News

2019

Now that the championship points have been made official, I am the 2019 F1000 Champion.

Snetterton

Going into the final round I carried a 32 point advantage which isn’t much when there is 90 points on offer. I qualified on the front row for the first race. Starting on wets along with Dan Clowes we had taken the more conservative tyre choice whilst Lee Morgan and Michael Watton had gone for the slick in the hope of gaining the advantage later in the race. The wet tyre helped me keep 2nd place at the start of the race with Dan in front and Lee behind. The race finished like this, thus extending my lead to Lee in the championship to 35 points. The second race was wets for everyone. I knew the championship could be won in this race, so points were the target over a win. I knew that I only had to finish one place behind lee (as long as it was not 1st and 2nd) and the championship would be done. I managed to get up from 7th to 3rd and Lee managed 6th to 2nd which meant I had done it. It wasn’t an easy race as the clutch cable snapped two laps from the end which could have put me out of the race. The third race was an uneventful mosey around the circuit just to finish the race without incident.

So, I’m the 2019 F1000 champion. I didn’t expect it at the start of the year, but I did believe I was capable. Its been a long and testing year with a steep learning curve but the support from Dad and Tony has made it all possible. 

Donington Park

The toughest and most rewarding weekend of racing I’ve had in a long time. Qualifying put me in P3 for the first race. A good start translated into me and Lee Morgan pulling out front where the old lap record was bettered almost every lap. We matched each other’s times to pull out a 13 second gap to 3rd place. The second race where I started in 7th was tough. Positioned on the inside I was boxed in at the start which allowed Lee to get around the outside. Lap after lap I made up places, reeling in the leaders. A pass around the outside at Redgate put me in front of Lee and on the tail of Dan Gore. Up the inside going into the Old Hairpin is where I took the lead and I managed to hold it till the end. The third race I started on pole. I got off the line well and was pushing hard to make the gap, but Lee had new tyres on which was too good of an advantage. He managed to pass me, but I held on to his tail up to the chequered flag. All weekend I was pushing it to the limit and had an excellent time racing with Lee. On to the season finale at Snetterton.

Thanks to Naiad Photography for the images.

Cadwell Park

A mixed bag would be the best way to describe this one. Qualifying 4th was so far my worst of the season but translated to third through an exclusion further ahead. A great launch into second set up a chase for the lead as me and Rob pulled away from the rest. An unfortunate suspension failiure on Robs car handed me the win which was very unexpected. The second race I had to start from 8th and slow progress meant I was up to 5th halfway through the race at which point I was hit and put out of the race. Franticly working in the pits, I managed to get the car ready for the last race which I was also starting from 8th. The setup was not perfect but allowed me to get some good points with a 5th place finish. Overall the weekend came up with quite a few surprises, but I put it all behind me to focused on the next race

Croft

My best race weekend so far. An unproductive test day due to poor weather only allowed me to get to grips with the circuit and new tarmac on slick tyres in the wet, so I was going into qualifying blind with no target lap time. Pole position again for the second meeting in a row with the top four all within 0.3s of each other. I was very happy to achieve this at I track I enjoy so much. The first race was a lights to flag victory, a rain shower before the race ensured it was wet tyre running. A fast pace was being put down by the drivers behind, but I managed to keep a steady gap to the driver in 2nd. The reverse grid race was very exciting. Starting 8th with a pack of very fast drivers ahead was a challenge. The fastest six drivers in the grid were charging around the circuit in a close train and I managed to pick my way through to 3rd place whilst setting the fastest lap which also was a new lap record. The final race which starting position is decided on the second race fastest laps meant I was starting on pole. Another lights to flag victory was achieved and I claimed the fastest lap by 0.4s to the next fastest person and intern this was another new lap record. Potentially this could be the fastest lap around the circuit this year thanks to the pace of the F1000 car. Another great picture by Neil Brownlee.

