Jake's driven to succeed
P ROMISING teenage racer Jake Dalton had a weekend to forget after a torrid time in the latest round of his fiercely contested championship.
Jake, 17, of Halmerend and an engineering student at Newcastle-under-Lyme College, has been impressing people in the BARC Formula Renault series with his performances so far this year but his last event at the challenging Croft circuit in Yorkshire went badly and ended with a crash.
With limited testing before the first qualifying Jake struggled to get the car set up and he ended tenth on the grid, just ten-tenths of a second slower than the driver in third place, underlining how competitive the series is. It was only the second time this year he has qualified below fifth place.
He says: "Qualifying One was a nightmare, with traffic everywhere and I was unable to get a good balance with the car. Having only been out of the top five once all season in qualifying I'm disappointed with this but looking through the data I could have been third if I had not made a mistake in the final sector but that's racing and I must improve and develop each time I'm on the circuit. It's my first year and the competition is hard."
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The qualifying for the second race was even more disappointing because after the session was stopped early to deal with a crash Jake was only 14th.
However in race one he made a good start, picking off two cars before the first corner but later in the lap, and in the middle of tightly packed cars fighting for position he had a slight touch from another car and was spun around. Although all the other drivers avoided him he rejoined in 25th and last place but put in a charging driver to get up to a creditable 13th. He says: "I'm clearly not happy about the result but I made a driving error. The pace was great though and my fight back was highly enjoyable. Seeing P25 on my pit board was a massive shock but I knew the pace was there and it was great seeing it come down each time I came past."
However the second race ended with a hefty smash at one of the faster parts of the circuit when Jake, who was catching the group ahead, made a small mistake and went off into the barriers, luckily without injury to himself.
He says: "I was pushing too hard and mistakes happen but unfortunately the weekend did not go to plan at all and with my budget being tight I cannot afford to be making these errors. I'll keep my head high and make sure I come back fighting."
Jake now lies eighth in the championship which resumes at Donington Park on August 18 and 19.