British BMW Junior Development driver Ollie Millroy had the amazing experience of feeling what it is like to race in front of 100,000 of Filipe Massa’s home crowd, at the last round of the Formula 1 World Championship at Interlagos, Brazil this weekend. The British MSA Race Elite Academy driver finished eighth on Saturday and sixth on Sunday, in front of the huge Brazilian crowds and declared the experience ‘unbelievable’.
Ollie joined North American ‘Atlantic Racing Team’ this weekend, as a guest driver, to compete in the final round of the Formula BMW Americas Championship, which was won by Alexander Rossi. Team principal, Lucas Strackerjan said: “It was a pleasure working with Ollie again this weekend and I’m only sorry we didn’t get the better results I think we should have had. His driving and feedback was very good but unfortunately we lost a bit of ground by running the wrong wing setting on Friday, which dropped us down the order in qualifying”.
Things didn’t go Ollie’s way in race one on Saturday when after starting eighth on the grid and getting himself up to sixth place by lap three, he got hit from behind, badly bending a rear wishbone and dropping him back to eighth, where he finished. “When I came in after the race, everyone was amazed that I’d finished at all” said Ollie. “The rear wishbone was so badly bent it completely altered the angle of the wheel and handling of the car, but I thought I may as well keep going and just finish as high up the order as I could.”
With Ollie starting on grid six in race two on Sunday and expecting a good result, things didn’t improve much. After a solid first three laps Ollie had moved up into fourth position and was closing in on the two cars in front when they made contact. He had no choice but to swerve wide to avoid them which lost him time and dropped him back to eighth. Another solid drive saw him work his way back up to sixth place, where he finished at the flag.
“It wasn’t a brilliant weekend as far as results were concerned,” said Ollie, “but I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere of the crowd and working with Atlantic Racing Team. They are great guys and I know how much effort it took to get the car here at such short notice, from North America. They did a good job considering none of us had raced here before and the little time we have on the track at a Grand Prix weekend makes it even more difficult. Unfortunately we didn’t have the right setup in free practice or qualifying on Friday and this put us off our back foot for the races. I worked a lot on my braking technique this weekend and I am very happy with the data results so hopefully this will help around the twisting street circuit of Macau in two weeks time”.
Ollie will only be back in the UK for a few days before he leaves for Macau with British team Motaworld Racing as a guest driver at the final round of the Formula BMW Pacific Championship, supporting the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix on 15th/16th November.