Archie Hamilton (20, Basingstoke) put in a strong performance at the second round of what is turning out to be an ultra-competitive Championship and despite frustration at not being able to overtake retained third position in the Championship standings.
Saturday’s qualifying saw Archie in P1 for most of the first session. Towards the end he was knocked back to second and replied with a ‘45.1’ – faster than the previous lap record. It wasn’t enough as in the last moments his two team-mates set laps just one-thousandth and sixth-thousandths of a second faster, putting Archie on the second row for the race one start. The next session didn’t go to plan with Archie tactically waiting to go out, but with a red flag, then didn’t have the time to find a traffic free lap. The top six were separated by less than two-tenths of a second and Archie’s time put him fifth on the grid for race two.
Archie got a good start to today’s first race. After a first lap red flag he made a fault-free restart and, with the other two Fortec racers, pulled away from the rest. A safety car with nine laps to go of the 19 lap race forced another restart, but again Archie pulled away from those behind and wasn’t under pressure. He stayed close to Josh Webster ahead, but after a few attempts to overtake when he struggled with loss of aerodynamic grip he decided not to take undue risks with his team-mate and settled for third, his second championship podium and valuable points.
Race two was dictated by qualifying. After a slow start when he lost two places, Archie, like the rest of the field, struggled to make any progress on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, with overtaking proving virtually impossible. A stuck throttle cable for Kieran Vernon handed Archie sixth, the position in which he crossed the line at the end of the 20 laps.
“It’s been a frustrating weekend. Qualifying basically dictated the results and I lost out on pole in race one by just six-thousandths and for race two it was down to luck given the red flag and traffic. It could have been worse and it’s good to retain third in the championship and have the leader in my sights. I’m optimistic about Oulton Park as I was Driver of the Day when I last raced there with Porsche. I’m aiming for my first win and to close the gap to the Championship lead.”
Provisional Championship standings: 1)James Thorp 99, 2) Dino Zamparelli 88, 3) Archie Hamilton 86, 4) Josh Webster 82, 5) Steven Durrant 81, 6) Kieran Vernon 71.
Archie next races on 28th May at Oulton Park, Cheshire. For further information and high resolution images please contact Pippa Neilson, 07968 564660 or [email protected]