Classic Formula Ford HSCC News

What do you get when you cross a Crossle with a Royale?

Richard Tarling was not in his usual Royale RP26 at Silverstone this weekend, although the car looked similar from the outside.

He had noticed that there was something not right with the car during Friday testing and set about rectifying the problem with Enigma boss Linton Stutely, but a more drastic solution was needed than first thought, with the sister car of Steve Deeks plus some extra parts being called into action.

“We’re not 100% sure, but we think the chassis is broken somewhere,” says Tarling about his original car.

“When the car’s loaded up in the longer corners, it feels like the back end of the car’s not connected to the front.

“It was then affecting the engine, basically binding up the cranks which then makes it slow. And it can damage the engine badly, so we didn’t really want to take the risk.”

At first, a fix was tried on the Royale.

“We tried to weld some bars into the engine bay but really, it all needs to come apart and start again.”

Luckily, Steve Deeks, also making some appearances for Enigma this year, was also doing some testing in his Crossle 25F.

“Steve’s car was here,” says Tarling. “I drove it for a couple of laps at the end of the day just to see what it was like. The engine in it is a bit unknown, so we decided to put Linton’s engine [from his Historic Royale RP3] in it, and drive that.”

Neither Deeks not Stutely had planned to compete that weekend, which cleared a way for Tarling to take his place on the grid, but there were other smaller issues which nevertheless needed sorting, once the Royale’s bodywork had been tweaked to fit and added.

“I’m driving on a cushion, in Steve’s seat,” admits Tarling, who is smaller than Deeks. A lurking Deeks asked that the comments that followed were not published.

“We finished it at three o’clock in the morning, or we didn’t finish it really, but got it together at three in the morning.”

A few gremlins still needed to be defeated on Saturday morning, as there were problems with timing.

“We had some issues in qualifying. I’m surprised we were as high up as we were.”

After qualifying seventh, Tarling was fifth in both races.

(Image copyright HSCC)

Classic Formula Ford HSCC

Jackson wins in orange

Cam Jackson secured another win on a damp track in Classic Formula Ford, despite having to borrow a car and start from the back.

Jackson, whose Winkelmann was badly damaged in yesterday’s Historic race, borrowed a Lola T200 from his Neil Fowler Motorsport team-mate. He has previously raced a T200 with great success and wasted little time in getting to the front, gaining ten places in the first lap and then slotting in to the leading group, even after a loss of momentum due to a short safety car period. Joe Ahrens had come off the track in his Van Diemen RF80 and needed recovery.

With a track getting progressively wetter, slipstreaming turned into sliding and spinning near the front. Both Jackson and his brother Dominik Jackson, driving a Crossle, benefitted from spins by Henry Chart’s Van Diemen RF81 and Tom McArthur’s Merlyn Mk20. The siblings approached Chart and McArthur together and capitalised first on McArthur’s misfortune, then Chart spinning. Both fought back, but McArthur going wide and Chart spinning again on the final lap in quick succession let the orange Jackson Lola get away. The Jackson Crossle was second, despite its driver having a big spin of his own at Village. McArthur stayed in touch for third and Chart was fourth.

Jordan Harrison has a well-known dislike of wet tracks and he surrendered his pole position fairly quickly in favour of McArthur and Chart. His Lola T504E was passed for fifth place late on by Richard Tarling’s Royale-bodied Crossle hybrid. It took a while for Tarling to get into his groove and he had to fend off James Rigby’s Royale RP26, then Ben Tinkler in his Van Diemen RF80 before attacking Harrison. He was fifth, in front of sixth-placed Harrison and Rigby in seventh, but Tinkler was overtaken by Peter Barrable in another RP26 and had to settle for ninth. Rick Morris was tenth, having settled his Royale in that position fairly early in the race.

A quartet of Van Diemens followed, with James Fettiplace’s RF80 in 11th after yesterday’s disqualification disappointment, Stuart Kestenbaum’s RF81 12th, Alan Fincham in another RF80 13th and Ben Hadfield’s 1978 car a little further back in 14th.

Full results at TSL Timing

Classic Formula Ford HSCC

Jackson and Chart back up to speed in Classic

Cam Jackson has won the first Classic Formula Ford race of the weekend, holding off a charging Jordan Harrison after a four-car pack thinned to two.

