Manchester returns to action in style

A damp morning at Snetterton welcomed Jack Manchester back to the race track after the summer break for the 5th Round of the Radical Challenge Championship, but despite some hurdles, the day was about to turn out decidedly sunnier for the Surrey racer.

Jack’s Scorpio Race team had their work cut out dealing with a series of frustrating mechanical issues with the car on Thursday and Friday, which severely hampered his testing preparations. However despite this, Jack qualified P5 for the first two races and if it weren’t for some untimely traffic could have worked himself higher up the grid.

The 18-year-old’s eagerly awaited return got off to a flying start, pouncing upon an emerging gap between the cars ahead as the lights went out. By the third corner Jack was in 2nd challenging for the lead until the second lap, when a challenge from behind caused a collision, sending Jack’s car reeling back to 19th place. It was time to dust himself down and get back into the action and Jack was soon displaying some audacious overtaking, picking up places as he cut through the field crossing the finishing line in a commendable 8th.

Race two was time to even the score and get back up to the front and Jack didn’t disappoint. Building on his previous great start he weaved his way off the line filling gaps at speed and pulled himself up two places to 3rd position on the first lap.

From there Jack and the 1st and 2nd placed cars tracked each other building a gap on the chasing pack. Jack was keeping the pressure up when an error from the car ahead allowed Jack to move into 2nd. This enabled Jack to push even harder and edge closer to the leader and he was on his tail as they crossed the line for his first podium finish of the weekend.

The 40-minute endurance race was the final race of the day and Jack was ready for action starting in P8.  The rolling start posed a new challenge, but true to form Jack demonstrated great skills and launched through the pack at the start and moved into third position and was challenging for second. After the pit stop, the leading trio held their positions and Jack nipped on the heels of the car in front right up until the finishing line, bagging 3rd place and his second podium of the day.

Jack was thrilled to mark the start of the second half of the season with a positive weekend.

“I was so happy to get back on track this weekend. It was a shame testing preparations were hampered by mechanical issues but credit to my team for getting the car ready in time. It’s always better it happens before the racing!

“In the first race I was in second after a great start and all set for a strong performance when I was hit and spun off the track. I got my monies worth in that one and had some battling to get back through the field.”

“I got payback in the second and enjoyed another great start which enabled me to chase for the lead. I got my opportunity when I moved up into 2nd place and enjoyed chasing the leader right up the finish line to round out the race with a podium. The rolling start in the third race is a different challenge and I knew the start would be crucial especially as I had more work to do as I was in P8, so timing my launch so perfectly and hauling myself so quickly into 3rd place to secure another podium, after some great chasing for 40 minutes, was a very rewarding way to round off an exciting days racing.

Head of the MBP Academy, Barry Mears, felt it was a weekend where Jack demonstrated his natural abilities.

“Jack had bad luck with his car which impacted his track preparations at Snetterton, so to come out and race so confidently and successfully represents  a very composed and impressive performance. The incident in the first race robbed Jack of the chance to get on the podium but he didn’t let it faze him, which is why his success in the second and third races tastes even sweeter. Jack showed great race strategy with his blistering starts and a level head during the races and got his just rewards. Two podiums was a great day’s work and we are looking forward to seeing him back on track next weekend at Silverstone.”

Jack returns to the scene of his first ever race win this weekend, as he heads to Silverstone for the next round of the Radical European Masters.