Simms sets the pace

Benn Simms has placed his Reynard SF77 on pole for Saturday’s opening Formula Ford 2000 round with a ferocious time of 48.628s.

To put this into context, his time would have been enough to qualify sixth for the Formula Atlantic race, against much more powerful cars.

Simms set his time in the second of two qualifying sessions and to begin with, it looked as if Graham Fennymore would be on pole. The 2021 champion has made some improvements to his Reynard SF81 and was the quickest of the first group by about half a second from Lee Bankhurst’s Royale RP30.

Simms says that he has done very little to his car and he was even having trouble with his clutch. He credited his performance to a combination of the slightly warm track and cold ambient air benefiting his car’s engine.

Four-time champion Andrew Park will slot in behind the two session leaders. Park had barely sat in his SF81 since it broke down at Oulton Park last year, other than to deal with its misfire. Bankhurst will start alongside.

Drew Cameron’s Royale RP27 was only a fraction of a second behind Bankhurst and he will start from fifth. Ian Pearson will start next, having finished third in his session in his RP30, in front of Jason Redding, who was pleased to put his new Delta in seventh spot. 2020 champion Peter Drennan put his RP27 in eighth.

Andrew Storer’s new SF79 will give him a ninth place start, followed by Ian Foley in a Reynard SF78.

Ollie Roberts will start from eleventh on his FF2000 debut, driving another SF79, while 2021 Class B champion Fraser Collins will be 17th in his new RP30. Molly Dodd, in another RP27, was hampered in qualifying and will be looking to improve on 16th.

Brian Morris and Paul Allen are among a small number of dropouts this weekend, Morris due to needing to travel for work and Allen due to serious problems with his ex-Callum Grant Delta. This means that the qualification races each day have been cancelled.

Full results at TSL Timing

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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