Jackson, driving his familiar Class B Winkelmann, was pressured but never really in danger during the nine-lap race, although Harrison’s Lola T540E was gaining on him by the end.

Harrison, who had started second, did get close and was also embroiled in his own battle with returning driver Henry Chart, a racewinner in 2021. Chart, with his ex-Tim Harvey Van Diemen RF81 now painted battleship grey, did get the better of Harrison in the middle of the race when they had a lively tussle for second, but dropping behind Harrison and Tom McArthur’s Merlyn Mk20 cost him towards the end. He did well to overhaul McArthur on the final lap, grabbing the last podium spot by 0.013s.

After problems with a loose exhaust in qualifying, McArthur had a lot to do in the opening laps, but he worked his way from eleventh to fourth quickly. He set the fastest lap of the race and briefly took third from Chart, but he was unable to catch the leaders. For most of the race, he was followed by Ben Tinkler’s Van Diemen RF80, but spinning on a patch of oil dropped Tinkler down the order. He regained a few places to finish ninth.

Richard Tarling, in his improvised hybrid Crossle, was fifth, having had a good scrap with Rick Morris’s Royale early on. Morris was still snapping at his heels when the chequered flag came out. Joe Ahrens’s Van Diemen RF80 had been with them at the start, but he had to retire as his car’s engine cover had come loose.

A bit further back, the elder Jackson brother, Dominik, was seventh in a Crossle 20F, having won a minor skirmish with Peter Barrable’s Royale RP26. Barrable was eighth, ahead of Tinkler, who had Simon Toyne’s Lola behind him and the Royale RP26 of James Rigby only a few tenths further back.

Full results at TSL Timing

Classic Formula Ford FF2000 Historic Formula Ford HSCC round up

Close contests promised at Silverstone: qualifying roundup

Three close competitions are on the cards for HSCC Formula Ford this weekend.

Classic Formula Ford 1600 was the first series to go out and the chase for the top starting spot quickly crystallised between Cam Jackson’s Class B Winkelmann and defending champion Jordan Harrison in his Lola. It was close until the later laps, when Jackson pulled out a huge one-second advantage which Harrison was unable to top. Henry Chart will start third on his season debut, his Van Diemen RF81 tucked in behind the leaders and only two-tenths slower than Harrison. Late entry Ben Tinkler’s RF80 is just another couple of tenths further back, with Rick Morris (Royale RP29) running strongly in fifth, despite having an engine with a lot of miles on it.

Richard Tarling weathered huge drama to qualify sixth, having to substitute his Royale for Steve Deeks’s sister car overnight, hastily fitted with Linton Stutely’s engine. Another RP26 driven by Robert Barrable follows, then Joe Ahrens’s RF80 and Simon Toyne in his orange Lola. Tom McArthur could only manage eleventh spot in Mandie Hadfield’s Merlyn Mk20, as he had trouble with a loose exhaust.

Formula Ford 2000 followed in quick succession and it was Graham Fennymore who was on pole this time, putting his Reyanrd SF81 ahead of Benn Simms’s SF77 by the tiniest of margins. Fennymore has managed to sort the clutch issues that have affected his starts and he admits that allowing Simms past him in qualifying meant he could follow his lines and gain a sneaky advantage.

Royale honours are upheld by Drew Cameron, who put his RP27 in third spot, about half a second behind Simms. Graham Ridgway’s Reynard SF78 will be hin hot pursuit as the two were setting very similar times.

A season’s-best fifth place start for Ollie Roberts has put the SF79 driver in a confident mood. Sixth-placed Andrew Park is normally further up the grid, but the power on his SF81 kept cutting out. He was only six-thousandths ahead of Andrew Storer’s Pukka Pies SF79.

Lee Bankhurst’s RP30 was the second Royale in eighth, ahead of Adrian Reynard’s SF79 and Peter Drennan, whose Royale RP27 is a late entry.

Jackson scored another dominant pole for the first Historic race, in the same Winkelmann, after only four laps. Ben Mitchell, who had a fierce rivalry for the 2018 championship with Jackson, will line up next to him in his Merlyn Mk20. McArthur, whose Titan Mk4 was running better than the Merlyn, will be with them and looking to continue his own ferocious rivalry with Jackson. He also settled on a time early, leaving the track after four laps.

