FWJJ’s first F1 meetings

Father To Son

This wasn’t a staged photo – team photographer Martin was in the right place and the right time for this thumbs-up exchange between father and son.

The chaos leading up to Frankie’s first F1 meeting was worth all the effort when I stood back and watched him do his first practice with the other drivers.

I hadn’t had time to get nervous or even think about what was happening, but as I stood there next to Steve Abbott, the meeting steward, whose job was to watch Frankie and see if he could handle the car and traffic etc to allow him to race, it suddenly hit me, “S**t, this is really happening!”

He did about 10 laps, and was so calm even before he went out I asked him if he was okay. He simply answered “Yes why shouldn’t I be?” Ha ha, where did the relaxed calm mentalatity come from ? God knows!

After he had done his laps the steward turned to me, and I think he could see the emotion in my eyes, and he just said “Definitley won’t be long till he starts beating you!” Ha ha!

The next step was the first race and in typical Wainman style it rained a little beforehand which did make Frankie slightly nervous. He asked me what he should do different now, to which I answered exactly the same just slightly slower and he did just that.

From 65 bhp front wheel drive to 650 bhp rear wheel drive with a wet track, and he never lost control once. A superb approach to start an F1 career, even to the point of catching the world famous Sarge and having to pass him…!

So with his first race out the way it was all systems go, leading the Consolation till a visit to the wall when battling for the lead resulted in a damaged battery and an enforced retirement.

Then to the Grand National where he recorded an amazing 11th position. He was on the pace with every car on track, and looked like he had raced for years.

Next day was Buxton, where Frankie wasn’t 100% sure about racing as this is the tightest and one of the fastest Tarmac tracks we race at. so he decided to swap the gears and get out in practice and have a go.

Well, to say he looked comfortable was an understatement, and his first words to me when he came back into the pits were “God that’s good!”

Finishing just out of the top 10 in the heat, he was left to try qualify through the Consolation with lots of other top drivers, including Rob Speak, Luke Davidson, and myself.

This soon became a new experience for me as he led most of the race only to be overtaken by 318 then 464, only to tuck back in and nearly keep up with them, meaning he finished in an amazing third place. An awesome result, even though he actually beat me !

I finished right behind him and was treated to a lap following him round receiving the full applause of the crowd – it felt amazing #ProudestDadInTheWorld!

Frankie has now raced at only 4 meetings and is recording finishes and learning his craft. It definitely won’t be long before the first win arrives and we all look forward to this!

Would just like to say a massive Thank You to everyone who has helped get him on track – Family/friends/sponsors without you all none of this would have been possible.

Cheers for now.

Sam’s photos from the pits :-