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Press Release - Martin Donnelly

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Former Camel Team Lotus Formula One Driver Martin Donnelly to Return to his Racing Roots by Competing and Racing at this year’s Formula Ford Festival-Masters Race, Driving for Bridger Motorsport on the 25th of October 2015.


Martin Donnelly: Comment

“I first heard of some rumblings about a proposed Masters Race at this year’s Formula Ford Festival back in the early months of this summer. It is open for all previous ex drivers from the 70’s 80’s and 90’s to take the opportunity of dusting off their old racing overalls and either using (if they still have held onto their old Chassis) or borrowing/leasing a car which they raced in that period of time many years ago.

“Well One thing led to another, and the next I know I received an invitation from Brian Jones (lead commenter for this event over the last Forty years and a good personal friend of my late Father Martin) to come out and race, find a car and Team, and race against the great Champions from the past.

“So I’ve done just that. Bridger Motorsport have very kindly agreed to support and run me in one of their Mygale 1600 Chassis. Jay Bridger has a wealth of experience himself as a former racing driver.

“Jay raced in British Formula Three for the Hingham based team Lightspeed and won the National Class in Formula Three in 2008. Since then, Jay has started his own professional team and has competed in many national championships and is currently running a strong and competitive Formula Ford Team.

“All I can hope is to lose a few more pounds in weight and try to give the older/young competitors a good run for their money on the day.

“I’d like to say a big “Thank You” to Jay and his team in giving me this great opportunity to roll back the years... to where it all started 34 years ago.”

Jay Bridger: Comment

“Martin first contacted me several weeks ago with the notion and an idea if I’d be prepared to support and run him in one of our current Formula Ford 1600 cars. Well, with a driver like Martin and his pedigree... to be honest it was too good an opportunity to turn down.

“Well somehow he has managed to convince me this is a good idea and now it’s all happening. He says it will be just a bit of fun. But the way he’s talking now... with regards to car set-up, gear ratios etc. ... I can see he wants to at least get onto the podium… bloody typical of competitive drivers.

“I myself will also be competing in the actual Formula Ford Festival again, like Martin, but to try and get onto that top step.
It will be interesting to see how we square up against each other during the course of the weekend itself.”

 

Stefan Donnelly Tests for Bridger Motorsport

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"He was very consistent and had really good feedback."

Stefan Donnelly tested one of the team’s Formula Ford 1600 Mygales at Brands Hatch on the 4th of September.  It was Stefan’s first time in a Formula Ford but he took very little time in getting to grips with the car.  Stefan got better every session and was able to complete 80 laps by the end of the day without any mistakes.

Team Manager Jay Bridger:

“Considering the fact that Stefan was running old tyres, his times were very competitive.  He was very consistent and had really good feedback.  Formula Fords have little grip, but Stefan adapted very well and made no mistakes.”

Strong Weekend for Jamie Unwin at Brands Hatch

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"It was a good learning curve and Jamie did a great job."

Jamie Unwin entered his first Formula 3 race at Brands Hatch and was able to bring the car home in both races.

Despite a small electrical problem in qualifying which meant Jamie had to start near the back in both races, he did a great job in Race 1 making some places up and improving his lap times.

In Race 2, after some set-up changes to the car, Jamie’s pace was a lot better and he was doing the same lap times as the front-runners. He charged through the field and did some great over taking.

Team Manager Jay Bridger:

“It was a good learning curve and Jamie did a great job, bringing the car home in both races.  We were able to make big improvements to the car over the weekend.”

Big Improvements at Blyton for Emily Daly

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"If she keeps on improving like this she will be very competitive in a very short space of time."

Emily tested at Blyton for two days in one of Bridger Motorsports Formula Fords on the 7th and 8th of July and made massive improvements over the two days.

Emily, who has only done one day of testing in the car previously, managed to knock five seconds off her time in the two days.

Furthermore, she also kept the car on the track making no mistakes. Emily's times were consistent throughout the testing which was even more impressive.

Team Manager Jay Bridger:

"When you consider Emily’s lack of experience, she is doing very well. Compared to most drivers at her stage, she is doing a lot better than we could have hoped for. If she keeps on improving like this she will be very competitive in a very short space of time. She has a lot of talent and I look forward to watching it grow."

Tristan Charpentier Tests with Bridger Motorsport

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"...he performed incredibly well improving each lap and making no mistakes."

Tristan Charpentier spent three days testing with Bridger Motorsport July 6,7,8 at Blyton Park. Tristan drove one of the team’s Formula Fords on the 6th and 7th and then stepped up to the team’s Formula 3 car on the 8th. Tristian, who is still only 14, had never driven a single seater before and apart from his karting experience where he finished 6th in the world karting championships, has had only two races in Ginetta Junior under his belt.

Despite Tristian’s lack of experience, he performed incredibly well improving each lap and making no mistakes. By day two in the Formula Ford Tristian was on the pace, and not only doing very fast lap times, he was also very consistent.

Day three saw Tristian try the Formula 3 car. Tristian is one of the youngest drivers to ever drive a Formula 3 car but showed great maturity in learning the car and once again achieved great laps times and also made no mistakes throughout the day.

 

Team manager Jay Bridger:

We expected Tristian to be good, but we can all honestly say we were shocked by how well he did. When you consider his age, it’s amazing how well he handled himself and showed great maturity by improving each lap and taking it one step at a time. He is a massive talent and has great feel for the car. We hope to continue working with Tristian and it will be great to see how his career develops!

First win for Bridger Motorsport at Brands Hatch

First win for Bridger Motorsport at Brands Hatch

"It’s really great to get the team’s first win in formula ford..."

Bridger motorsport took its first win in the Monoposto 1600 class at Brands Hatch on May 16th, with Jay driving. Putting it on pole position by three tenths, Jay slowly pulled away from his nearest rival, leading him to win by about two seconds.

Jay stated, “It’s really great to get the team’s first win in formula ford, I’m feeling happier about the cars as we are improving and the development is progressing well."

On Sunday we did a second race called 'The Champion of Brands'. We started fifth on the grid and we were four tenths off pole. Unfortunately, we were on old rubber and if we had new rubber we would likely have been on pole. Despite this, Jay managed to get himself up to fourth place and was catching up with the leader when we suddenly experienced throttle problems, giving us no choice but to retire.

We are, however, extremely pleased with how the weekend went and Jay said, 'Considering how old our tyres were and our win on Saturday I'm very pleased with our speed and team.'

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Tel. 07715004090

Email: bridgermotorsport@hotmail.com

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