Britain'a Graeme Gowland made a promising debut in the Spanish Formula Extreme Championship at the weekend for the Joe Darcey Racing Team at the Valencia circuit after coming close to a top six finish.
Although continuing to perfect the settings on the unfamiliar Honda Fireblade Gowla was still able to qualify on row two of the grid with the sixth fastest time but just 0.3 seconds off the pole setter Xavier Fores whilst the Joe Darcey team’s regular rider, Diego Lozano, qualified in 13th for the 19 lap race.
A good start in the race saw the 22 year old Briton just outside the top six at the end of lap one before slipping back to 8th after Bernat Martinez overtook him. Gowla was soon making ground on him and a few laps later he was on Martinez’s back wheel. However the next lap saw Gowla lose three seconds as he adjusted his front brake lever which was coming back to the handlebar and he lost all the progress he had made. Gowla once again began to reel Martinez in and then Martinez developed a mechanical problem and dropped down the order. Gowla crossed the finish line in 7th just 11 seconds off the winner, Carmelo Morales, whilst his teammate Lozano finished 10th.
“I was in touch with the front runners from the start but I was lacking in experience on the slick Dunlop tyres as this is my first race on them and I didn’t know how hard to push in the early laps," said Gowland.
"I had two incidents in the race, firstly I had to adjust my front brake and this lost me around three seconds and then a yellow flag incident cost me as second.
"I feel I could have been in the top six had these incidents not happened but I am still happy with the result considering it was only my first race in the Formula Extreme category. Once again I owe a big thank you to the whole Joe Darcey team.”
Gowla will be out on circuit again this weekend for the Spanish Championship finale at Jerez.