gill] got me early on in the first final but I pushed hard to catch Martin and I don’t think he expected the pass,” said Russell. Although under pressure throughout, Russell remained unphased and seized a lights to flag victory in final two, tallying a total of four out of six wins in the MSA British Championship to-date. Meanwhile Billy and Jessica had to contend with mid-pack battling and the subsequent see-sawing effect throughout the race. Both drivers put in a very creditable performance, with Billy putting in his drive of the year with a 9th place and Jess finishing a very respectable 11th. Croxford notes, “There is still so much to come from Billy and Jessica, and I am very excited about their future with the team.”
The cadet division was fronted by our top two WTP drivers, Herbie Grout and Dylan Lee. Cadet Team Manager, Paul Munn commented, “Dylan and Herbie had a very testing weekend. Both rookies in the Championship, they had to contend with learning a new circuit and also the constantly changing weather conditions, however both showed flashes of speed and great potential for next season.”
KF2 driver, Ollie Walker, was faced with countless hurdles throughout the weekend, the first occurring in the all-important qualifying, whereby his chain snapped after just three laps, registering a qualifying position of 8th place. A string of bad luck persisted in the subsequent heats, with Ollie being the victim of poor driving standards. Despite this, Ollie still recorded the fastest lap in heat two. Unphased by the eventualities of the weekend, Ollie finished the pre-final in fourth place, and although dropping down to 9th place, Ollie capitalised on other incidents throughout the race to do one better in the main final; bringing home some silverware on his debut comeback.