Jack Butterworth is a familiar face in the HSCC Formula Ford paddock, but he waited until this weekend to make his first appearance in a single-seater.
The Neil Fowler Motorsport mechanic took advantage of a rare slow weekend with his employer to go racing himself, as Cam Jackson’s car is still out of action and most of the other team regulars were at Jubilee celebrations with family.
He qualified his Lola T2009 in eleventh place and had a steady, confident race to finish tenth. Cadwell Park is a challenging circuit on which to begin a Formula Ford career, but he proved himself more than up to the job.
Butterworth did not appear on the entry lists originally, having taken the car to Cadwell for Friday testing before making a decision.
“We were happy with the afternoon session, so we thought we’d stick a late entry in,” he explained on Saturday.
He is quick to point out that this was not actually his racing debut; he has done an hour-long stint in a Citroen C1 in the BARC Citroen C1 endurance series previously. This is his first race in a single-seater and his first in his own car.
Despite being somewhat in at the deep end, it was an enjoyable experience.
“I loved it. I had a smile ear to ear while I was driving it!
“The C1 was good fun, but this is something else.”
The Lola itself has been a work in progress for two and a half years.
“I imported it from America and built it in Nigel Grant’s garage with him, then started working for Neil and it went to Neil’s.”
The car’s previous racing history is unknown, with the only clues being that the owner Butterworth bought it from was from Tennessee.
He hopes to bring the car out again this season, but Fowler’s busy schedule means that Butterworth is usually busy on race weekends.
(Image copyright DW Motorsport Photography)