Classic Team Merlyn driver Samule Harrison will start from fourth and will almost certainly stay with the leading trio, hopefully setting up a good slipstreaming contest. Simon Toyne (Lola T200) and newcomer Jamie Vinall-Meyer in a Jamun T3 were similarly close.

Dominik Jackson (Crossle 20F) lines up seventh, with Rob Smith (Merlyn Mk20) as the leading Over 50 driver in eighth. An extremely close string of cars are almost tied for the remainder of the top ten, with defending Over 50 champion Brian Morris’s Lola next, then 18-year-old Tom Pearson snatching the last top ten spot in his Merlyn. Just missing out are Chris Porritt’s Merlyn and Ross Drybrough, who has happy with 12th in his March.

Full results at TSL Timing

Classic Formula Ford FF2000 Historic Formula Ford HSCC Uncategorized

More champions return: Silverstone International Trophy preview

If Snetterton was all about new leading packs in the HSCC Formula Ford championships, the Silverstone International Trophy is all about previous winners coming back to claim their positions at the front.

Cam Jackson is due to make his Formula Ford 1600 debut for 2022, bringing out his Winkelmann for both the Historic and Classic races after experimenting with Formula Ford 2000 power. He will be renewing his rivalry with Tom McArthur, who will also contest both championships. In Classic, he will be up against another returning winner from last year, Henry Chart, who is also making his first appearance of 2022. Both Chart and 2021 champion Jordan Harrison were able to give Jackson a run for his money in 2021. Richard Tarling will be hoping to have got on top of the teething problems with his Royale that meant he was not able to keep up with Harrison. His Engima team-mate, Joe Ahrens, will be close by, waiting to capitalise on any mistakes.

As well as a confident McArthur, with his Snetterton wheel hub woes firmly behind him, Jackson will have Samuel Harrison to deal with in the two Historic races. Now driving a Classic Team Merlyn Mk20, Harrison will be able to put up a consistent challenge this year. Another Merlyn driver, Ben Mitchell, is coming back to Historics after a break. He took the title battle down to the line against Jackson and Callum Grant in 2018 and always runs well at Silverstone. Having posted top-ten finishes against modern cars in the Castle Combe championship last week, he is not lacking in practice.

With Danny Stanzl’s Elden absent and Matt Wrigley racing in Monaco, Brian Morris’s likely second-group sparring partner will be his Over 50 championship rival, Rob Smith. Simon Toyne’s Lola will likely be joining them.

Newcomers include Britcar racer Jamie Vinall-Meyer in a Jamun T3. Vinall-Meyer showed great pace at the Walter Hayes Trophy a couple of years ago and he could well challenge for podium places.

Dominik Jackson, brother of Cam, will be doubling up in both championships like his brother and McArthur, driving a Crossle 20F. Other double entries for Historic and Classic include Freddie Lillingstone-Price in a Merlyn Mk11.

Andrew Park is back in action in FF2000, meaning that Benn Simms and Graham Fennymore will be looking over their shoulders again. Simms has seemed invincible so far, but the season is still in its early stages and one slip-up can change the direction of any meeting. Fennymore has had time to smooth out new-season issues with his Reynard and will want to make up for his Snetterton troubles. Park, who is not doing the full season, is under less pressure to perform and will perhaps be more relaxed at the start. Without the axle failure that dumped him out of the second Snetterton race, Drew Cameron will not be far off.

It will be an almost all-Reynard grid for the first time in a while, with Cameron among four Royale drivers. Geoff Pashley’s T81 is the sole Delta out and there is one Merlyn Mk28, driven by Antony Raine.

Classic Formula Ford Features HSCC

Meet Philip Senior

This Classic Formula Ford newcomer finally got to make a proper debut at Snetterton and he’s hoping for many more outings to come.

“I think Richard and I have got over that,” says Philip Senior of the crash that ended his Formula Ford debut last year before it even started. His Royale RP24 had a coming-together with Richard Yeomans’s Crossle at the Silverstone Finals, but the two now share paddock space happily.

Senior was a relatively late starter in motorsport, having only ever done arrive and drive karting before his 2021 debut, and he got support from another late starter via a coincidence.

“I work with Sophia, Jordan Harrison’s wife,” he explains.

