Classic Formula Ford FF2000 Historic Formula Ford HSCC round up

Qualifying roundup: all set for Donington drama

Qualifying for HSCC Formula Ford series has been a mix of familiarity and surprises, promising some dramatic races this afternoon and tomorrow.

The Trophy Trader/URS Classic Formula Ford championship was the first out and Cam Jackson wasted no time in putting his Winkelmann on pole. A shared session with Classic Formula 3 meant that opportunities for clear laps were limited, but most of the field managed to set a decent lap or two in the 1:16s.

Jordan Harrison has sorted out the suspension problems that scuppered his Cadwell chances and will line up second in his Lola T540E. Henry Chart’s Van Diemen RF81 has had a new engine after its Cadwell blow-up and he will start third, ahead of Samuel Harrison (Elden Mk8), who came very close to passing Jackson last time out. Rick Morris’s Royale RP29 was just a tenth slower in fifth and his Don Hardman Racing team-mate Stuart Kestenbaum was sixth, driving a Van Diemen RF79.

Historic qualifying was interrupted by a red flag; Cormac Flanagan crashed his newly rebuilt Alexis Mk14 into the wall after Roberts. Flanagan himself was uninjured by the car was not.

Jackson once again claimed pole but it was relatively tight at the top end of the grid, with late entry Tom McArthur less than half a second behind in Simon Hadfield’s Titan Mk8. Another late entry, the Merlyn Mk20 of Callum Grant, is about the same interval behind in third, ahead of the similar car of Horatio Fitz-Simon. Samuel Harrison pipped Matt Wrigley’s Merlyn to fifth place on the line, despite gearbox trouble. Wrigley was followed by Over 50 class leader Brian Morris’s Lola, with the Merlyn of Morris’s chief Over 50 rival Ross Drybrough snapping at his heels.

Graham Fennymore was the quickest out of two Formula Ford 2000 qualifying sessions. Group B was the faster of the two and Fennymore’s Reynard SF81 was the only car to get into the 1:12s. Ian Pearson’s Royale RP30 was second, followed by 2019 champion Andrew Park in his Reynard SF81 Newcomer Benn Tilley was fourth in Simon Ayliff’s Delta T80.

The big surprise in FF2000 was championship leader Benn Simms only managing sixth in Group A. Simms’s Reynard SF77 has had extensive work done to its engine and was down on power. Greg Robertson (Reynard RF79) was quickest in the group.

Full results at TSL Timing

Image courtesy of Richard Towler

Classic Formula Ford Historic Formula Ford HSCC News

Harrison to have another go at Jackson

Samuel Harrison will have four chances to overhaul Cam Jackson at Donington this weekend, as both drivers are set to contest both the Historic and Classic Formula Ford championships.

Jackson, driving his Winkelmann, was increasingly challenged by Harrison’s Elden at Cadwell and victory was only assured when Harrison had an off in the last race of the weekend.

Harrison’s cause in Historic will be helped by the continuing absence of Linton Stutely, whose Royale RP3 is still undergoing repairs after an accident at Silverstone. Tom McArthur, another frontrunner, is also sitting out the Donington races, as is 2018 championship challenger Ben Mitchell.

Slightly further down the grid, Scott Rawlinson’s Merlyn is still being rebuilt after a dramatic testing crash on a wet track at Cadwell.

On the Classic side, Jordan Harrison (Lola T540E) will be looking to make up for a recurring suspension problem at Cadwell. Henry Chart’s Van Diemen RF81 blew an engine last time out, but he is back on the entry list and will be in the mix with Jackson.

Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Jackson wins again as Harrison’s challenge falters

Cam Jackson has competed a clean sweep of Formula Ford 1600 wins at the HSCC Wolds Trophy after his chief challenger Samuel Harrison retired from the last race.

Harrison, 17, had been matching Jackson’s pace in his Elden Mk8 all weekend and had set the fastest lap of the race, but he retired from a strong second place on lap 4 and handed Winkelmann driver Jackson his fourth win of the weekend at his home track. Harrison was attempting a pass on Jackson but backed out as Jackson hadn’t seen him, sending his car on to the grass where the nose dug in.

If the win seemed a dead cert after Harrison’s demise, then the rest of the field was determined to provide some unpredictability. Classic Team Merlyn’s Horatio Fitz-Simon was second, having passed Matt Wrigley in his Merlyn Mk11A/20 in the opening laps. Fitz-Simon was gaining somewhat on Jackson towards the end as he was doing a good job of avoiding backmarkers, but Jackson was too quick.

