Things didn’t go quite to plan for BMW junior development driver Ollie Millroy this weekend, when unfortunately he hit a wall in his first flying lap of qualifying, which meant he started on the very back row of the grid for the race on Sunday. Ollie was competing as a guest driver with Kent based Motaworld Racing, for the final round of the Formula BMW Pacific championship, on the amazing street circuit where the 55th Macau Grand Prix was held.
All went well for the British MSA Race Elite academy driver in free practice on Thursday when, with a car that was later found to have a faulty front damper, he was fourth quickest, one and a half seconds quicker than the fifth placed car.
On Saturday, with the damper replaced and confidence high, Ollie went out to qualify when on his first flying lap he locked up slightly, hit a patch of oil left down from the previous session and lost control, hitting the wall and putting an end to his chances of a good grid position.
“I made a mistake” said Ollie. “I was feeling very confident on what I think is by far the most amazing circuit I have ever driven on. I was just getting my rhythm when I locked up slightly and caught a patch of oil and that was me finished. I was pretty upset but I only had myself to blame. You have to race here to believe how good it is but you can’t make a mistake. It is very unforgiving and when you do get it wrong you’re in the wall and out of the race.”
Starting from the back row of the grid for the race on Sunday, Ollie made a perfect start overtaking two cars off the line and by the end of a solid first lap he was up to thirteenth place and still going forward. By lap six he was tenth and quickly catching the next group when one of the front runners came off and the race was stopped, moving Ollie up to ninth position.
“It was a shame that the race was stopped but I paid the price for coming off in qualifying, although I must say I really enjoyed the race while it lasted. I was going well and I’m pretty sure I could have made up a few more places if the race hadn’t been stopped. The Motaworld team did a good job with the car again this weekend and worked hard repairing it on Saturday evening to get me out on Sunday. The weekend wasn’t how I would have liked it to be but what a circuit and country, it’s awesome and I am looking forward to coming back next year.”
Ollie’s next outing is on Sunday 23rd November when he will be a member of British Formula 1 winner, Johnny Herbert’s team. The Johnny Herbert karting challenge is an annual event, which this year is being held at The Raceway, Docklands in order to raise money for charity.