Donington Disappointment for Alex Jones
Tuesday 3rd October 2017
Radlett-based racing driver, Alex Jones, rounded off his 2017 season at Donington Park, Derbyshire last weekend. Despite a trouble-free test ahead of the meeting, the 24 year-old was hit with a suspension failure in qualifying which offset him going into the races.
Jones was featuring himself towards the sharp end of the timesheets in qualifying. However, five laps in, he encountered a steering problem on his 5th hot lap and slowly made his way back to the pits to end his session.
Starting out of place down in 19th for a wet Race 1, Jones used the green flag lap to find where the grip would be for the opening lap but as the field came back round to the grid, he found the car unable to engage 1st gear.
Leaving the line in 2nd gear, Jones lost several positions in the first phase of the start but quickly regained two places as they headed into Redgate.
A further position was gained when he grabbed 17th on the opening lap before taking no fewer than four cars on the run up to McLeans on lap 4.
On lap 5, he caught up to James Cater but was unable to get passed at Redgate due to yellow flags. Jones then made the move stick with a bold maneuver round the outside at the slippery Craner Curves.
However, the race was ended two laps prematurely to clear up the collision at Redgate, leaving Jones to take the chequered flag in P15.
Race 2 was short-lived for Jones when he was wrong-footed and pushed wide at Craner Curves on the opening lap, causing him to run over the outside kerb which then spat him back across the track and through the gravel.
Despite keeping the momentum to plough through the gravel, Jones was forced to come in to the pits and retire the car.
"It's been a disappointing end to what's been an up and down season", reflected Jones. "This year has been the most competitive yet in my experience of Formula Vee and everyone has really upped their game so I've really enjoyed the close and tough racing.
"My pace has definitely improved this year and Bears Motorsport have done a great job - a lot of the time working against the clock.
"The highlight for me was our top-10 at Brands Hatch at the beginning of the season, but we've unfortunately had a lot of reliability issues throughout the year meaning we haven't been where we should have so I feel I have some unfinished business!"
Jones is using the winter break to continue working on putting a budget together to compete in the 2018 MSA Formula 4 Championship which will again run in support of the ever-popular British Touring Car Championship and features races broadcast live on ITV4.