Wayne Boyd is adamant that he intends to 'keep pushing' throughout his maiden season of competition in the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series in 2009 – only hopefully without too many repeats of the kind of accident that resulted in the curtain-raiser at Oulton Park last month.
After struggling in qualifying around the Cheshire circuit – lining up just eleventh and 14th respectively for the two races in the 19-car field – the Ulsterman went on to take the chequered flag seventh in race one, just behind T-Sport team-mate Adriano Buzaid, but race two would not go quite so smoothly...
“Both me and Adriano struggled big-time in qualifying,” Boyd explained, speaking to Crash.net Radio
, “but I set the sixth-fastest lap in the first race and finished seventh, so from starting outside the top ten that wasn't too bad. Given where I was starting in the second race I knew I had to really go for it and try something at the first corner, but I made a bit of a mess of it...
“I tried my best to go round the outside but I just couldn't keep it on the track, and unfortunately I lost it and my team-mate collected me. I've heard that T-Sport tend to have quite bad luck at Oulton Park, so we'll just hope for the best, keep pushing on and focus on the rest of the season. I left sitting ninth in the championship, so it wasn't the worst start.”
Indeed, the 18-year-old is hoping to come away from round two at Silverstone this weekend and round three at Rockingham three weeks later still with a clutch of podium finishes to his name, as he dismisses suggestions that he should be treating his rookie campaign as a learning experience – insistent that he intends to make every single test outing, qualifying session and race day count.
“We may not get another chance, so we had to jump at this,” he reasoned of the decision to leap straight from Formula Ford into F3 rather than spending an interim season in Formula Renault first. “I don't want to waste the opportunity, so we're really going to go for it – though it is a big step from Formula Ford to Formula 3. It hasn't been easy, but we're getting closer and closer to the pace.
“It's very different to Formula Ford racing; as soon as you get close to someone, you lose quite a lot of front-end downforce because the aero just takes over. That makes it quite hard to pass, but at Oulton Park I never really had the chance to pass anyway because Adriano was in front of me. He got a bit of a gap at the start of the race and I just couldn't close it because our pace was quite similar. It will be interesting this weekend with the long straights and a bit more slipstreaming, so we'll see how that goes.
“Silverstone is a mega circuit, a super-fast track, and Rockingham is somewhere I've been quite quick in testing – we were fourth in the pre-season test there – so I think we could be pretty well up in the actual races and go for podiums if not wins.”
Admitting that his qualifying form is the key area for improvement, the first driver since current Formula 1 World Championship leader Jenson Button to triumph in both the Formula Ford Championship and Formula Ford Festival in the same year – firmly stamping his credentials as he ran away with the laurels – also acknowledges the boost he has received in being recognised as a BRDC Superstar, being selected for the prestigious scheme in its inaugural year in 2008 and recently being retained for a second successive year in 2009.
“It means an awful lot,” enthused the Co Down-born teenager, who made his name in England after coming over for the end-of-season Walter Hayes Trophy in 2007, and wasting little time in making his mark. “To be part of the British Racing Drivers' Club – obviously given how well-known it is – is really good, and when you consider the experience of (Superstars director) Tim Harvey and all the advice he can give you, you can't really put a price on that.
“The fitness coaching and mind management really help too, and now I'm just really looking forward to the rest of the season. I have full belief in T-Sport; they're a really good team and fully focussed on what they want to do, and I have a good relationship with my engineer.
“We're just going to keep pushing and we're both learning every time we go out. As I said before the start of the season, you have to go into it with high hopes and just push as hard as you can and try your best.”TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW IN FULL: CLICK HERE