Classic Formula Ford Features Historic Formula Ford HSCC Walter Hayes Trophy

Walter Hayes Trophy: historic ones to watch

The Walter Hayes Trophy is set to begin in just over twelve hours. The last entries are in, heat draws are done and cars are ready.

There’s a strong Historic and Classic contingent in both the main draw and the two pre-’93 finals. Here are Vintage Formula Ford’s top names to look out for.

Samuel Harrison (Merlyn Mk20)

Harrison has landed a really good drive with Classic Team Merlyn, using the same car that took Horatio Fitz-Simon to second in the Historic FF1600 championship. He has been testing the car today and is really happy with how it drives. The Yorkshire teenager has become a much more consistent driver in the second half of the season and with such a good car underneath him, will be looking for a win.

Ed Thurston (Merlyn Mk20)

Thurston has won the Carl Hamer Trophy before, triumphing in 2018 in a Classic Team Merlyn Mk20 like the one that Harrison will be racing. This time, he has taken over Chris Porritt’s Mk20 for the weekend. The car has recovered from its off at the Silverstone Finals and Thurston will be his usual competitive self on a track he likes. His only disadvantage will be his lack of single-seater seat time this year.

Jordan Harrison (Reynard 89FF)

As long as it stays dry, Harrison will be tenacious and very quick around the National loop. The 2021 Classic champion has never raced the 89FF before, but he has had time to test the car, which belongs to Mark Bates. He will be renewing his rivalry with Cam Jackson, also in action in the Janet Cesar Trophy in a Van Diemen RF90, and Ben Tinkler in a similar 89FF. If the track is wet, he may struggle.

Molly Dodd (Merlyn Mk20)

The WHT will be FF2000 racer Molly Dodd’s debut in a FF1600 car, although she has been testing and impressing Simon Hadfield, who will run her this weekend in his wife Mandie’s car. Going from a winged car to the aero-unassisted Merlyn has been a challenge, as Dodd has had to get used to sliding, but she is thoroughly enjoying the adventure. Her cheerful refusal to be intimidated by anyone on track will really help her.

Mark Armstrong (Van Diemen RF85?)

2019 Classic champion Armstrong is a very late entry but he has run well at the WHT in the past, qualifying for the final. He is running as a team-mate to Dodd with Simon Hadfield. Although he has done very little racing in the last 18 months, having sold his own Van Diemen, he has plenty of experience of the track itself, having served as chief instructor at Silverstone’s racing school.

By Rachel Harris-Gardiner

Rachel Harris-Gardiner is the editor of Vintage Formula Ford and former Historic editor for She is a regular contributor to Autosport and Motorsport News and writes her own blog about women in motorsport, Speedqueens.

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