Wrigley’s race started indifferently and he lost a couple of places from his third on the grid. He had a tussle with Ross Drybrough’s Merlyn Mk20 midway through the race and passed the English-based Scotsman in the closing laps for fourth. Drybrough had to make do with fifth and Over 50s winner; his chief class rival Brian Morris retired his Lola T202 on the opening lap. Paul Unsworth’s Lola had also been part of this group but he too retired on lap 7.

In front of Wrigley and Drybrough was Danny Stanzl’s Elden Mk8. He scored his debut podium of the season after a nightmare first race; a very near miss with a backmarker dropped him to the back of the chasing pack. This time, he kept ahead of Wrigley and Drybrough and kept out of trouble, and was not far off the pace of Fitz-Simon.

Tim Brise was sixth in another Mk20, ahead of Kevin Stanzl’s Crossle 16F, which had qualified in 12th place. Alex Meek’s Merlyn was next, having been right at the back at one point early on. Chris Porritt, in another Merlyn, was ninth on the line, only a few tenths behind Meek. George Ditchfield completed the top ten in his Elden.

Full results at TSL Timing

Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Harrison makes it tough at the top for Jackson

Cam Jackson won the first of this weekend’s two HSCC Historic Formula Ford races, but a new challenger kept him looking in his mirrors.

Samuel Harrison was right on the tailpipe of Jackson’s Winkelmann from the start and stubbornly refused to let Jackson dominate. His Elden Mk8 was almost as quick as the Winkelmann and the leading pair were more than 30s ahead of the rest of the field by the time the chequered flag came out. Harrison was rarely more than 0.6s away from his rival until the closing laps, when Jackson pulled out a lead of almost 2s over the Yorkshire teenager.

Matt Wrigley was third in his dark-green Merlyn Mk11A/20, having passed Horatio Fitz-Simon’s Merlyn Mk20 on the final lap. Wrigley had come out on top of a lengthy scrum just outside the podium positions, led at different times by Brian Morris (Lola T202), Danny Stanzl’s Elden and Fitz-Simon. The number 56 Merlyn of Fitz-Simon appeared to be having a few issues; he dropped to fifth on the second lap after starting third and only fighting back late on, to then be overtaken by Wrigley.

Stanzl was also unlucky, having worked his way to the front of the group and run as high as third, only to be passed by Morris and left behind. Over 50 class winner Morris was fifth and Stanzl sixth.

Ross Drybrough was seventh in his Merlyn Mk20. He ran well at Cadwell last year and ran his own race, just ahead of Tim Brise (Merlyn Mk20) in eighth. Alex Meek, in a Merlyn Mk20A, was ninth, having passed Kevin Stanzl’s Crossle and benefited from the retirement of Glenn Eagling’s distinctive green Lotus 61MX. Stanzl Senior was twelfth, behind Jeremy Caine in Neil Fowler’s Lola T200.

Full results at TSL Timing

Classic Formula Ford FF2000 Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Cadwell Park Wolds Trophy: qualifying round-up

Qualifying for all HSCC Formula Ford categories is now done at Cadwell, with some familiar faces on top and some surprises.

Cam Jackson is out again in his Winkelmann for both Historic and Classic Formula Ford and qualified on pole both times, but was not quite on his usual dominant form. Henry Chart will line up second in Classic less than half a second slower, although he had engine trouble with his Van Diemen RF81 towards the end of the session. Jordan Harrison (Lola T504E) is another couple of tenths behind in third, setting up an interesting opening lap.

Samuel Harrison will start fourth in his Class B Elden Mk8, ahead of 2019 champion Rick Morris’s Royale RP21.

The session was interrupted by a red flag after a collision at the Hairpin between the Alexis of Robin Haslam and the Van Diemen RF78 of Ben Hadfield. This has left several drivers with only a few laps under their belts.

Historic Formula Ford 2000 has a massive entry and two heats will be held later today. Benn Simms was the quickest from two qualifying sessions in his Reynard SF77, ahead of Andrew Park, who topped the second qualifying session in a Reynard SF81. His fellow SF81 driver Graham Fennymore was third quickest and these three were the only ones to go under the 1:31 mark. Murray Shepherd, the sole Classic FF2000 entry in Tony Hancock’s Van Diemen RF82, was fifth in the first session.

Jackson was predictably the quickest of the Historic FF1600 drivers, but again, he was kept relatively honest by his rivals this time and only did three laps. In the absence of Linton Stutely, whose Royale RP3 is still being repaired after its Silverstone shunt, Samuel Harrison qualified second. Harrison, who ran well at this circuit last year, will be looking to make up for the disappointment of losing out due to a crash with Mike Gardner.