Silverstone

The second round of the F1000 championship kicked off at Silverstone. A Great days testing on the Friday extracted a lot of information from the car and put me in good stead for the race weekend. Credit goes to Dad and Tony for recording the data and making the changes I wanted whilst I was in the car. Qualifying went excellently as I achieved pole position, my first in the class. The first race was a light to flag victory with a fastest lap to top it off. For the second race we all set off on slicks, but a short and heavy hail shower soaked the track. Starting 8th due to reverse grids I made it up to 2nd. Challenging for the lead wheels touched which resulted in a flat tyre and a DNF. An unfortunate end but positives were taken from all other aspects of the weekend. The livery finally saw some sunshine and I’m glad that it looks so good, thanks to Neil Brownlee for the picture.

Brands Hatch

A great start to the F1000 season with two second places and an eighth. The first race I came away with the fastest lap and was only 0.06s from the former world karting champion Colin Brown as we crossed the line side by side. The second race I had a loose diffuser which had a surprisingly large effect on the performance. A mistake by me made the situation worse as I lost 2 places running wide due to the lack in rear grip. The car back on form in the third race I made my way back up to second from starting fifth, on the way making a beautiful pass around the outside of Druids. The performance from this weekend has built up my confidence with the car. improvements can be made for the coming round in Silverstone where I hope to stay at the sharp end of the grid. Picture credit to Neil Brownlee

Oulton Park

The first time back in the driving seat since last year and off to a good start. The developments made to the car make it much more driveable, helping me push the car harder than before. The qualifying did not go too well with a hose coming loose from the turbo. Starting from the back row I was up to 6th at the end of the first lap then 4th a few laps later ahead of all the other class B cars with only the class A in front. Finishing in 3rd as a car ahead retired was a great achievement first time back. The second race I started in 3rd. Running 2nd the leader spun off resulting in a safety car. This allowed the class A Holden Commodore to get on my tail and after a few laps of shrewd defending I was back in 2nd. An issue held the car back for the last few laps and limping down the last straight I was passed and finished 3rd. A promising performance which gives more momentum for the rest of the season 

Snetterton

The final round of the year was as good as I could have hoped for. A semi wet qualifying ended with me on pole for both races. The first race was wet in which I had a lights to flag win. The second race started well with me taking the lead but lost it due to oil temperature and pressure issues so finished 2nd. In the end I came 2nd in the class championship only 4 points behind the winner, a good result after missing a round due to illness. To achieve 5 wins and 3 second places I am very happy with my performance this year but know development will be needed for next year.

Donington

After a messy qualifying which had a red flag then not a single clean lap due to slower cars I had 6th place starts for both races. The first race got off to a good start and I went on to make my way through the field. Some brave overtaking was done with a move round the outside going down the craner curves to take 2nd place and that’s where I finished the race.

The second race got off to a similarly good start and I started to make my way forward. A pass for 2nd place into the last chicane I unintentionally slid the rear into the large curb of the left going onto the straight which after investigation I found caused the front face of the left rear upright to start to break away from the side plate at the weld. This caused large toe in on the left rear upsetting the handling. I managed to keep going with the intension of getting the most points I could and ended the race in 5th. A good result from the weekend means I’m still 2nd in the class championship.

Pembrey

A new track for me but very enjoyable. Starting P2 in both races it was a close battle resulting in 2nd place in the first race then triumph in the second race as I lead throughout to get the win.

Rockingham

One week later and I was back at Rockingham. 3rd place overall was all I could achieve in the first race as the mighty Subaru and Escort cosworth pulled away in the dry conditions. Slight rainfall in the second race gave me a fighting chance alowing me to grasp the lead but the track dried and the escort passed and pulled away resulting in a 2nd place. I was awarded driver of the day in the thundersaloons for my performance.

Rockingham

The perfect weekend at rockingham with 2 wins and 2 fastest laps. A successful return after missing the mallory park round due to illness I managed to fight off the fast V8 westfield to make it my first double win.

Brands Hatch

Great start to the season with a win in the second race at Brands Hatch. A slight issue in the first race resulted in a recovery drive to 8th but was forgoten after the result in the second race.

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© Matthew Booth