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Three top tens for Caroline and Pirtek Racing at Donington Park

18/04/2016 | Racing

Pirtek Racing’s rising star Jamie Caroline added three more points finish to his Ford MSA Formula resume when the series headed to Donington Park for the latest rounds of the season.

The reigning Ginetta Junior champion made the journey to the East Midlands circuit keen to build on a debut podium in the season opener at Brands Hatch and although he was unable to repeat that feat, the 17-year-old further showcased his talents as he added three top ten results to his championship tally.

A challenging qualifying session saw Jamie line up in 15th place for the opening race of the weekend, which would be held in difficult conditions on Saturday afternoon after rain arrived at the East Midlands circuit.

An astonishing start when the lights went out saw Jamie rocket off the line and he then set about making up places throughout the opening lap to climb to sixth place; a performance evoking memories of Ayrton Senna’s stunning showing in the 1993 European Grand Prix. A small error whilst seeking to move further up the order on lap two saw Jamie slip back down to 13th spot, but he continued to show his pace in the remainder of the race to fight his way back up to eighth place.

Race two on Sunday morning would again prove to be full of drama, with Jamie forced wide across the gravel at Redgate on the opening lap. Slipping down to twelfth place as he recovered onto the circuit, the teenager once again showed his prowess on track to come through the field to fifth spot; lapping quickly and consistently throughout.

Starting 14th on the grid for race three, Jamie made another storming start in his Jamun Racing-run car to end the opening lap in ninth place. An impressive move into Redgate on lap three saw him make up two further positions and the would remain in seventh through to the finish, having been forced to defend to keep the quicker car of Rafael Martins at bay.

The triple score for Jamie means he heads away from the weekend sitting seventh in the championship standings.

“I think we’ve shown some improvements this weekend and it’s good to come away from the weekend with three points finishes,” he said. “However, the fact I had an off in qualifying meant I wasn’t able to score more this weekend and left me on the back foot a bit.

“The opening race was loads of fun, and I’ve always preferred racing in the rain. To be honest, I didn’t think the conditions were that difficult to drive in, although there was a lot of standing water around. Getting up to sixth from 15th on the first lap was mega, but then I locked up on lap two and dropped back down the order.

“To recover to eighth showed how well I can race, and it looked like I could challenge in race two when I got off the line well. Going into turn one, I got forced wide and dropped back from something like third to twelfth, but again managed to fight back into fifth.

“We had a really good car all weekend but when the circuit was rubbered in for race three, it wasn’t quite at its best. I scored more points though and having shown my race pace, I’m hoping we can go well next time out at Thruxton.”

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Belfast - Service under pressure

Belfast - Service under pressure

Pirtek Belfast is a centre that takes great pride in itself and the service it delivers. Though it has recently refitted its premises, the pristine paintwork and organised... MORE