OULTON PARK TOP 10 FOR BRAZILIAN ROOKIE CARDOSO
Hillspeed’s Pedro Cardoso secured the third top 10 result of his maiden season in the Ginetta Junior Championship during round seven of the campaign at Oulton Park International Circuit on Sunday, 8th June, but contact in the weekend’s second encounter made for a frustrating conclusion.
With a lot of hard work ahead in the races due to having his best times disallowed in qualifying after being adjudged to have exceeded track limits, the 15-year-old had to start the opening encounter from 18th on the grid but he made excellent early progress to move into 13th on lap one alone.
Gaining more ground prior to a brief Safety Car period, caused by an incident involving team-mate Harry Mailer, Cardoso moved into the top 10 and at the re-start was actually in ninth when a rival spun out before the action resumed.
On course for one of his best results of the year for the Hathersage squad, the Brazilian was nudged back to 10th again on the penultimate lap and remained there to the conclusion to cap a very strong drive through the order.
In round eight, early contact cost Cardoso any hope of repeating his earlier performance but he still managed to take away more points with 14th position which, post-race, became 13th place when the perpetrator of the incident – Jamie Caroline – was excluded from the results
“Pedro did a good job to come through into the top 10 in race one, but overall it’s been a bit of a disappointing weekend”, said Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “His time out of the car over the last few weeks since Thruxton has really shown, that’s where he’s missing out against the British drivers who have had time to go testing during the half-term school holidays.
“Without the track limits breaches in qualifying he would undoubtedly have been much higher up the grid, and Oulton Park International has very few chances for overtaking as it is. Ultimately, he paid the price for a bad qualifying session.”
For Mailer, the fourth race meeting of his debut season was nothing short of a nightmare when contact in round seven, not of his making, led to a lap two retirement and the resulting damage meant he couldn’t line-up on the grid for round eight later in the day.
Starting the first of Sunday’s races from 17th on the grid after a challenging qualifying session in tricky wet conditions, Mailer climbed into the top 15 on the opening lap and looked well placed for a solid midfield result when he was wiped out on lap two on the run from the hairpin to Britten’s.
Minding his own business in a tightly packed multi-car battle, when two cars made contact just ahead of Mailer one of the rejoining Ginettas slammed into the side of the Hillspeed car and forced it across the track into the barriers on the inside leading to an instant non-finish.
“Harry was very unlucky this weekend, he did nothing wrong at all in the first race but ended up with a lot of damage – the extent of it was just too much to repair in the time we had available before race two”, commented Ollerenshaw, “It was just one of those things, the car which hit Harry had broken steering so there was nothing anyone could do. It’s unfortunate as he’d been going well.”
Rounds nine and 10 of the Ginetta Junior Championship season will take place three weeks from now at Croft Circuit, near Darlington in North Yorkshire. Before then, Hillspeed’s BRDC Formula 4 Championship team will be back in action at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk on 21st/22nd June.