MOTOR RACING: Richardsons roar to end-of-season podiums in Formula Ford and Ginetta race championships

Andy Richardson winds down at Brands Hatch after a long and successful season in Formula Ford. Photo: Jakob Ebrey
Andy Richardson winds down at Brands Hatch after a long and successful season in Formula Ford. Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Richardson Racing team enjoyed a stunning end to its 2013 racing programme with no fewer than four podium finishes – including two wins – during the final rounds of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain and the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Brands Hatch.

The Castle Bytham-based team saw Andy Richardson put in astunning run to the podium in his final race of the Formula Ford season, while younger sister Louise picked up two more victories in the G50 class of the Ginetta series to end her part-campaign, with four wins in five starts.

Louise Richardson drives her Ginetta G50 to class victories in difficult conditions at Brands Hatch. Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Louise Richardson drives her Ginetta G50 to class victories in difficult conditions at Brands Hatch. Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Having qualified seventh on the grid for race one, Andy crossed the line in the same position in the first 14 lap encounter, securing third place amongst the Scholarship class runners in the process. With some meaningful running finally under his belt, he then went one better in race two, crossing the line sixth overall and again being placed third of the Scholarship drivers.

The final race was where 22-year-old Andy was able to show his full potential on track, with a stunning performance from the back of the grid.

In challenging wet conditions, he worked his way through the field into second place behind runaway leader Juan Rosso but then set about chasing down the Argentine ahead – posting the fastest lap and going up to two seconds a lap quicker than the leader as he closed in.

But there were not enough laps left to allow him to challenge for a maiden single-seater victory, although second place – and top Scholarship honours – allowed him to match his best result of the year.

Overall, he finished the season ninth in the championship standings and fourth amongst the Scholarship class drivers.

Andy said: “Second place and a Scholarship win is just the kind of result that the team deserved as we’ve made huge strides this season, and there is still more to come.

“We know we can still do better with the knowledge we’ve gained this season and I can do more myself as I feel I’ve improved as a driver.”

Sister Louise qualified on pole position for the opening Ginetta race of the weekend and, despite a poor start, fought her way to a third straight class victory in 12th place overall, posting the fastest G50 lap in the process.

Having lost time at the start of race two, Louise took time to settle into her rhythm in challenging wet conditions, slipping down to third in class by the end of the second lap. Battling ahead of Will Burns into second place, she set about challenging leader Rob Gaffney for victory but a safety car deployment just as she was poised to take the lead ultimately saw her settle for second spot.

Making amends in race three, Louise quickly battled ahead of Gaffney and again posted the fastest lap en-route to 10 place overall and her fourth G50 class victory in five starts.

Second only to title winner Sean Huyton in terms of victories, Louise ended the season fourth in the G50 class standings despite contesting only the final two rounds, with her points per race ratio better than any of her class rivals – champion Huyton included.

Louise said: “While it would have been nice to do a full season this year, the results in the two rounds I’ve done have given me a lot of confidence going into the winter.

“To have been out of action for more than 12 months and then come back and be right on the pace straight away is good, and hopefully has shown potential sponsors what I’m capable of.”