Jay daniels enjoys positive weekend at the formula ford festival.
On Thursday 20th October Jay Daniels headed to the legendary Brands Hatch circuit to compete in his second race weekend with the Race Car Consultants team in the BRSCC Quaife Fiesta Championship. Daniels' race weekend started on the Friday as he took part in the test sessions put on by the circuit for the Fiestas. He had never been to the Kent based circuit to compete or even spectate prior to the race weekend.
During the first test session of the day Daniels had two spins, one at Paddock Hill just after leaving the pits on cold tyres but was lucky to avoid the famous gravel trap. His other spin occurred at Surtees a few laps later as he was beginning to learn the circuit whilst pushing the ST to find its limits. Considering that Daniels had never driven the circuit prior to the first session he did well to only spin twice during the session. Daniels also managed to get one of his lap times down to just under one minute by the end of the session. A few hours later it was time for Daniels to head out for test session two, this time he did better as he managed to post more lap times under a minute. His best lap time of the session was a 59.09, during this session he had no spins. Session three took place a few hours later, during this session he suffered one spin at Surtees but continued to improve his lap times as he got to grips with the circuit and car set up. The fourth session took place later in the day, Daniels had no spins in the final session and went on to find more time to improve his lap times. Overall throughout the test day Daniels did well to go out and learn the track as quick as he did on his own without an instructor like he had at Silverstone. To only have three spins during the day was good too as it helped him to learn the limits of the car and the circuit. He also found quite a bit of time in just two hours of track time over the four sessions. The test day helped to build some confidence for Jay as he became more comfortable and confident when driving the circuit.
On Saturday morning at 11:25 Daniels headed out onto the famous Indy circuit for the final practice session before qualifying later in the day, Class C were sent out on their own for the practice session. He completed twelve lap times throughout the session but his transponder was not working properly. Daniels' best lap time was a 57.741, he knew there was still more time to find but he was not too far off of the top pace. There were just 2.122 seconds between Daniels and the driver sat on top of the times. He finished the session in thirteenth out of twenty cars, suffering just one spin at Graham Hill Bend early in the session but re-joined and carried on.
The qualifying session for the Class C Fiestas took place at 16:09, Daniels' quickest lap time was a 57.285 which saw him line up in sixteenth on the grid for the opening race of the weekend. He completed twenty laps of the circuit and set his fastest time on lap seventeen. His second fastest lap was a 57.360, putting him in sixteenth on the grid for race two. This lap was set on lap twelve.
The opening race of the weekend took place at 12:25 on Sunday, Daniels started in sixteenth alongside Richard Dawson. Unfortunately Daniels got a poor start as he suffered quite a bit of wheel spin, allowing all the cars who started behind to pass. Within a lap and a half of the race he had already got back past Dana Freeman, David Pugh and Jason Powell. By the end of the race Daniels took the flag and was classified in thirteenth.
The second race started at 15:57, Daniels lined up in sixteenth. This time he got a better start but was a little slow off the line, however he did not drop to the back this time instead he stood his ground. On the opening lap of the race Richard Dawson went off the circuit, which caused a section of the circuit to be under yellow flags. This meant no overtaking allowed so that marshals could move the car without needing a safety car. By lap three Daniels was up into thirteenth, he began having a good battle with Tim Glover and Joshua Watkins. Glover managed to pass Watkins, this saw Daniels chasing down Watkins. He caught up to Watkins and dived up the inside into Clearways. Watkins left it late to move across and try to block Daniels from passing but he was already there, causing the two to make avoidable contact. Watkins had to retire on the spot. Daniels managed to continue in the race after receiving a whack from Watkins on the drivers side of the car. Daniels finished the race in thirteenth place with a slightly damaged car.
Overall it was a pretty positive and successful weekend for Jay Daniels at a circuit he had never driven before Friday morning. The whole Race Car Consultants team and all of Jay’s family and friends were extremely proud of the way he conducted himself and drove throughout the whole weekend.