Castle Bytham’s Louise Richardson enjoyed a solid end to her maiden season of single-seater competition with a brace of Scholarship Class podium finishes in the final rounds of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain at Brands Hatch over the weekend.
In tough conditions for qualifying, Louise qualified in seventh place at the wheel of her Richardson Racing-run Ford EcoBoost-powered Mygale and then came through a messy opening race of the weekend unscathed with a solid fifth place overall.
It also provided Louise with another trip to the podium as the second best of the Scholarship class runners.
With the circuit drying ahead of race two, Louise was one of the drivers to gamble on slick tyres for the start, but she was left at the back of the pack when a brake issue saw her run off track on the opening lap.
Despite being left well behind the rest of the field, she fought her way back into contention with a series of storming laps, taking the flag in 10th place.
Race three saw Louise fight her way to seventh overall, ahead of the newly-crowned provisional champion Jayde Kruger, providing her with her second Scholarship Class podium of the weekend.
Although she only took part in seven of the 10 events held over the course of the season, Louise ended the year ninth in the overall championship and fourth in the Scholarship Class, with her aim now turning towards the 2015 campaign.
Louise said: “I’d say it was a bit of a mixed way to finish the season but overall I’m happy with the way the weekend went. Two more Scholarship Class podiums was a nice way to end the year, even though I’ll admit that I overdrove the car a bit in race three.
“However, the fact that I finished the race ahead of Jayde is a sign of how far I’ve come, as I wasn’t close to his pace when we started at Brands Hatch back in April.
“This season has been a huge learning curve for me and I think I have learned more this year than in any other season I’ve done so far. It was a big step to move into single-seaters after racing in Ginettas for so long, but I’d like to think I’ve enhanced my reputation and shown what I can do.
“I was learning every time I went out in the car, and when you consider I didn’t have any testing before the season started, I’m proud of the progress I’ve made.”
While Louise enjoyed a solid end to her season, there was disappointment for Nigerian racer Ovie Iroro on the other side of the Richardson Racing garage as he too brought the curtain down on his campaign.
Having qualified in 14th place, Ovie was battling hard in the tough conditions that greeted drivers in the opening race when he was caught up in an incident that saw him go off into the gravel and forced to retire.
The damage sustained in the incident was enough to rule him out of the remainder of the weekend, leaving him 16th in the championship and seventh amongst the Scholarship Class.