Tough run at Winton, but title within reach

Winton, VIC (23-25 August)
Rnd#4 2013 Australian Formula Ford Championship

Leading the championship points standing coming into his home event, Minda Motorsport’s Macauley Jones endured a less than perfect weekend at Winton Motor Raceway, highlighted by an electrical fault in the final race whilst within reach of victory, but that hasn’t deterred the second-generation racer.

“Winton is one of the toughest circuits in the country to get on top of,” Jones admitted,
“It’s very important to get your setup and your driving just right, but there’s a lot of elements that contribute to that. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed with the outcome of the weekend, especially coming off a successful test session there a couple of weeks prior, but by no means is the title out of reach. With the announcement that this may be the last national championship season for the category, I’d really love to have my name on that trophy alongside some of the biggest names in the sport.”

Practice started well for Jones and CAMS Rising Star team-mates Liam Sager, Sam Breen and Jayden Wallis with Jones topping the second session in the damp conditions, but in qualifying the points leader got caught out by a drying track and limited laps.
“The track was drying with every lap, but each time I put down some quick sectors, the red flag would come out after someone had speared off. By the time I wound up for my final lap, I was the first to receive the chequered flag to end the session, whilst a number of the other leading drivers managed to get another timed lap in, and that dropped me back to third.”

Sager qualified a strong fourth, just four hundredths of a second behind Jones, with Jayden Wallis continuing his strong recent form to be 12th, and Sam Breen 18th.

The two Minda cars fired off the line to stream into the testing turn 1-2 complex behind pole-sitter Anton De Pasquale, having relegated James Golding back to fourth. From there the race was relatively processional, positions at the front of the field remaining unchanged to the flag.
“I just kept thinking about points and the championship,” Jones admitted post-race. “With Liam behind me, there was no need to risk anything so we just held our ground.”

Behind the two leading Minda Mygales, Wallis impressed again to work his way up to eighth by race end, with Sam Breen moving forward six positions to 12th.

Off the front row for race two, the lead group again locked in their positions with De Pasquale holding point from Jones and Sager, whilst behind them Wallis’ strong weekend had come undone after spinning off the circuit whilst making a move for position, the Victorian losing two laps in the process and prompting the first of two safety car periods. With limited laps as a result, Jones was forced to settle again for second, whilst Sager was forced to retire from a solid third late in the race with an electrical issue, the same issue sadly which claimed Jones from a potential victory in the final race.
“It’s disappointing - no question - but it’s not the end of the world,” Jones shrugged.
“There’s still three rounds to go, and our car is still very strong, so we’ll just concentrate on speed and consistency, and the rest will come.”

Sadly for Jones, he wasn’t the only retirement from race three, teammate Sam Breen - who had recovered strongly from a difficult opening day to claim eighth in race two - was attacking for a position in the top five when he was caught out wide at the sweeper, spinning into the oncoming traffic and retirement.

Despite the setback for the team, Sager worked his way through from a rear-of-field start to claim sixth, whilst the recovering Wallis followed him through for a ninth placed finish.

The team now endures a two month break ahead of round five on the streets of the Gold Coast (October 25-27), an event that proved very successful for Minda Motorsport in 2011 with Jack Le Brocq winning two of the three races - the other winner, Liam Sager.. 

Rnd#4 2013 Aust. Formula Ford Championship
Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla, Victoria (23-25 August)


Macauley Jones - #14
Minda Motorsport/CAMS Rising Star Mygale SJ13a
Qualifying: P3 (1:27.3458) - 0.9923 from P1
Race #1 (11-laps): P2 (fastest lap 1:26.9864)
Race #2 (12-laps): P2 (fastest lap 1:26.5084)**
Race #3 (12-laps): DNF (4-laps)
** fastest race lap



Liam Sager - #98
Minda Motorsport/CAMS Rising Star Mygale SJ11a
Qualifying: P4 (1:27.3821) - 1.0286 from P1
Race #1 (11-laps): P3 (fastest lap 1:27.0890)
Race #2 (12-laps): DNF (9-laps)
Race #3 (12-laps): P6 (fastest lap 1:27.3957)



Sam Breen - #91
Minda Motorsport/CAMS Rising Star Mygale SJ11a
Qualifying: P18 (1:29.2879) - 2.9433 from P1
Race #1 (11-laps): P12 (fastest lap 1:27.5881)
Race #2 (12-laps): P8 (fastest lap 1:27.3849)
Race #3 (12-laps): DNF (8-laps)



Jayden Wallis - #12
Minda Motorsport Mygale SJ12a
Qualifying: P12 (1:27.7509) - 1.3974 from P1
Race #1 (11-laps): P8 (fastest lap 1:27.3737)
Race #2 (12-laps): P15 (fastest lap 1:27.6206)
Race #3 (12-laps): P9 (fastest lap 1:27.8088)



Australian Formula Ford Championship
(points after round four of seven - *Rookie)
1. Anton De Pasquale - 189 points, 2. Macauley Jones (Minda/CAMS Rising Stars) -
181, 3. Sam Power - 136, 4. Liam Sager (Minda/CAMS Rising Stars) - 131, 5. Jordan
Lloyd* - 106, 6. Simon Hodge - 98, 7. Thomas Randle (73), 8. Ash Quiddington - 62, 9.
Luke Marquis* - 62, 10. Matt Campbell* - 39, 11. James Golding* - 36, 12. Jayden Wallis*
(Minda/CAMS Rising Stars) - 35, 13. Sam Breen* (Minda/CAMS Rising Stars) - 16