Nadeau Claims Fighting Fourth in Thrilling Festival Finale

Written by Team USA. Posted in Team USA News

Published on October 24, 1993 with No Comments

Oct 24, 1993

Dartford, England — A lack of experience effectively cost Jerry Nadeau a chance to score an upset victory in today’s Formula Ford Festival & World Cup at Brands Hatch, England. Nadeau, who earlier took his Valvoline/Ford Team USA Van Diemen to a close second place in his Semi-Final, fought tooth-and-nail for the lead in the 20-lap Grand Final and learned quickly what real Formula Ford racing, European-style, is all about.

“With these guys, there’s no such thing as give an inch,” declared Nadeau. “Its incredibly intense. It’s amazing how they drive. They take so many chances, and my first priority was to finish the race.”

Nadeau earned many new fans with a magnificent heat race victory on Saturday and had a vocal cheering section among the enthusiastic crowd during his hectic pursuit of Northern Ireland’s Peter Duke in the Semi-Final round.

From the inside of the second row of the grid for the Final, Nadeau was in the thick of the action during a fraught opening lap. Then, at Clearways corner, leading onto Brabham Straight, he gained a little breathing room when a challenge from Nicky Blom ended with the Swede spinning into retirement.

Nadeau moved up to second place when the two Semi-Final victors, Duke and Patrick Simon, collided while disputing the lead on lap seven, and for most of the remainder of the race he was embroiled in a magnificent dice with new leader, the vastly experienced Andrew McAuley, as well as Australian champion Craig Lowndes and talented young Finnish driver Jan-Eric Lofgren.

A desperate pass by Lofgren on Lap 16 cost Nadeau a chance to increase the pressure on McAuley, and by the time the American had fought his way back past the Scandinavian, McAuley had pulled out a distinct advantage. Then, with a couple of laps to go, Nadeau almost spun at the infamous Paddock Hill Bend.

I went in a little too deep and I was on full opposite lock,” related Nadeau, who did well to maintain control of the car. But the slip allowed both Lofgren and Lowndes to go past. Fourth place would have to do.

“It’s a bit disappointing because I race to win,” said Nadeau. “But I also race to finish, and that’s what we did. To compete at the Formula Ford Festival was an incredible experience. I enjoyed every minute of it.”

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