Horatio Fitz-Simon, driving for Classic Team Merlyn, was another driver who only got three laps in, but they were good for third on the grid. Brian Morris (Lola T202) and Danny Stanzl’s Elden are up next, with Matt Wrigley’s Merlyn just a thousandth of a second slower than Stanzl.

Full qualifying results at TSL Timing

Image copyright Shaws Motorsport

Features Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Stanzl’s spare car

Before the rules changed, it used to be fairly common for Formula 1 drivers to jump into a spare car when theirs was damaged in practice. It isn’t such a common occurrence in Historic Formula Ford.

Championship regular Kevin Stanzl had a nightmare qualifying for the Silverstone International Trophy; his Merlyn Mk20 had an engine blow-up, breaking a crank before he even completed a lap.

This could easily be the end of his weekend, but Stanzl took a chance on fetching another car he had at home.

The Crossle 16F had been in the garage since last year’s Oulton Park races and was far from ready to run. It was also in Woking.

“It was an hour and half drive, then get the car prepped, get the ratios changed, set it up,” explained Stanzl.

This was all done in less than a day and he was back at Silverstone late on Saturday evening.

“The gearing needed doing, the brakes needed sorting out, the wheels, tyres, getting it off its stand, check through it quickly, and we’re here.

“It was a bit of work! Then got it in the van, got back here and then begged, and borrowed to get out and do my practice laps.”

The car was now ready for Race 2, but qualifying was long gone. Luckily, a way was found for Stanzl to get on the grid.

“They let me out for two laps, then the third lap was the green flag lap, so then I could race.”

Stanzl came from the back of the grid to finish 22nd in Race 2.

Image by Dan Bichener

Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Jackson wins as Mitchell makes his podium comeback

Cam Jackson has won the second HSCC Historic Formula Ford race in dominant style, but Ben Mitchell was a worthy runner-up on his return to the series.

The sight of Jackson’s black Winkelmann screaming away into the distance is now a familiar one and the double champion still won despite easing off with sub-optimal tyres.

Jackson may have been eight seconds ahead of Mitchell’s Merlyn Mk20, but Mitchell won his own battle against the similar Merlyn of Horatio Fitz-Simon fair and square. Mitchell, who had started from fifth after a first-race spin, quickly made his way to the front of the main pack, passing Callum Grant’s Merlyn and Linton Stutely’s Royale RP3. A confident Fitz-Simon sneaked past repeatedly and even held second place going into the final lap, but Mitchell took ruthless advantage of a small mistake to overcome his younger rival by a tenth of a second.

Close finishes were a theme in this race. Fourth-placed Dominik Jackson (Lotus 59) was granted his spot by just a single thousandth of a second ahead of Callum Grant’s Merlyn. The pair had been scrapping closely for much of the race and it could have gone either way on the last lap. Grant, who was running on used tyres, got a fierce start and challenged Cam Jackson for the first lap, but he was unable to match Jackson’s pace. He was not helped much by his proximity to an accident that dumped Stutely out of the race on lap 3. Stutely’s Royale had been down on power out of the corners and dropped a few places, but Samuel Harrison’s over-enthusiasm into Club spun Stutely off and into retirement with a bent steering rack. Dominik Jackson and Grant, who were in the pack, escaped unscathed but Harrison’s Elden had a crooked nosecone and he dropped down the order. He was able to carry on and finish 15th.

Another big fight was raging just behind. Will Nuthall came out on top from a four-way tussle with Danny Stanzl (Elden Mk8), Matt Wrigley’s Merlyn and Brian Morris in the Lola T202. Nuthall’s Jamun led over the line but all four had had their turn in front. Stanzl looked to have the advantage, but Nuthall’s patience played off and Stanzl ended up at the back of the group in ninth, behind Wrigley and Morris, who claimed the Over 50s win.

Ross Drybrough was tenth in his Merlyn and second Over 50 driver. He was just ahead of Max Bartell in Drybrough’s March 709. Bartell had retired from Race 1 with a sheared gear and had started right at the back.

Sam Mitchell was hoping to challenge in his Merlyn, but a crack in the gearbox housing meant he had to withdraw. Simon Toyne’s Lola T200 was also missing from the grid.

Full results at TSL Timing

Images copyright Dan Bichener

Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Jackson wins the race but Grant wins the slipstreaming battle

Cam Jackson took another runaway win at the Silverstone International Trophy, but the biggest on-track battle was for second and third.

Callum Grant steered his orange Merlyn Mk20 to second place on the final lap after winning an exciting slipstreaming contest with Classic Team Merlyn’s Horatio Fitz-Simon and Linton Stutely (Royale RP3).

