Historic Formula Ford’s newest upstart almost walked away from motorsport; what is it about old cars that’s brought him back?
The young Jamun driver has previous experience in a Classic Team Merlyn car at the 2020 Walter Hayes Trophy and was soon right near the front at Silverstone. He was completely unfazed by going up against the likes of Cam Jackson and Tom McArthur, with whom he tangled in Race 2.
“I was supposed to be racing in something else and that fell through” explains Vinall-Meyer. “I did a bit of Britcar and this year I was supposed to be racing in Pragas. But that…”
Here, he tails off. A possible drive with Classic Team Merlyn had also been shelved and Vinall-Meyer, still only in his early 20s, was getting disillusioned with motor racing.
A chance meeting with Pete Alexander changed that.
“I met Pete at the start of this year doing some instructing at Brands Hatch.
“It’s lucky I’m not doing that (the Praga series) because I’m now racing with Pete. Back doing this.
The rare Jamun T3 he is racing this year often appeared on entry lists last year alongside Shaun Hollamby’s name, but the BTCC racer only made one actual outing in it.
“It’s Pete’s car. Shaun Hollamby raced it at the Festival last year. It’s been stored and not touched until we took it out a few months ago. Today we decided to go racing with it, see what happens.”
As he only has one weekend’s racing in a Merlyn Mk20 and one meeting in the Jamun under his belt, Vinall-Meyer is still learning about the world of historic Formula Ford and how the different cars compare. He is full of admiration for Alexander’s Jamun, however.
“It’s a really lovely car and Pete has done the nicest job of getting it all ready. He’s worked really hard. It’s only been a few months, and he’s bascially turned it into a usable car, which is fantastic.
“There’s still a few things we need to do here and there to get it properly quick, but considering all that, we did fantastically. I can’t thank Peter enough.”
Now back on speaking terms with racing cars, Vinall-Meyer plans to contest selected rounds this year, with a view to a full season in 2023.