Experienced kart racer Jay Daniels headed to Silverstone on the 25th of August ready for the test day on Friday prior to racing on the National circuit in the BRSCC Fiesta Championship. This was Jay’s debut race weekend in the championship as well as his first ever race weekend in a car. He chose to run with the Race Car Consultants team in class C, piloting a Fiesta ST. During the test day, the youngster showed quite a lot of potential, setting lap times quick enough to possibly see him qualify in the top ten on Saturday whilst he got used to the car.
Saturday morning at 11:05 it was time for the practice session, all the Ford Fiestas in classes A,B,C and D all went out onto the circuit together. There were thirty-four cars in total, eighteen in the same class as Jay. At the end of the session Jay sat in twelfth place overall and in class, his fastest lap time in the busy session was a 1:11.013 on his ninth lap of the session. During the session he completed fifteen laps of the national circuit.
Photo Credit: Tilley Photography.
Later in the day at 13:05 it was time for qualifying, the track was wet with rain still falling. Jay headed out onto the circuit with a hope to qualify inside the top ten, although he had never drove the car in the wet session. During the session he managed to complete five laps of the circuit. On his second lap he set his fastest time of 1:21.795. Jay was sitting in eighth, a yellow flag came out due to a class B car rolling at the first corner after becoming stuck in the gravel. As Jay headed into the first corner he began to feel the car sliding, after overcorrecting the car it spun round and got stuck in the gravel. This forced the session to be red flagged so that they could recover Jay as well as get medical and recovery attention for the car and driver who rolled. Due to the red flag and awful conditions on the circuit the decision was made to give the drivers another ten minutes of qualifying on Sunday morning.
The second part of the qualifying session on Sunday morning was dry, Saturday’s times were definitely not going to be used as the dry ones would be significantly quicker. His fastest lap time from the session was a 1:10.436 which set him tenth on the grid for race one and with a second fastest time of 1:10.533 puts him eleventh on the grid for race two.
The first race of the weekend was in torrential rain; this was Jay’s first ever car race as well as the first car race in the rain. Three laps into the race Jay had made his way up to fifth and was on the inside line on the start finish straight, he got into fourth before Myles Baker spun after aquaplaning on water and unfortunately collected Jay. Luckily the impact was on the passenger’s side door, this sent Jay spinning around onto the grass. After dipping a wheel into the gravel which helped him to straighten the car and continue on in the race. He only lost a few places whilst the safety car was out to allow recovery of Baker’s car to take place. Jay managed to bring the car home in eighth place despite the damage sustained in the accident.
For race two the track was quite greasy, Jay decided to go for slicks on the front and wet tyres on the rear to try and give himself the best chance possible. When the cars were in the assembly area most people around Jay were swapping to slick tyres, but he kept with what he felt was right. He made his way up into ninth place until on the fifth lap he made a mistake into the first corner. After over correcting the car into the first corner he got stuck in the gravel trap. Marshals towed him out of the gravel and he was allowed to re-join the race, albeit two laps down. After completing two more laps a red flag was brought out after a crash involving Aaron Thompson required medical assistance to check Aaron was okay and the recovery team to recover the car. Jay finished the race in fourteenth.
Jay headed to Silverstone with the goals of finishing both races and pushing into the top ten if it was possible. He completed both races, one being in the top ten. This meant he completed both goals.
Next time Jay will be back out in the Fiesta will be on the 22nd and 23rd of October where he is hoping to compete at the Formula Ford Festival with the Race Car Consultants team once again. Jay is still looking for sponsorship and support to continue his car racing career ambitions, if you know anyone able to help Jay you can get in touch via his racing page on Facebook ‘Jay Daniels Racing’ or Twitter @JayDaniels_31. Alternatively you can email Jay directly on firstname.lastname@example.org . This race weekend will be shown on Motors TV sometime in the next few weeks, make sure you look out for the programme!
©Fay Tilley 30th August 2016.