Simms wins as Formula Ford 2000 (almost) goes the distance

The second Formula Ford 2000 race of the day went to Benn Simms, in a less disrupted race that almost went full-distance.

Simms got a great start in his yellow Reynard SF77 and had powered away from the rest of the field before the first lap was over. Even backmarkers could not stop his progress.

This left the main rivalry to be played out between Andrew Park and Graham Fennymore. Park, in his Reynard SF81, got the better start, partly due to Fennymore’s SF81 having a new clutch that bit a little too hard. However, Fennymore quickly caught Park and got himself ahead during the second lap. Backmarkers played a part in their race; Park was able to close up and get right on Fennymore’s tail when they were held up, but the tight circuit and the presence of the backmarkers themselves gave him no room to make a move. He came close on several occasions but Fennymore held out for second.

Ian Pearson, the first Royale driver home, had a much better race than yesterday in his RP30. He only took a few laps to overhaul Drew Cameron’s RP27, with Cameron admitting later that Pearson was simply the better driver on the day. Had the race not been stopped just before its 15 minutes were up, Pearson would have drawn level with Park and Fennymore.

Cameron weathered a challenge from Lee Bankhurst in his RP30, making good use of backmarkers to defend his position. Bankhurst was sixth, having passed Adrian Reynard’s SF79 mid-way through.

Reynard was still blowing off the cobwebs after a winter break and also getting used to a new car preparer in Simon Hadfield. He was eighth, behind the RP27 of Peter Drennan. Drennan had badgered Reynard earlier in the race and passed him during lap five.

Nathaniel Cooper got ahead of Andrew Storer this time for ninth place. The Royale RP27 driver picked off a struggling Storer at about half distance, after Storer’s SF79 was left behind by Drennan. Storer was tenth.

Ollie Roberts might have got into the top ten with another lap, but it wasn’t to be. Having helped Brian Soule repair his Reynard SF79 and started from the back, he charged up the order, enjoying scraps with Anthony Thompson’s Reynard and Molly Dodd’s Royale on the way.

The race finished at fourteen minutes due to Gary Fletcher’s Delta T79 becoming stuck in the gravel at Paddock Hill.

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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