July 30 2014 Latest news:
Friday, April 25, 2014
Mills and Thompson shine at Donington Park
Havering youngsters Connor Mills and Bobby Thompson enjoyed a superb start to the new Formula Ford season at Donington Park.
Upminster’s Mills secured an outright podium finish of second, as well as a seventh place and fourth, to ensure a hat-trick of wins in the Scholarship class.
Hornchurch’s Thompson, meanwhile, claimed three podium finishes in the same category after a last-minute call-up for his debut in the series.
Mills said: “The weekend was great. We just wanted to try and regain some of the points I lost from a frustrating weekend at Brands Hatch and by securing all three Scholarship wins I think we definitely did that.”
The first race on the Sunday provided the drivers with tricky wet conditions, which Mills revelled in, coming through the field to finish in a brilliant second place whilst others faltered.
He added: “The team did an excellent job and the car was stunning all weekend. We were very strong in the wet, which was brilliant.”
Thompson, 17, received a phone call out of blue on Wednesday informing him that Meridian Motorsport had an opening in one of their 130mph single seater Mygale chassis.
And he was delighted to accept the invitation to race, after some last-minute sponsorship from SDT Contracts.
“We got to Donington at 10pm on Wednesday night and the team were waiting in the garage for me for a seat fitting, just to make sure I could fit in the car,” said Thompson, who had only sat in a Formula Ford once before.
“Luckily I was comfortable and before I knew it I was getting ready for practice on Thursday.”
Thompson qualified inside the top 10 on Saturday and proved more than able when it come to racing.
“The team just told me to use each race as a test session and to see how far I could finish in the scholarship class,” he added.
“All the other scholarship drivers have had a full winter test programme not to mention more race experience in the first three rounds of the championship so I had no pressure on myself.”
Thompson improved his lap times throughout race one to secure a top 10 finish and third in his class, then picked off rivals despite heavy rain in the second race to finish eighth overall and second in class.
The former Emerson Park pupil ended his weekend on a high with fifth place in race three for another runners-up spot in his class, adding: “It’s been like a dream. This has been the biggest weekend of my career so far and I’m so grateful to the Meridian team and SDT Contracts for making this happen.
“To be in the same event as the touring cars and to be in the paddock with so many of my heroes has been amazing. I’ve never raced on live TV before and in front of so many people, I’ve signed so many autographs this weekend my arm hurts!
“I didn’t have any expectations before the races but to be quicker than so many of the regular drivers is just beyond my wildest expectations. At the moment this is only a one-off but I’ll be searching for the sponsorship to help me continue for the rest of the year.”
The championship now moves on to Thruxton in Hampshire, with Mills full of confidence, adding “I am looking forward to the next round and have high expectations for it!
“I would like to say thanks to Meridian Motorsport for all of their hard work so far.”
n For anyone interested in meeting Bobby and seeing his car, he will be present at the Havering Chamber of Commerce meeting on May 1-2.