“She overheard a chance conversation saying that I was going to do my ARDS test, and I should talk to Jordan. He convinced me to do a test, which turned into a race and buying my own car.

“For years, I’d talked about going up into cars from karts. I thought about doing the Ford Ka endurance series.”

As a London dweller, Senior had a logistical problem with beginning a career as an owner-driver.

“I’d got nowhere to store a car and nowhere to work on it. But I decided to do my ARDS test and get it over with.”

His goals for the season are modest: top-ten finishes would represent a goal achieved.

He will not be out at Silverstone, as he is expecting to become a father very soon, but he will be back later in the year.

Classic Formula Ford Features HSCC

Champion’s chat: Jordan Harrison

Jordan Harrison started his Classic Formula Ford title defence with a pair of wins at Snetterton. Vintage Formula Ford spoke to him and asked about the keys to his success.

Harrison is modest about his domination of the Snetterton races, quick to point out that his rivals’ problems and mistakes contributed to his wins. Tom McArthur suffered a damaged wheel hub, dropping him to sixth, while others tripped each other up.

“I was fortunate because I had a bit of a race with Tom {McArthur} at the start, but I got a really good tow and a good couple of laps, then they were squabbling. I don’t really know whether they were showing their true pace, because they were swapping places.”

He also credits the Shaws Motorsport team that looks after his car for getting it how he likes it and allowing him to challenge so strongly.

“We’ve made the car a bit more pointy and I can cope with it better. It is faster, even though it isn’t quite as comfortable.”

He has also improved as a driver. Harrison is actually quite inexperienced, with only four seasons of racing under his belt, usually in the Lola T540E that he races alongside his father, Mark, who has raced a Royale RP21 since 2021.

“We pulled the car out of the garage in 2015 and we first tested it in ’16, and then we went racing in ’18. I did a couple of races and we shared the car in ’18 and ’19. Then 2020, I raced the Royale RP21 for half the year and last year I raced the Lola.”

31-year-old Harrison did not have a typical motorsport childhood of karting either, despite having a father who was active in the sport.

“I did a little bit of karting at university, but I played rugby and other stuff.”

He still works with his father on their cars.

“He’s retired now, so he’s got more time!”

Both Jordan and Mark Harrison will be racing all season in the Classic championship.

Image courtesy of Andrew Ellis

Classic Formula Ford HSCC

Harrison leads four-way thriller

Jordan Harrison has won the second Classic Formula Ford race of the weekend in dramatic style, thwarting a three-sided attack from Tom McArthur, Richard Tarling and Ben Tinkler.

Harrison’s Lola T540 has been the fastest car in the Classic pack all weekend and it was something of a surprise when McArthur’s Class B Merlyn nosed alongside Harrison at the start. The two of them were side by side into Riches and furiously challenging each other for the opening two laps.

Eventually, they tripped each other up and Tarling took a chance in his Royale RP26, towing Ben Tinkler’s Van Diemen RF80 with him. Harrison bided his time, running in the leading back but as low as fifth. It was a plan that paid off; once the time and place were right, he surged past Tarling and Tinkler and quickly pulled out a significant gap.

McArthur was then caught in a slipstreaming contest with Joe Ahrens’s Van Diemen RF80, Rick Morris’s Royale and the distincitive Lola of Jake Shortland. Shortland pulled off near the start-finish line with evident mechanical problems, reducing their group to three. The number decreased but the intensity did not, with Ahrens making increasing incursions into the territory of Morris and McArthur. He eventually prevailed, finishing fourth. Morris was fifth, ahead of McArthur, who received a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits. This did not affect his final finshing position.

Philip Senior was a lonely seventh in a red Royale RP24. Some way behind him, Oliver Chapman’s Lola T200 and James Rigby’s “Jesus Saves” Royale RP26 were engaged in a race-long scuffle. Rigby prevailed, but only by a tenth of a second. Alan Fincham (Van Diemen RF80) rounded out the top ten.

The lower of the field had its own rivalries present. Stuart Kestenbaum, driving a Van Diemen RF81, was 11th, and led home a second slipstreaming pack of Ben Hadfield’s 1978 Van Diemen, Mark Harrison’s green RP24 and Richard Yeomans in his Crossle 25F.

