CHARACTER BUILDING WEEKEND FOR UNLUCKY STARS
Round two of the Genuine Ford Parts Australian Formula Ford Championship was held at Goulburn’s Wakefield Park circuit last weekend. The CAMS Rising Star trio of Jake Chapman, Daniel Erickson and Scott Pye performed strongly, although fortune seemed against them. At the conclusion of the meeting, they had slipped in the overall championship standings, but were pleased with their pace and that they managed to avoid the many accidents which occurred. Daniel is now in 7th position, ahead of Scott in 10th and Jake in 14th.
Daniel’s weekend started steadily, with momentum building well. He was classified 13th in the combined practice sessions, improving in qualifying to 8th. Race one saw Daniel record the 5th fastest time as he raced into 6th place. ‘At the end of race one I was quite happy with how the meeting was progressing,’ said Daniel. ‘I was improving with every session and was in a good position for the last two races,’ he added. Unfortunately for Daniel, a little too much exuberance from fellow racers saw him contacted twice in the opening laps of race two. In making his way back through the field, Daniel was caught out by debris on the circuit and spun, eventually recovering to finish 8th. A great start in the final race saw him gain a couple of positions, only to have his race ended on the opening lap when he was taken out by an errant competitor.
As with his Daniel, Scott was on track for a strong weekend. He was 6th in practice and improved to an impressive 3rd in qualifying. He was still sitting in 3rd during race one when the safety car was deployed. Unfortunately the lead car behind the safety car slowed suddenly and the concertina effect saw several collisions throughout the field; Scott was involved in one of them and suffered suspension damage that ended his race. Scott made amends in race two, driving from the rear of the field to 7th; no mean feat on the tight Wakefield layout which does not present too many overtaking opportunities. Scott finished the weekend on a high note, securing 3rd in the final race and posting the 2nd fastest lap of the meeting.
The ‘he must have run over a black cat’ award at Wakefield has got to go to Jake Chapman. Jake was on the pace from the outset, posting the 4th fastest time in practice. A bit of inexperience in traffic cost him in qualifying, where he secured 9th position. From that point, there was little for him to be happy about. Jake was caught up in the same safety car incident as Scott, resulting in a DNF from race one. In race two, he had made his way well inside the top ten on two occasions before being forced to take to the grass in order to avoid incidents in front of him and finishing 18th. The final race saw Jake drive through the field and into a top ten position; again he was forced off the track to avoid mayhem and ended out of the points in 11th, despite posting the 4th fastest lap of the race! Jake displayed the pace of the round winner and can take comfort in the knowledge that his outstanding driving enabled him to avoid accidents which would have otherwise resulted in significant repair bills.
The next outing for the CAMS Rising Star team is not until Sandown Raceway on June 7-9. All three drivers would like to thank the CAMS Rising Star Program and its program partners the Australian Sports Commission, Biante Model Cars, OAMPS Insurance Brokers, Borland Racing Developments, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, Stand 21 Australia, Just Magazine Group, Fleetwood Print Group, Robert Bosch Australia, Mark Webber and McBadges.