A Steep learning curve see’s Andy O’Brien progress in the Dawson-WAM NI FF1600 Championship in rounds 3 & 4. The Thursday and Friday practice plan was to get solid track time and develop the handling and performance from the car. O’Brien had only sat into the car for the first time for rounds 1 & 2. Off track work had been carried out and changes made before the visit to Kirkistown last Thursday. The practice time indicated that the car had faster pace compared to its maiden outing.
Just before O’Brien was to leave the pit garage for qualifying, a brake issue manifested itself. It was important he did three laps to ensure he was eligible to start race one. O’Brien joined the qualifying session gingerly trying to understand the limits of the car. Driving around the problem, O’Brien managed to qualify in a respectable 8th place.
Getting off the line well, O’Brien was mixing it with the leaders heading for Colonial. Having to take avoiding action to avoid an on-track incident, with pole sitter Kevin O’Hara, O’Brien was forced to take to the grass leaving the circuit. Re-rejoined in last place, O’Brien picked his way through the field finishing in 8th position.
Another great start from O’Brien In race 2 saw the Dublin native climb from 8th to 3rd on the track. With his sights set strongly for a podium finish, the brake issue he had experienced in qualifying emerged again. This saw O’Brien lose two places at one stage, however driving around the problem again fought his way up to 4th across the line.
“Following a couple of tough days constantly trying to further develop the new car and overcome teething issues I am delighted with my fourth place in undoubtedly the most competitive class on the island. The final race, despite the reoccurring braking problems, I finally felt comfortable in the car and finding new limits. I’m already really excited about getting back in the car. I can’t thank all my sponsors enough for their continued support as I simply wouldn’t be on the grid without them”.
Sunday World – Specialist Cars Ireland – Tool Dynamics – Frank Keane BMW – Frank Keane Mini -Tyremaster.ie – Siltex Safety –Robert Kinsella Cylinder Heads – Topgear.ie – Fish Graphics