Fennymore puts Pearson in his place

Graham Fennymore has won another Formula Ford 2000 final at Brands Hatch, defeating polesitter Ian Pearson.

Fennymore started second in his Reynard SF81 and was right on the tail of Pearson’s Royale RP30 from the start. He sneaked past Pearson at Graham Hill Bend on the opening lap and kept his lead, despite Pearson’s best efforts. For most of the race, he shadowed Fennymore in his matching white car and it was only right at the end that the eventual winner was able to put any clean air between himself and his rival. It looked as if Fennymore was getting away at mid-distance, but Pearson re-attached himself, only to be shaken off at the end.

Andrew Storer, driving the “Pukka Pies” Reynard SF79, was third, some way behind the leading pair and never really challenged by the rest of the field, which was led by Molly Dodd. The Spalding teenager was looking to make up for her hefty penalty in her heat, which denied her a win in her Royale RP27. She was not able to catch Storer but she did a great job of seeing off Nick Haryett’s 1979 Reynard, which did threaten her early on. Haryett held fifth for a long time but was passed by a charging Jon Finch, whose SF79 needed major work between qualifying and today’s race after a crash. Finch did well to progress steadily from 11th, making his final push past Haryett and the SF79 of Stephen Glasswell, who was seventh.

The Royale RP27 of Nathaniel Cooper was eighth, some way ahead of Adrian Reynard. Reynard was another driver who made up many spots from a lowly qualifying position, taking his SF79 from 24th all the way to the top ten. Ian Foley was next in an SF78.

A lively midfield battle just behind the top ten was won by Jennifer Ridgway in another SF78, who got ahead of Roger Price’s Delta and Antony Raine’s Merlyn. Raine was the Class B winner.

Full results at TSL Timing

Image courtesy of Richard Towler

Classic Formula Ford HSCC

Jackson defeats the rain

Cam Jackson has capitalised on a late entry in to the Classic championship with a win in the first race at Brands Hatch.

Jackson had qualified his Winkelmann in second place but got a good start and was never seriously challenged for the win. Henry Chart also got a great start in his Van Diemen RF81 and held second for the entire race, which was cut to twelve minutes after a full restart.

Jordan Harrison was hoping for a better restart after slipping to fifth in his Lola T540E, but wet tracks are not his favourite and he was left behind again, passed by Jackson and Chart on the line and then reeled in by first Ben Tinkler (Van Diemen RF80) and Rick Morris in his familiar black Royale. He ended the race in fifth.

Tinkler was a lonely but safe third in his first Classic race for a long while. The erstwhile champion took third within a lap of the restart and stayed there. Morris had more work to do, having slipped down the order as low as seventh before using his considerable experience to master the wet track.

Experience was really needed on the wet-but-not-really-wet surface, coupled with backmarkers from the Historic Formula 3 championship. Stuart Kestenbaum followed Harrison home for sixth in his Van Diemen RF79, in front of a disappointed Joe Ahrens (Van Diemen RF80) who made up a few places to finish seventh.

Chris Porritt, who is taking part in three different series this weekend, was eighth in his Lola, a good 11 seconds ahead of Ross Drybrough, making an appearance in the March 709 used so effectively by Jackson last year.

Ian Jeary’s first outing of the year in his Elden gave him a tenth place. Mark Harrison won the first big midfield scrap in 11th, driving a Royale RP21. Phil Attwood was the winner of the battle at the back, finishing 14th in a Crossle 32F.

Full results at TSL Timing

Image courtesy of Richard Towler

Classic Formula Ford FF2000 Historic Formula Ford HSCC round up

Brands Hatch Superprix: qualifying round-up

Qualifying is now complete for the weekend’s Grand Prix circuit action, although changeable weather conditions mean that setups might need a little tweaking if paces are to be matched.

Jordan Harrison has put his Lola T540E on pole for Classic Formula Ford, beating late entry Cam Jackson fair and square, if only by 0.024s. Harrison admits to not liking wet races, but he also struggled with backmarkers during the session and is capable of going quite a lot faster. Jackson’s Winkelmann was similarly impeded, as was the Van Diemen RF81 of Henry Chart. Chart enjoys a wet track and will be keen to progress from third. Horatio Fitz-Simon was a little further back in his Merlyn Mk20, but it is unclear whether he is going to start the race, possibly promoting Ben Tinkler (Van Diemen RF80) to fifth. Rick Morris’s Royale RP21 was next, then another Lola driven by Simon Toyne. Stuart Kestenbaum (Van Diemen RF79), Jospeh Ahrens in Richard Tarling’s Van Diemen and Ross Drybrough’s March 709 complete the top ten.

Jackson managed pole position for the Historic race, closely followed by Fitz-Simon and Tom McArthur, who defeated him at Donington in the same Titan Mk3. Samuel Harrison is only contesting the Historic rounds this week in his Elden and will start fourth. Toyne and Drybrough secured a second top-ten start each, in fifth and eighth respectively. They were separated by the Elden of Danny Stanzl, on his home circuit, and Will Nuthall’s Jamun T2. Matt Wrigley (Merlyn Mk11A/20) is next, then Brian Morris’s Lola T202.

