Saturday 29th July 23 was the Northern Ireland race meet for National Formula Ford, Lucas Romanek, racing with Oldfield Motorsport, made the journey over the Irish Sea to a track he had never raced on, against a strong local contingency.
The BRSCC National and Northern Irish Formula Ford 1600 championships joined together increasing the grid size for the race week.
Qualifying and race one had taken place on Friday, Lucas qualified in second, missing out on pole to Team Dolan’s Jordan Kelly by a tiny 0.022 seconds. Race 1 and Lucas took the lead early in race one, pulling away as battles behind helped him maintain his gap, maintaining the lead for 13 laps, the final two laps, Lucas lost the lead to Brandon McCaughan and then Jordan Kelly, to finish in third.
Lucas said after race one, ‘the tyres went off toward the end, making it impossible to keep ahead. This is the first ever race on this track for me, I am disappointed to not keep the lead, but we have learnt a lot that we can take onto tomorrow’.
Race 2 on Saturday and Lucas started in third, with a great start, Lucas moved past both Brandon and Jordan on the first lap. The race was then red flagged, and after the restart Romanek held a small lead until late on when Kelly passed him for the win. Lucas Romanek finally converted his pace into victory in the reversed-grid, race three, Lucas started in 6th place and moved through the field, until the last lap, he was lying in third place until the final hairpin, a late braking manoeuvre allowed him past both Budzinski and beating McCaughan in a sprint for the finish on the last lap, winning by a tiny margin of 0.023s. With Elliot Budzinski just 0.209s behind in third.
Claiming the final win of the weekend also made Lucas Romanek the Ulster Trophy winner, the Trophy dates back to pre WW11, and was last awarded over 30 years ago. The Trophy was awarded by the Five Hundred Motor Racing Club of Ireland, in conjunction with the Ulster Automobile Club and is considered to be one of the most prestigious trophies in Irish motorsport. After the race, Lucas said, ‘this has been a fantastic weekend, we came here with no experience of this track, to come away with 3 podiums and a win is just beyond what we could have hoped for and then to get the Ulster Trophy and to know my name will be included along with other great racing drivers is just amazing’.