Ben Mitchell, driving another Merlyn, had looked like the winner of this particular skirmish and almost challenged Jackson at the start, passing Stutely for second and building up a gap, but he was caught by the chasing group and then dropped right to the back of it by a last-lap spin. He recovered to take fifth, just in front of brother Sam in the Merlyn he shares with his father, Westie.

Fitz-Simon, who had been hoping for rain, proved impressive on the drying, warming track, passing first Grant, then Stutely, with whom he vied for the lead of the chasing pack. Grant quickly got involved and turned it into a three-way contest, before Mitchell was caught and made it four. Grant made the most of the International circuit’s slipstreaming possibilities and held second place over the line, four-tenths ahead of Fitz-Simon and with Stutely a little further back, having had to avoid a rotating Mitchell.

Dominik Jackson had started from fourth but dropped back fairly quickly. He lost ground to a recovering Sam Mitchell and had some good scraps with the likes of Will Nuthall (Jamun T2) and Samuel Harrison (Elden Mk8). Harrison, free of the oil line problems that affected his qualifying, was seventh, with a combative Danny Stanzl in another Elden behind, having overhauled Jackson, who was ninth. Nuthall dropped to 12th, behind the Lolas of Simon Toyne and Brian Morris.

Morris won the Over 50 honours with his 11th place. Class leader Ross Drybrough did not have the same pace as in qualifying and his Merlyn Mk20 took him to 15th. Matt Wrigley (Merlyn Mk11A/20) was another driver who found it hard going. He admitted that his car’s rear end felt twitchy and he had already had a scare with a master cylinder during qualifying.

It was a race mercifully free of incident, apart from Max Bartell retiring the March 709 early on as it was “making a strange noise”.

Full results from TSL Timing

Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Jackson seconds ahead at Silverstone

Cam Jackson has qualified on pole for Saturday’s Historic Formula Ford more than two seconds ahead of anyone else.

Winkelmann driver and multi-champion Jackson set his time fairly early on in the session, before pockets of traffic slowed his rivals down.

Linton Stutely will line up second in his green-and-white Royale RP3. Stutely’s times were in the lower reaches of the top five for much of the 20-minute quali, but he got himself clear of Horatio Fitz-Simon’s Merlyn Mk20 towards the end and leapfrogged Fitz-Simon, who will start fifth, and several others. Once Fitz-Simon was behind Stutely he had some trouble getting through traffic and couldn’t regain his place. This was the case for several drivers after Samuel Harrison’s Elden Mk8 ruptured a line and dropped oil on the back of the track.

Returning driver Ben Mitchell was third quickest, driving the Merlyn Mk20 that almost took him to the 2018 title. He was relatively consistent and will look to challenge the front-runners. Brother Sam, in the Mitchell family Mk20, could only manage 17th due to some engine trouble and will be hoping to charge through the pack.

Dominik Jackson, part of another sibling duo with Cam Jackson, was fourth, driving a Lotus 59, ahead of Fitz-Simon and Callum Grant, who maintained steady pace for sixth spot on the grid.

Eighth-placed Ross Drybrough (Merlyn Mk20) leads the Over 50 charge, some way behind Matt Wrigley’s Merlyn Mk11A/20. Drybrough’s other car, the March 709 previously driven by Cam Jackson, will start tenth in the hands of Max Bartell. Another returning driver, Will Nuthall, was ninth in a Jamun T2.

Full qualifying results at TSL Timing

Image by Dan Bichener

Historic Formula Ford HSCC News

Huge Historic grid expected for Silverstone

The HSCC Historic Formula Ford championship will field an impressive grid of almost 40 cars for the Silverstone International Trophy.

The provisional entry list, released earlier today, has 39 cars on it, including early championship front-runners Cam Jackson (Winkelmann) and Linton Stutely (Royale RP3). Tom MacArthur, who was in the mix at Snetterton, is not down to race, but Callum Grant is going to be out in his Merlyn Mk20 and will be able to renew his rivalry with 2018 championship contender Ben Mitchell, also in a Merlyn for the first time since the 2020 Walter Hayes Trophy.

The exhaust troubles that put Sam Mitchell out of the running at Snetterton appear to have been dealt with and he will go up against his brother for the first time in several seasons, driving the family Merlyn.

A notable new face on the grid is BTCC racer and team owner Shaun Hollamby, who has owned his Jamun T3 for a while now and is set to race it in anger on the International circuit.

Among the familiar returning names is former championsip chairman Dick Dixon, whose yellow Lotus 61 has been absent for a while.

On-track action starts with qualifying at 9am on Saturday 22nd May. Race 1 is scheduled for 12:45.