Epping and Waltham Abbey racers finish well after tough start at Oulton Park

Ayrton Simmons demonstrated an inspiring comeback when he climbed his way from 13th to sixth in round 11 of the F4 British Championship at Oulton Park.

The Epping racer will take heart from his position as he crossed the chequered flag just8.998s behind leader Oscar Piastri.

This result means the 16-year-old sits eighth in the championship standings on 67.5 points.

He said: “Last Sunday was probably my most difficult race weekend of my career so far!

“I was dogged by throttle software issues until after qualifying. I actually qualified in position eight with only 90 per cent throttle.

My team worked hard to solve the problem but still had engine power mapping issues and this cannot be adjusted by the team. “In race one, I went from eighth to seventh at the start and then got tagged off on turn five. I had to stop for a new front wing but by then my race was over.

“Race two saw me start at P13 and I had the chance to shine and I got up to P six in four laps. “Unfortunately the race was stopped at the halfway point as Jamie Caroline (the championship leader) barrel rolled into the tyre barriers.

“I saw it all as he was directly in front of me. I feared the worst but luckily he walked away unscathed.

“It is now on to the next race at Croft hopefully with more engine power!”

Elsewhere, Waltham Abbey racer Ben Green endured a tough Saturday in round seven and eight of The Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup at Oulton Park.

Green started the race in position eight after he put in a solid qualifying time despite difficult track conditions.

Green, along with his teammate at Century Motorsport Declan Jones, both had good starts but with the former putting in a very fast first lap.

Unfortunately, the bad luck hit and an early wide corner for Green saw him pick up a slow puncture.

The tyre soon disintegrated entirely and this meant he had to retire from the race.

The damage left his team with a lot of work to get the 19-year-old ready for the second race.

However, on Sunday, Green had a particularly good start and managed to finish in position four.

The end of Sunday saw the driver finish fifth with 131 points for the 2017 Supercup.

Century Motorsport Team principle Nathan Freke said: “It was looking very promising at the start of the weekend and we were showing good signs of pace. It was very difficult conditions, but Declan and Ben did a good job.”

Motorsport is a secret hobby of mine. Well maybe not to such a secret. I just love the noise and atmosphere it has when you are standing beside the paddock cheering on your favourite driver.

What is more entertaining than that? I decided to change up my blog a little bit. The season got too hectic to keep writing about local fish and chips shops although I am partial to throw one in now and then.

This will be more of a document of all things I write in my full-time job along with any added extras!

Watch out for my video package I will be adding to my youtube page. It is very visual and exciting. Simmonnnsss.jpg

Advertisements

Review: Historic play one of my favourites

The sound of Clapton Orient fans ringing out in The Greater Game play at the Southwark Playhouse gave us an instant connection to the story.

A hundred years on from the Battle of the Somme where three of the team, now known as Leyton Orient’s, best players died, Richard ‘Mac’ McFadden, William Jonas and George Scott, the star-studded cast featuring Charlie Clements and Nick Hancock brought home just how many were affected.

It begins with a scene from the Western Front where Noland ‘Peggy’ Evans, who is played by Benidorm’s Danny Walters, signs off with ‘how did we end up here?’ A poignant question which enticed the audience.

The rest of the first half followed suit with a flashback to when Mac and Jonas became best friends back in Newcastle and when Mac was first signed for the O’s for £150.

It then went on to show with what so significant about the Football Battalion, which was the instant bond and banter between teammates and the manager.

Orient was one of the top team at the time playing the likes of Fulham and Burnley and Mac scored 21 goals in his first season.

Watching the story unfold to the day they all signed up for war en mass was gripping as we were transported into 1914 when everyone thought the conflict would be over by Christmas.

Billy Holmes, the then manager for Clapton, said: “You are all heroes” and back then they were not just heroes for their country but for the fans and for the O’s.

Writer Michael Head, who also played Herbert ‘Jumbo’ Reason, intricately wrote the first and opening scene of the second half to connect the dots, how did they get there?

Another plotline showed how the wives and family coped back home such as Isabella Mac and Mary-Jane Jonas, portrayed by Laura Webb and Patsy Lowe.

And the regular updates sent from the team captain Fred ‘Spider’ Parker to the gaffer Holmes about their efforts on the front line.

The stage was perfectly set, in the round, so the audience felt part of the group and there was light relief for everyone watching and for the cast too in the character of Jimmy Hugall.

Hugall was the comedian, who played in goal for the O’s and having survived the war continued to play for the team.

As soon as the plot unfolded you felt as though you were an O and you were there with them which was an interesting set-up.

Many are affected by the tragedies of World War One to this day and you do not need to be an Orient fan to appreciate the hard work and detail that has went into the play from director Tilly Vosburgh and the entire cast.

A lot of people did not know what they were in for when they told to fight for King and Country and each scene hits you with a harsh reality and some tender and cherished moments.

Star Rating: *****

This was a review from a play I reviewed back in October. Unfortunately, I do not think they are touring at the moment but I do hope this comes back at some point.

It was a delight to watch.