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Champions assemble

The HSCC Historic Formula Ford 2000 championship gets going this weekend at Brands Hatch, with four champions in action.

The series is starting how it means to go on, with big grids and fierce competition at the front. Reigning champion Graham Fennymore will be out in his rapid Reynard SF81, with his predecessor Peter Drennan hoping that his Royale RP27 is as quick as the Reynard SF79 that took him to the 2020 crown.

Four-time series winner Andrew Park only did a part-season last year. Although he won once at Cadwell and usually had the pace, his SF81 misbehaved at least once. Having had time to work on the car, he should be back in the mix.

The final champion out to play is Mr 2014, Benn Simms, who was the early leader in 2021. His SF77 was normally the closest car to Fennymore’s whenever the two were on track together.

The 33-car field expected at the Indy circuit will be split into two groups for qualifying, with heats and a championship race each day. This format is an unforgiving one; any serious mistakes made during qualifying may have to be rectified on-track not just once, but twice over.

Of course, other drivers will be looking to muscle in at the front. Molly Dodd (Royale RP27) starred in a qualification race at Donington, only to lose places due to a faulty transponder. This format has worked for her before and she comes into 2022 a much more experienced driver.

Ian Pearson was third last year, with one win at a very slippery Mallory. His Royale RP30 was normally snapping at the heels of the leader and he should never be counted out.

Andrew Storer missed a lot of 2021 but did reach the podium last year at Brands, driving his famous Pukka Pies SF79. He cannot be disregarded either, especially with Stephen Glasswell (SF79) and Graham Ridgway’s SF78 not being present.

Each season brings a few new driver and car combinations and 2022 is no different. Ollie Roberts is hoping to be competitive from the off in his new SF79, despite not having raced for a while. 2021 Class B champion Fraser Collins will also be debuting a new car, a Class A Royale RP30.

The weather will also be a factor this weekend, with changeable conditions perhaps favouring the more experienced competitors.

(Image courtesy of Richard Towler)

By Rachel Harris-Gardiner

Rachel Harris-Gardiner is the editor of Vintage Formula Ford and former Historic editor for ff1600website.com. She is a regular contributor to Autosport and Motorsport News and writes her own blog about women in motorsport, Speedqueens.

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