Fennymore conquers the rain

Graham Fennymore won a very wet second Formula Ford 2000 race in fine style, as Benn Simms’s charge from the back just fell short.

Changing weather brought mechanics to the assembly area, with many drivers, including Fennymore, opting to switch to wets. Even with new tyres, Fennymore’s Reynard SF81 was slow off the line, allowing Andrew Park’s similar car to lead the first part of the race, but he was soon back in front and left the rest of the pack standing. He credits his car’s balance for his win and he felt confident that he could hold off second-placed Simms, whose race was a different story completely.

Simms had looked set to gamble on dry tyres, but his Reynard SF77 dived into the pits at the last minute and had to start his race from there, at the back. He wasted no time in working his way up to 12th, then bided his time in sixth before striking for the podium and sweeping past Park.

His final obstacle was Ollie Roberts’s SF79, which he passed on the final lap. Roberts had got a superb start and was running confidently on the slippery circuit behind Park until Fennymore arrived and the pack shuffled. A slide as three broke for the lead meant he lost some ground to Fennymore, but he was now ahead of Park. He was third, his best result so far. Park, onthe other hand, was ruing his decision to stick with slicks.

Adrian Reynard’s experience showed as he was able to remain combative in his SF79, despite the awful conditions. A passing Simms helped him to leapfrog Park, who was fifth. Jen Ridgway’s SF78 was closing on Park in sixth, with Ridgway showing considerable pace and skill in the wet.

Adrian Langridge’s SF78 was next, a good way ahead of eighth-placed Brian Morris and ninth-placed Anthony Thompson, both in SF79s.

Drew Cameron (Royale RP27) was a fairly distant tenth, despite having started third. He had sorted out the clutch problems that marred his first race, but a mix-up in communication over which anti-roll bar needed seeing to led to a very hard-to-drive car.

Lee Bankhurst’s race was over before it even began; his RP30 pulled into the pits on the second green flag lap, ostensibly for tyres, but did not reappear. Peter Drennan appeared to have recovered well from a spin, having sorted out the electrics and water pump on his Royale RP27, but he was later disqualified, alongside Bernie Braden’s SF79. Drennan later explained that his exclusion was due to him going straight to the pits instead of parc ferme, as he needed to leave early in order to catch a flight.

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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