Walpole Cross Keys racer Rob Sayell has taken a narrow lead in the Formula Jedi championship with just two rounds to go.
Races at Donington Park in August saw Rob take a fifth place in the wettest race of the season on the Saturday, the race was delayed whilst the cars changed onto wet tyres and held until the circuit conditions improved but spray still made visibility very poor.
Sunday’s race was held in the dry and Rob achieved fourth place losing out on a podium by just a second. This held Sayell in second in the series 17 points behind leader Paul Butcher.
The two latest rounds took place at Oulton Park in Cheshire on Saturday (September 17) when a qualifying session and two races took place on the one day. Practice the previous day left Sayell feeling frustrated unable to get a feel for the undulating circuit and with a minor electrical issue ending one session early.
Qualifying resulted in a disappointing seventh grid place for both races in what was a very competitive field. The team therefore decided to change the car’s gearing and set up for race one in an attempt to find some more pace which paid off. Rob made an excellent start going between three cars to come out in fourth place by the second corner, he was holding the position comfortably when Andrew Dunn went off whilst fighting for the lead promoting Rob to third place, netting 22 valuable points.
Race two was more difficult with competitors keen to avoid another lightening start from Rob he finally moved up to sixth overtaking his championship rival Butcher around mid distance, who pulled off with mechanical problems immediately afterwards. With Butcher failing to score, 16 points for sixth moved Rob ahead in the championship by just three points.
The final two rounds take place at Silverstone in October where a maximum 60 points will be available on the day, therefore any one of the top four drivers could take the Championship title.
Sayell said: “As usual my dad Harry and brother Dave worked hard to support me throughout the day getting more from the car when I needed a confidence boost and keeping me informed from the pit wall.
“Dave also edited and provided in car film footage from my car for Motors TV coverage. We have had a fantastic season with seven podiums, including three wins from 12 races, it’s my best season ever.
“I’d like to thank my family for unstinting support this season and also Mike Smith who has built me a great engine this year and Wesigns who supplied graphics for the car and trailer.
“Whatever the final outcome I am really looking forward to Silverstone when it will be a very exciting decider.”
Photo: Shaun Smith