Full results at TSL Timing

Classic Formula Ford HSCC

Harrison wins as McArthur and Tarling squabble

Jordan Harrison cruised away into the distance to win this weekend’s first Classic Formula Ford race, leaving Tom McArthur and Richard Tarling to push hard for second.

Harrison’s Lola T540E was never challenged for the lead and his win soon became a foregone conclusion. He got a good start and was quickly lapping in the 2:04s, over a second faster than than his nearest rivals.

He was impressive, but the biggest drama grew from the rivalry between McArthur, in a Class B Merlyn Mk20, and Tarling, driving a Royale RP26 for the first time in anger this year. The two tried different lines around each other, with both holding the lead at different times as Harrison got away. McArthur took the lead going into the final lap after Tarling appeared to have repelled him and although he was never more than a whisker away from McArthur’s car, he could not get past. McArthur was just 0.2s ahead on the line.

Tarling had the additional challenge of defending from Ben Tinkler towards the end. Tinkler, driving his red Van Diemen RF80, leapfrogged the Lola T440 of the struggling Jake Shortland on the first lap and gradually insinuated himself into the chasing group, coming very close to making a serious attack that Tarling had to head off. The gap between him and Tarling was even smaller than the tiny interval between McArthur and Tarling.

A furious race-within-a-race for fifth followed, contested by Rick Morris in his Royale RP29, the RF80 of Joe Ahrens and Shortland, who missed a gear at the start and dropped from fourth to seventh. Morris and Ahrens were particularly gung-ho and both took turns at leading their group, but it was Morris who was at the front at the right time and he was fifth, from sixth-placed Ahrens. Shortland dropped back in the closing laps, but he had had a go at both Ahrens and Morris previously.

The rest of the field was spread out. Philip Senior’s Royale RP24 was a lonely eighth, with the RF80 of Alan Fincham some way behind. Fincham had broken free of a midfield drafting pack involving Stuart Kestenbaum’s RF81 and an improving Richard Yeomans, driving a Crossle. Kestenbaum was tenth and Yeomans eleventh.

Class B driver Oliver Chapman, in a Lola T200, was quick enough to run in the top ten but did not finish.

Full results at TSL Timing

(Image copyright Sophia Harrison/Shaws Motorsport)

Classic Formula Ford FF2000 Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Hot laps: Snetterton qualifying round-up

Qualifying for all three HSCC Formula Ford categories has finished at Snetterton, with some more super-fast laps and a few surprises.

Jordan Harrison managed to wrangle a Lola that wouldn’t downshift around the Norfolk track and set a superb 2:04.947 in the process. Thankfully he has until tomorrow to deal with the clutch in time for both Classic races.

Harrison’s nearest challengers were Richard Tarling in a Royale RP26 and Tom McArthur in a Merlyn Mk20, both more than a second adrift but close to each other. Second to seventh was covered by a second, with Jake Shortland’s Lola fourth, Ben Tinkler (Van Diemen RF80) fifth, Rick Morris sixth in his familair Royale and Joe Ahrens seventh in Tarling’s RF80.

Big pole times were also a theme again in Formula Ford 2000, with Benn Simms’s Reynard SF77 leading the way. This time, however, Graham Fennymore’s 1981 Reynard was little more than a tenth behind, despite not having enough grip earlier in the session.

Cam Jackson was happy with third in Simon Ayliff’s Delta, a little over a second back. Drew Cameron’s Royale RP27 was a further half-second behind and the two will be scrapping on the line.

A returning Graham Ridgway in another RP27 will start fifth, just ahead of another two late season starters, Stephen Glasswell and Brian Morris (both Reynard SF79).

In Historic Formula Ford, Tom McArthur put Simon Hadfield’s Titan on pole by 0.054s from Samuel Harrison in a Classic Team Merlyn Mk20. Setting up a fantastic first lap, Callum Grant’s Merlyn Mk20 is close on the tail of Harrison, just 0.37s further back.

Simon Toyne will be pleased with fourth on the grid in his Lola T200, as will his Neil Fowler Motorsport team-mate Brian Morris, who will start in fifth and as the first Over 50 driver. Matt Wrigley (Merlyn Mk11A/20) and Danny Stanzl in his newly repainted Elden Mk8 are extremely close in sixth and seventh. Tom Pearson, some way back in father Ted’s Merlyn Mk11/17, enjoys his best-ever qualifying in eighth.

Full results at TSL Timing