Ian Pearson and Graham Fennymore line up first and second in Formula Ford 2000, hoping to renew their rivalry from yesterday. Pearson (Royale RP30) will be hoping to avenge his defeat at the hands of Fennymore (Reynard SF81). Fennymore in turn will be hoping that the fuel float issue which scuppered his heat yesterday will not recur.

Andrew Storer is next up in his Reynard SF79, followed by Molly Dodd’s Royale RP27. Dodd will be looking to make up for losing her heat win yesterday. Graham Ridgway’s SF78 is just ahead of Nick Haryett’s SF79 in fifth, with the sister SF79 of Stephen Glasswell just under a second behind Haryett. Nathaniel Cooper’s Royale RP27 breaks up the Reynard train in eighth, followed by two drivers in Reynards, Ian Foley in an SF78 and Colin Wright in an SF79.

(Image courtesy of Richard Towler)


Fennymore fights back

Graham Fennymore has won the Formula Ford 2000 final on the Indy circuit, despite some scares on the way.

Fennymore, driving his Reynard SF81, took advantage of a safety car period early on to get on the back of Ian Pearson’s Royale RP30, then charge past soon after green flag fell again. Pearson, who qualified on pole, had been leading comfortably until Geoff O’nion went off in his Reynard SF77, triggering the yellow flags.

This is not to take anything away from either Fennymore or Pearson.

Fennymore looked set for a win in his heat, leading comfortably until the final lap. On the final lap, he suddenly slowed, taking over a minute to get back to the line and dropping to fourth. This meant that he started eighth for the final.

Pearson had put his car on pole via a win in the first heat, having won his own battle with the SF77 of Adrian Reynard mid-way through. He actually started quite slowly and dropped to third; despite setting a fastest lap and being the first driver to duck under the 49s bar he took a while to challenge for the lead.

Reynard himself was third in the final, having just about kept within sight of Fennymore and Pearson. Andrew Storer was fourth in an SF79, ahead of Jon Finch in a similar car, who had passed him for the heat win late in that race.

Royale driver Molly Dodd was sixth. She was another competitor who had a few obstacles to overcome. After Fennymore’s Heat 2 issue, she looked to have bagged a safe win, but she was penalised 30s for a faulty transponder and was classified fifth. In the final itself, she worked her way up from tenth and was considerably ahead of seventh-placed Ian Foley in an SF78.

Another SF78 was next, driven by Graham Ridgway. He too had problems in the closing laps and did well to recover to eighth from tenth. Ninth place went to Nick Haryett (Reynard SF79), another driver who had a bit of a nightmare in his heat. He qualified third but had problems early on and spent most of the race playing catch-up. Nathaniel Cooper (Royale RP27) followed him home in his heat and did the same in the race itself.

Full results at TSL Timing

Classic Formula Ford Features FF2000 Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Brands Hatch Superprix: ones to watch

The HSCC visits Brands Hatch from tomorrow, with all of its Formula Ford series in action over a long weekend. Expectations are high after the superb showing at Donington; who is likely to shine, who’s new and who might cause an upset?

Historic Formula Ford 2000 gets underway tomorrow (Friday) with two heats and a final on the Indy circuit. Graham Fennymore will be hoping to capitalise on the absence of Benn Simms, whose car developed serious problems at Donington, and multi-champion Andrew Park. Ian Pearson was in the mix at Donington and his Royale RP30 is in the opposite qualifying group to Fennymore’s Reynard SF81.

A decent contingent of Van Diemen RF82s will join the Classic F3s, with championship leader Murray Shepherd the likely victor.

FF2000 also gets a run on the Grand Prix circuit on Saturday, adding an extra challenge and an unknown factor for some of the new drivers on the grid.

Classic Formula Ford will be sharing a grid with Historic Formula 3. Cam Jackson has elected not to enter this time, so Henry Chart and Jordan Harrison are likely to resume their battle at the front. Former champion Ben Tinkler will return to to Classic championship for the first time in a while, driving a Van Diemen RF80, and cannot be ruled out as someone who will cause an upset at the business end.

Ross Drybrough is making a rare Classic appearance in his March 709, as raced in Historic by Cam Jackson in 2020 and Max Bartell at the start of this year.

Jackson will be taking his place in Historic Formula Ford as well as sharing a Lenham GT with father Simon in the Guards Trophy. Fireworks are guaranteed as Tom McArthur has decided to join in, following his victory at Donington. Linton Stutely continues to be absent and Callum Grant is sitting this one out, but Horatio Fitz-Simon will be at the front, waiting to pick up as many points as possible and get in position should the leaders get it all wrong. Will Nuthall has entered his Jamun T2 and he may also be quick; the Jamun has proved an effective weapon at Brands in the hands of Richard Tarling..

The Over 50 class has a new challenger with the welcome return of Ted Pearson to the driving seat. Championship chairman Pearson sat 2020 out due to major surgery, but now his son Tom has a rival for their Merlyn Mk11/17.