Michael Devaney achieved all-new outfit Ultimate Motorsport's highest grid position during its maiden British F3 campaign in 2007, and came close to standing up on the rostrum on more than one occasion. Here the Irishman looks back on a season that went from strength-to-strength, and forwards to the next step...

On reflection, 2007 has been quite positive to be honest. We came in with a brand new car and team, and we've come on a long way from where we started at Oulton Park back in April when we were over three seconds off the pace.

It was a massive learning curve back at the start, but I think it was good that everyone was on that learning curve. With the new team and car everyone bonded really early in the season and that worked very well. There was a lot of hard work along the way, but there was also a great atmosphere inside the team and we progressed very well. Towards the end of the season we were challenging the front-runners a lot of the time.

We were hoping to have quite a lot of development during the year from Mygale, but unfortunately we didn't get as much as we wanted. Zolder was quite an interesting weekend, because we had the hub failure in practice and had no spare parts. Barry took the decision to run with a Dallara for qualifying and the race, so we went into qualifying blind with no set-up or anything on the car, and immediately we could match the times we had been setting with the Mygale. Driving it, you could tell the Dallara was more of a solid chassis and much better aerodynamically. Even though the result wasn't great, we still learnt things that we were able to put onto the Mygale set-up wise which improved it quite a bit.

The highlight of the season definitely has to be our home race at Silverstone where we qualified third. That was quite a surprise for everybody; before that our best qualifying position with the Mygale had been just ninth. To get onto the second row of the grid was really good. Unfortunately we didn't get a good start in the race, though, and consequently just missed out on the podium again.

It was frustrating not to get that podium by the end of the year, because I think the whole team deserved it. Both Esteban and myself definitely had the speed to be there; we had two fourth places each, it was just disappointing we didn't achieve our podium goal. That had been our aim right from the beginning of the season, so to be so close to it four times throughout the year...

Nevertheless, we proved we were regularly capable of running up in the top five which was pretty good really, and overall it was a good, consistent year and we scored a fair few points.

Looking to the future, for 2008 Ultimate has merged with French F3 team Signature Plus to enter the World Series by Renault. They are also expanding their British F3 team to be a three-car outfit - it has grown quite considerably, especially when you think it only all started this time last year, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens next.

My main goal, though, is just to stay with Ultimate, wherever that may be. This is a team that is only going to get stronger...

I'll catch you later,

Mick

Ultimate Motorsport is a new British-based racing team and the latest addition to Northamptonshire's famed motorsport corridor. The team's challenge is to end the years of Dallara dominance in British F3 using a new French-built Mygale chassis powered by Mercedes engines and driven by Esteban Guerrieri, of Argentina, and Ireland's Michael Devaney.

To find out more, visit the team's website: http://www.ultimatemotorsport.co.uk

 

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