24 April, 2018
Radlett-based racing driver, Alex Jones, endured a character-building but ultimately positive weekend in Rounds 3 & 4 of the Formula Vee Championship at Brands Hatch Indy last weekend.
With no testing before the weekend, Jones was unable to get into a rhythm in qualifying, only managing to set 4 laps, with the session interrupted with two stoppages.
Lining up on the 11th row for Race 1, the 25-year-old got boxed in traffic in the opening phase of the race.
With oil having been dropped over the racing line around the whole circuit, Jones continued to progress and make up positions, capitalising when James Cater or Rory Melia both spun in front of him, and he managed to thread himself between the pair.
Battling up to 14th towards the end of the race whilst catching John Hartin, Jones fell victim of the dropped oil himself with a spin at Clearways. Although managing to keep the car out of the gravel, he lost two positions and had to settle for 16th.
In Sunday's Race 2, Jones, starting from 22nd on the grid, made a good start and held position, initially defending from James Harridge before making a move on Vaughn Jones into Paddock to nestle himself in a battle with Melia and Mark Egan.
However, on lap 6, the race was stopped with a three-car incident at Paddock Hill Bend.
Despite a delay for the restart, Jones picked up two places off the line and got in front of Melia at Graham Hill Bend before snatching another place from Richard Rainbow at Paddock on the following lap.
Jones nearly got himself up into the top 10 but missed his last chance of a move when yellow flags were brought out at Paddock Hill Bend and officials made the call to end the race prematurely.
"It's been a positive weekend", reflected Jones. "Although the stoppages and traffic in qualifying put us further down the grid than we should have been, I was able to make up positions in both races.
"There was a lot of oil being dropped on the circuit in the first race so it was difficult to maintain pace and keep the car on the road, and unfortunately I had a moment at Clearways which cost a couple of places.
"Overall, I'm quite pleased with the races and I feel I drove well, especially in Race 2. If the race hadn't been stopped early, I think a top 10 was on."
Due to budget constraints, Jones is likely to miss Rounds 5 & 6 at Croft next month but is aiming to be back out in action at Mondello Park on 7th July.