Jack Manchester has enjoyed another fantastic race weekend in which his pace once again clearly shone through. Starting the 2020 season in style, the Thunderhead Carlin Racing driver headed to Australia with his British team, along with teammates Harry Tincknell and Ben Barnicoat, for the second round in the 2019/2020 Asian Le Mans Series which took place at The Bend Motorsport Park. Manchester took the start of the race from pole position and raced well throughout his stints to ensure that the team collectively took a brilliant third place – their second consecutive podium.
Podium, pole and pace in Australia for Manchester
In sweltering conditions, amid heart-breaking wildfire scenes in vast swathes of the country, the Asian Le Mans Series got underway at the South Australia track just outside of Adelaide. Friday brought the first opportunity to experience the track with two test sessions and the first Free Practice run of the weekend. The 7.77km track went down well with Manchester who seemed to relish the challenge the 35 corners provided. Wet and dry conditions throughout the day also allowed for a mix of testing to take place behind the wheel of the Dallara P217 Thunderhead Carlin Racing Car – with the team finishing the official practice session in second overall.
Saturday saw a final Free Practice before Barnicoat jumped behind the wheel for the 15-minute qualifying session; as the flag fell Manchester’s teammate had brilliantly placed the team on pole position, the very first for the Dallara P217 and the Thunderhead Carlin Racing team.
As he took to the rolling start behind the wheel, Manchester got a good clean start to place in second overall as they streamed around the opening corners – coming under some pressure from behind, the British racer held his nerve well and was able to close the gap to the leader. While racing wheel to wheel, unfortunate and unintended contact led to a drive through penalty for the team later in the race.
Manchester then returned to the cockpit for his second stint and was looking great with a solid fourth position on track before exiting the car – his stints complete. Barnicoat took the final leg and was able to cross the line in third position; the fantastic teamwork securing the second consecutive podium for the Thunderhead Carlin Racing team.
“It was a weekend of highs and lows with quite a few positives to take away."
Manchester said of the weekend, “It was a weekend of highs and lows with quite a few positives to take away. As a team we made good strides forward and became a better, closer unit. The car was in a good place and everyone worked as a team. The contact during the race was really unfortunate; it was a split-second decision, I got on the dusty stuff and though I braked early, it wasn’t early enough and the car just locked up. It was just one of those things that happens in racing. We’re all really looking forward to Malaysia and Thailand and finishing off the Asian Le Mans Series strongly.”
The third, and penultimate, round of the season will take place next month in Sepang, Malaysia.