This weekend’s Historic Formula Ford aggregate winner was presented with the Paul Simms Trophy, in memory of racer and engineer Paul Simms who died last year. Vintage Formula Ford spoke to his son, Benn Simms, who presented the trophy, raced in Formula Ford 2000 and even found time to try his hand at commentary at Oulton Park.
“That was quite interesting,” said Simms, who was invited into the commentary box for the first Historic Formula Ford race. “Not something I ever envisaged myself doing, but I actually quite enjoyed it.
“It’s difficult to know how it works in some respects, fortunately Ian (Titchmarsh) is very good. He was asking me questions and keeping me involved in the whole thing.”
Simms chose to give the cup that bears his father’s name to the winner of his favourite series, Historic Formula Ford, at a meeting at his favourite circuit, Oulton Park. Aided by Simms Sr’s engine-building prowess, he is a three-time Historic FF1600 champion. Although not currently racing in the championship, he still has several cars at his disposal.
“I’ve got a number of them, I’m quite fortunate like that. But they’re all in bits!
“We’ve still got two Jomos, but one is literally a rusty old chassis, and the other one is not far off being a car. It could have an engine in it, get it going, but I’m spending all my time in this thing (his FF2000 car) at the moment, keeping it going.”
Simms also has a Dulon MP15 and a Royale RP16 in his collection, plus a more modern FF1600 that he and his father built themselves.
“It’s called a Chase. It was our own design and based on a 2002 Mygale. New chassis, new suspension geometry, that sort of thing.
“You could run it in National, although it wouldn’t be particularly competitive. We never had a decent engine in it so we never managed to see whether it was any good or not. We got a third place in it once at Mallory Park.”
The Chase may yet see the light of day, despite needing work.
“Maybe one day we’ll revive it, but we’ll see. I’ve got enough things to play with.”
The Paul Simms Trophy was presented to Titan driver Tom McArthur by Simms and his mother.