Character building for Dempsey during UK Ginetta Junior debut
Snetterton, Norwich, UK – Current Ginetta Junior Ireland Champion Jordan Dempsey travelled to Snetterton last weekend to make his UK debut joining his British counterparts for the KICK Start Energy Drink Ginetta Junior Winter Series.
Dempsey’s week has been a significant one in his flourishing motor racing career, beginning with his all important interview for the Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year award in Dublin, before travelling on Thursday to Snetterton for Friday’s pre-event test. While on route to Snetterton, Jordan received the fantastic news that he has been chosen as one of three finalists for the Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year award. At just 15 years old, Jordan is the youngest ever finalist. The Winner of the Award, which is valued at €50,000 and is supported by Dunlop and Sport Ireland will be announced at the Dunlop Champions of Irish Motorsport awards ceremony on Wednesday 2nd December.
Friday’s conditions couldn’t have been more challenging for the Mullingar man however, as heavy rain soaked the Norwich circuit and by close of play, Jordan had completed just 18 laps around the 2.99 mile circuit. The majority of the day’s sessions had been interrupted with red flags.
Going into Saturday’s first of two qualifying sessions during the weekend, Dempsey and his family run Team MCP set themselves a target to set a time and improve on it in every session from there on. Indeed that is exactly what the fifth year student achieved, and by the end of Saturday’s qualifying and two races, Dempsey had cut over a second off his best time and finished a credible 11th overall in race two from 19 cars and second best of the seven rookie drivers entered.
Sunday’s conditions were much drier, providing a fresh challenge for Jordan to adjust his driving style to in the unfamiliar Ginetta G40. Having suffered with heavy spray from other cars and a fogged up windscreen on Saturday, these were two challenges at least that he wouldn’t have to worry about. Setting himself a new target in Sunday’s qualifying, Dempsey continued to improve as the day progressed and the track dried. Already slicing four seconds off Saturday’s best, by the end of race one Jordan had improved by a further nine seconds, and was now within just three seconds of the race’s fastest lap.
Hoping to finish his weekend on a high, Dempsey started the second and final race of the day from 15th on the grid. Making a superb start, Jordan had already moved up the order by the first corner, Riches. However exiting the second corner, Montreal, Dempsey now on the outside was boxed out and rapidly dropped down the order, loosing out on his early progress. Now focused on working his way back up the order, Jordan found himself suffering on Snetterton’s long straights with a mysterious flat spot in his engine that had not appeared up to that point. Despite this, he kept his nose clean for the remainder of the race to cross the finish line in 14th, again significantly improving his personal best lap time by a further five seconds.
Jordan Dempsey – #21 Team MCP Ginetta G40: “This has definitely been a very big learning experience for me and the team this weekend. We came into the weekend with no major expectations, other than to enjoy it, get faster and learn! It’s safe to say we learned a lot this weekend. The conditions on Friday and Saturday were the worst I’ve ever driven in, so they took a lot of getting used to. Sunday was a little bit easier, but it did mean we had to take a lot of risks with the setup as the conditions changed as the track got drier during the day. Overall I’m happy with the weekend. This opportunity was great, working with all the professional people over here has been very beneficial, from the Scrutineers, Race officials to the staff at Ginetta, so I’m very thankful to both Ginetta Junior Ireland and Ginetta Cars for this opportunity. Team MCP with my Dad (Morgan) and bother (Scott) were great this weekend and again it was great to have lots of home support from my sponsors Mullingar Car Pretesting, Kildare Crash Centre and P1 : Digital. Now it’s the long wait until the 2nd of December to see if I have been chosen as the winner of the Dunlop Motorsport Ireland Young Racing Driver of the Year Award!”