Top International racing driver Michael Devaney has been competing in the International British Formula 3 Championship for the past two seasons. He has been driving for Northamptonshire based Ultimate Motorsport which was founded two seasons ago by businessman Barry Walsh.
For the team’s entry into International Motorsport they decided to take on the Mygale F3 chassis to compete against the dominant Dallara chassis which has won everything in F3 for the past 15 years. In only its second season it scored its first victories with Michael driving, a feat that got recognized throughout the motorsport world.
We catch up with the Motorsport Ireland backed Devaney for a few Q&A’s.
The International British Formula 3 Championship has just finished, are you happy with how the year progressed?
Yes it’s been a fantastic season, the two wins at Snetterton were the highlight and we have shown that the Mygale can be quite competitive pretty much everywhere we went. We have had some bad luck and some reliability issues as well but we have to look at the positives of the season and that was giving Mygale and Ultimate their maiden victory’s and putting them on the map as a serious constructor and team.
As you mentioned you won twice at Snetterton, was it a surprise to take the top step of the rostrum twice?
Our aim at the beginning of the season was to turn the Mygale into a winner and beat the dominant Dallara’s so after race one at Snetterton the team and Mygale were ecstatic. And then to go and win the second race proved it was no fluke. It’s a shame we haven’t won since that weekend but even so those wins have made this season all the worthwhile.
You have been with Ultimate Motorsport since their beginning two seasons ago, how much have the team progressed?
They have come a long way since the beginning of 2007. From running a two car F3 team they have grown to a World Series by Renault team and have also expanded to a three car effort for the F3’s. Barry Walsh(Team Owner) has done a fantastic job and has turned it into a race winning team in both category’s in just two seasons. They are very professional and really concentrate on all the details which make the difference. And I’m sure the team will continue to grow and win championships in the future.
You spent two years driving and working with the Mygale chassis, has it been a tough challenge to turn it into a winner?
The first season with the ’07 car was very tough indeed, the car lacked a lot of mechanical grip and we had some reliability issues but we managed to pull off some good results towards the end of the season but we never showed winning pace. For the ’08 car Mygale came with a newly designed chassis and as soon as I tested it I could feel a huge improvement straight away. They learned from their mistakes with the old car and we finally had a car that could challenge the front. We pushed on with the development through the season and got the results which we worked hard for.
What would be your high point and low point from the season past?
For sure the Snetterton weekend was our high point as we achieved the maximum result, two wins from two races. It was Mygale’s first win in Formula 3 but also Ultimate Motorsports first ever win as a team. The lowest point was at the beginning of the season at Croft in Round 3 of the Championship. We were lying 3rd in the race even with a misfire costing a lot of time on the straights, eventually the misfire meant the engine took in too much fuel and we ran out with five corners to go, losing what would of been the car and team’s first podium. We eventually freewheeled the rest of the final lap and crossed the finish line by only two meters. And cruelly the car stopped right in front of the team members who were on the pit wall waiting to celebrate their first podium.
And your plans for 2009?
Thankfully this season has raised my profile a lot here in the UK as well as abroad so at the moment we are looking at a number of options for next season and not just in Europe. Besides a possibility of staying with my current team I am also looking at the new FIA Formula 2 Championship which looks to be a very interesting option. Hopefully I will have some more news in the coming months.