Caroline & Pirtek Racing Star In MSA Formula Opener | Pirtek
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Caroline and Pirtek Racing star in action-packed MSA Formula opener

04/04/2016 | Racing

Rising star Jamie Caroline emerged as one of the stars of the show at Brands Hatch as the Pirtek Racing driver made his single-seater debut in the opening rounds of the new Ford MSA Formula season.

The 17-year-old from Surrey went into the weekend in confident mood having enjoyed a solid pre-season testing programme at the wheel of his Jamun Racing-run car.

With his Ford Eco-Boost car resplendent in its stunning chrome livery for the first time, Jamie qualified eighth on the grid for the opening race with a best lap just two-tenths of a second away from pole.

After a solid run to sixth place, Jamie then found himself in the thick of the action in race two later on Saturday in what would prove to be one of the most dramatic races in series history.

An impressive start when the lights went out saw Jamie jump from fourth on the grid to second and he then briefly took the lead before a trip across the grass saw him slip back down the order. As rain started to fall, Jamie moved back up to fourth place before officials elected to bring the race to halt due to the worsening track conditions.

With the field swapping to wet tyres for an eight minute sprint, Jamie again mastered the start to jump to second off the line and soon made his move for the lead. Having fought ahead of Rafael Martins, Jamie showed all his skill to keep the drivers behind at bay before the pressure eventually told three laps from the finish.

Despite picking up damage to his front wing, Jamie still crossed the line in second place for his maiden podium finish, although the weekend would end in difficult fashion after a trip across the Paddock Hill gravel in Sunday’s third race saw him finish outside the points in 13th place.

Jamie ends the weekend sixth in the championship standings ahead of round two at Donington Park in a few weeks time.

“I’ve learned a huge amount this weekend and the obvious plus is that I’ve come away from my first meeting in single-seaters with a podium finish,” he said. “Qualifying was a bit difficult and with it being so hard to pass round here, I had to try and do the best I could in the races.

“In the first one, I think I got the maximum that I could from it but race two was great fun and we put on a really good show for the fans. Obviously I would have preferred to come away from it with a win, but it was the first time I had driven the car in the wet and having also picked up damage to the front wing, second was a really good result.

“In the third race I tried a move around the outside that didn’t come off and I ended up taking a trip across the gravel but that’s all part of the learning process and I’ll head to Donington in a stronger position because of everything I’ve learned this weekend.”


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