This past weekend saw Omar Ismail return to his most successful track yet where he collected his maiden win just over a month ago. Hopes were high for results, and following successful testing, Omar was feeling confident going into Qualifying.
Qualifying looked familiar yet again at the top 3 with Palmer, Newey, and Ismail at he top, but unlike last time, where it was Ismail at the top, this time the championship leader Will Palmer was the one to take pole position, with Ismail 2nd and Newey 3rd.
Race 1 saw Ismail challenge for the lead off the line, but overheating of his engine meant that he didn’t have enough speed off the line. Omar followed Palmer closely for the first lap, but then he picked up a bollard left on the circuit, a bollard that changed the course of the entire weekend for Omar. Come lap 2, and with the bollard wedged in the intake of Ismail’s car Omar approached the first corner unaware of the true extent of the damage caused by the bollard to his car. This caused Omar to spin uncontrollably and lose his second place. Due to the gap pulled by the top 3, his spin demoted him to 5th place. The extensive damage to Ismail’s car forced him to defend stoutly from 6th place car until the end of the race, and despite his damage, he done so successfully.
Come race 2, and Omar started in 4th place, but straight away the chaos of the weekend continued and the top two drivers crashed right in front of Omar, demoting Omar to 8th. Omar worked his way up the field to 4th, but then 3rd place defended desperately for the rest of the race, preventing Omar from securing a podium and also preventing the much quicker man from breaking past the field and posting a fast lap time, which is how the grid for race 3 is decided. This meant that Ismail had to start Race 3 in 11th place.
Having started so far down for race 3, Omar realised how hard he had to work in order to pull a result in the final race of the weekend. With outstanding pace and racecraft, Ismail made it up to 5th quickly and entered a battle for 3rd between Haggerty, Newey and himself. Towards the end of the race, Newey made a bold move on Haggerty for third, and soon after, Omar followed suit, promoting Newey to 3rd and Ismail to 4th, and demoting Haggerty to 5th. Due to the gap pulled between Newey and Ismail during Ismail’s overtake on Haggerty, and the little pace difference between two of the fastest on the grid (Newey and Ismail), Omar was unable to catch Newey and challenge him for third.
“Overall, this has been a character building weekend for me. So far, I have been spoilt by success after success and I almost forgot about the hardships that come with Motorsport, and so I won’t look back at this weekend asking “what if” or making excuses. What happened, has happened, and I, as I always do, look forward to the future and better myself from the past.”