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Features FF2000 HSCC

A race to the grid

Fraser Collins had a race against time to get on to the Historic Formula Ford 2000 grid at Donington.

A visit to the garages at Donington on Saturday morning revealed Fraser Collins’s Lola T580 and Collins’s father John Hayes-Harlow working on the car, but a conspicuous absence of the driver himself.

He arrived with about ten minutes to spare before qualifying, having endured “trial by Covid regulations” to get on the track at all.

“I was on holiday a couple of weeks ago and today was my day five for Test and Release,” he explained on Saturday.

“When Madeira [where he was on holiday] went on to the amber list I thought, oh god, now I’ve got to quarantine. Luckily with the day five Test and Release I could get here.”

He took his test at the earliest possible opportunity, hiring a courier to take the test to the lab in the early hours of the morning to give himself the best chance of being able to race.

It was a tense wait for the results, but they came back negative just in time for Collins to jump in his car with his full kit already on and make the hour-and-a-15 minute journey from his home to Donington.

Once the government red tape was safely snipped, Collins had another slight problem at the circuit itself.

“I couldn’t find my ticket. I had to try to get in, then when I finally did get in, leap in the car. We were running early as well.

“It was worth it through, I qualified well and then led the first few laps of the qualifying race.”

Collins was sixth in the Saturday qualifying race but unfortunately couldn not finish the main race due to contact from behind. A seventh in the Sunday qualifying race led to 16th place in the feature race, with a class win.

Image courtesy of Richard Towler

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FF2000 HSCC

Fennymore wins as rivals fall

Graham Fennymore won the first Historic Formula Ford 2000 encounter at Donington, having withstood a brutal race of attrition.

This was far from a last-man-standing situation; Fennymore’s Reynard SF81 was by far the fastest in qualifying and was the only car in both race and qualification to go under the 1:13s mark. He led from start to finish and was unperturbed by a restart following a four-car pile-up at Redgate. The Reynard SF79s of Jeremy Main and Colin Wright were unable to continue, although Geoff O’nion (Reynard SF77) and Robert Pearson’s Royale RP30 were able to rejoin. Both finished the race.

Fennymore came close to being challenged by second-placed Ian Pearson, driving a Royale RP30. Pearson took advantage of Greg Robertson’s Reynard SF79 being slow at the restart and maintained a strong second place. Robertson eventually finished in sixth.

2019 champion Andrew Park was third and perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the race’s sizeable casualty list. A slip by Graham Ridgway (Reynard SF78) gifted him third and a challenge from Adrian Reynard’s 1979 Reynard came to an abrupt end with Reynard’s retirement. Benn Tilley, driving Simon Ayliff’s Delta T80, was too far behind in fourth to catch him, although Tilley was pleased with this result from his first time out in the car.

Qualification race winner Ben Glasswell (Reynard SF77) was fifth, from 13th on the grid. His fellow qualification race leaders fared less well. Polesitter Fraser Collins was hit from behind and had to retire his Lola T580 and second-placed Ian Foley (SF78) dropped out on lap 12. Molly Dodd had impressed in the heat but her Royale lost a rear wing early on.

A trio of Royales followed Glasswell and Robertson in the race itself, driven by Drew Cameron, Lee Bankhurst and Steve Collier. Championship leader Benn Simms was in among them in the early stages, but he had to retire his SF77 due to serious engine troubles.

The top ten was rounded out by Stephen Glasswell’s SF79, just under a second behind Collier.

Full results at TSL Timing

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Classic Formula Ford FF2000 Historic Formula Ford HSCC News

The season starts at Snetterton

Vintage Formula Ford fires up into action tomorrow at Snetterton, both on-track and here online

Following a year’s delay, Snetterton will finally host the Jim Russell Trophy from tomorrow (17th April).

HSCC Historic Formula Ford, Classic Formula Ford and Historic FF2000 will all be in action, plus some Classic FF2000 cars up against the Classic F3 grid.

The Jim Russell Trophy Meeting should have opened the 2020 season as a tribute to racing school founder Russell, who died in 2019, but lockdown intervened. Snetterton was chosen as the venue due to the Jim Russell Racing School being founded there in 1956.

Two special trophies will be awarded on Saturday. The Jim Russell Trophy itself will go to the winner of the first Classic FF1600 race, and the Norman Greenway Trophy will be awarded to the winner of the first Historic FF1600 race.

Norman Greenway was Snetterton’s regular commentator for many years and is still fondly remembered. His widow Barbara and daughter Lee will be present, alongside Jennifer Russell. Barbara Greenway herself once raced a Formula Ford at Snetterton in 1985 as part of the Esso Ladies’ Race, itself a Jim Russell Racing School event and probably the first all-female single-seater race in the UK.

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Site stuff

What is Vintage Formula Ford?

Vintage Formula Ford refers to all UK Formula Ford racing in cars built before 1984. This relates to three main championships: HSCC Historic Formula Ford for 1600cc cars built before 1972, HSCC Classic Formula Ford for pre-1982 FF1600 cars and HSCC Historic Formula Ford 2000 for 2000cc Formula Ford cars built before 1981.

There is some crossover between the two FF1600 championships, as the Classic series runs a B class for pre-’72 cars.

FF2000 always races separately. As well as being more powerful, FF2000 cars have slicks and wings.

Who’s behind this website?

Editor Rachel Harris-Gardiner has been writing official club race reports for Historic and Classic FF1600 for the past year, having also been Historic Editor for ff1600website.com for three seasons.

For the 2021 season, Vintage Formula Ford will act as a standalone source for historic Formula Ford in the UK. It was felt that FF2000 was a natural partner to the 1600cc series and the site will cover the Historic FF2000 championship.

Contact Rachel at rachel.bichener@googlemail.com.

Site design and corporate identity has been created by Dan Bichener, who also supplies photos.