The life of a racing driver may seem glamorous on the track, but to prepare a car for tip top performance requires a lot of work behind the scenes. For the second year running, HMD Kontro is delighted to be sponsoring one of our team, Neil Jessop, Test Engineer, in this season’s Modified Ford Series, with his car displaying the company logo and branding.
Neil’s 1978 Mark 2 Ford Escort has been completely refitted with modern racing components. He has had a particularly busy winter, not only in his day job at HMD Kontro, but also in his role as chief mechanic, as well as the driver, for his racing car. Any improvements to the car are all down to Neil himself!
He has been undertaking a lot of work modifying the suspension geometry on the car with a view to finding more grip on the track. This involved fabricating some new parts and buying others with a lot of time spent setting the car up in the workshop. Time constraints didn’t allow Neil to test the car before his first race and so he admits it was a bit of a lottery to how the car would perform.
Just over a month ago, Neil raced at the famous Brands Hatch track and it was a huge relief that the car felt good immediately in the qualifying round. The car had increased grip, which he had hoped for. Neil managed to qualify in third position overall.
The slightly complicated racing format at this weekend meant Neil started on Pole for his first race, as he had been the fastest car in his class. With some skillful driving, Neil had a great race and finished in second position overall. It took a 700bhp Ford Escort Cosworth from a higher class to beat him. And that doesn’t count!
In the second race Neil was second on the grid and took the lead right from the start. Although he was overtaken after a lap, some expert driving meant he finished third overall, which was another class win.
“Overall a great weekend for me. The car was totally reliable and performed better than I could possibly have expected.” Said Neil.
He has already got off to a winning start and HMD Kontro would like to wish him every success this year and. We look forward to updating you with all his racing news. And of course, don’t forget if you want a great day out, why not go along and support Neil racing his shiny black 1978 Ford Escort Mark 2 classic car. It really stands out with its new livery including red and yellow stripes and white HMD Kontro branding.
Here are the links for the onboard footage from both races.