Louise Richardson’s single seater debut during the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain has left fans and media impressed with her ability to adapt quickly. The 21-year-old former Ginetta racer finalised a deal to race in the season opening Formula Ford meeting at Brands Hatch on the morning of the pre-event testing. Despite her lack of experience in the EcoBoost powered Mygale, Richardson left Brands Hatch in eleventh place in the championship standings.
Louise took to the track in the car raced and developed by her brother Andy, who now works as team manager for Richardson Racing while he puts together his own racing programme.
Progress during free practice and testing saw her rise up the time sheets, only to qualify at the back of the grid for the first race after a gearbox issue. Her first race in the car saw her rise from fifteenth to tenth and earned her the most improved driver award for the most passes. A pair of eleventh place finishes in races two and three helped to secure fourth place in the Scholarship championship also.
“It’s been a big learning curve for me this weekend, probably the biggest learning curve I’ve had so far in my career,” Richardson explained. “I found time throughout the weekend and I feel that my technique has improved, as driving this car is totally different to the Ginettas I’ve raced in the past.
“With the extra aero, you can carry a lot more speed through the corners, so I’ve had to get my head around the fact that I could keep pushing beyond the point where I’d have to ease off in the past.
“I’ve been able to learn a huge amount, although the weekend has also shown me that I need to work on improving the strength in my arms as its a lot more challenging to drive the Ford than it was to drive the Ginetta. You feel every little movement through the steering wheel and there is no time to rest; not even on the straights.
“Overall, I feel I’ve done a solid job for my first race weekend in single-seaters, especially when you consider that that is the most time I have spent in the car. Hopefully now we can sort something out for Donington Park so I can try and push closer to the midfield.”
In addition to her appearances in the Formula Ford grid, Louise is working on securing a full season drive.