Well-deserved Podium for Dan de Zille after a troubled weekend at Oulton Park in the Formula Ford Championship
An heroic last-lap overtaking manoeuvre into Lodge landed Dan de Zille his much-deserved podium of the weekend. It was a finely judged piece of race craft that earned JTR racing its sole trophy of the weekend.
Oulton Park was the venue for rounds (4, -5, and 6) of the MSA Formula Ford Championship, with Easter Sunday breaking up the race days. The JTR team experienced a few technical problems during testing, in which meant two of the team’s cars needing a virtual rebuild to rectify the issues.
With his car sorted, Dan qualified well to gain good grid position starts for all three races. (Qualifying 5th, 6th and 4th)
In Race 1 Dan put in a mature drive, starting from 5th, and in giving close chase to the front pack he only conceded a place to teammate Uhrhane when he was squeezed onto the grass.
For race 2, Dan started in 6th position, immediately moving up to 5th thanks to Uhrhane starting from the pit lane with technical problems. Pursuing the leaders in a close battle for the entire race, Dan overtook Finnish driver Buri in a spectacular last lap, last-corner lunge into Lodge to secure his 3rd place podium.
Starting from 4th for the final race, Dan lost a couple of places going off the start. Seizing an opportunity to take back a place from Australian driver Goddard going into Cascades, Dan went for the pass, only for Goddard to close the door, causing both cars to spin off. Rejoining the back of the pack, Dan put in some stunning laps to fight his way up through the field to 8th place, only for the red flag to come out and the results roll back a lap leaving him in 9th position
Dan remarked: “To get a podium from where we started in testing last week is a massive leap forward! All credit to the team, despite early problems in testing they gave me a good car for the race.”
Team owner Nick Tandy said, “After previous testing up here we all arrived feeling very confident about Oulton Park, but we seem to have been plagued with technical issues this weekend. However I am pretty confident we should be all sorted and back on form for Snetterton.”
The Fight for the FF Driver’s Championship title got closer this weekend as Dan shifted from 2nd after race 2, back down to 5th position, with 116 points - just 1 point behind McBride, who is only 1 point behind Uhrhane. Next round for Formula Ford is 14/15 May at Snetterton.