With about 20 laps to go in this year’s Wakefield 300, everything was looking good for Nathan Jess and Matthew Thompson.
The wet-weather handling issues, long an Achilles heel of the little Future Racers, seemed to have been solved and Thompson, who had taken over the car for the final stint, was in third position and lapping just as fast, if not faster, than the two cars ahead of him.
History shows that the fairytale run came to an end when Thompson made the same mistake so many others had made over the course of the race, and spun into the gravel trap at Turn 2, losing two laps and throwing away any chance of delivering Nathan Jess his third Wakefield 300 victory.
While the result may not have gone their way, the signs are good for Jess and Thompson, who also led a large portion of last year’s Winton 300 before being forced to make a second compulsory pitstop after their qualifying time narrowly placed them in Division 1.
Compared to last year, Jess and Thompson should be even faster thanks to an upgrade to a more powerful Suzuki Hayabusa motor, meaning another Division 1 qualifying performance is likely. On this occasion though, they should be fast enough to at least have a chance of making up for the time they may lose through the additional compulsory pit stop, and the Wakefield 300 performance shows that wet weather won’t hurt this car’s chances either.