Shepherd is Formula Ford 2000 guest star

Guest driver Murray Shepherd showed his class in both Historic Formula Ford 2000 races as Benn Simms and Ian Pearson fought over the points.

Shepherd, who is leading the Classic Formula Ford championship and won the 750MC Locost series last year, was driving Tony Hancock’s Van Diemen RF82 and showed he was not intimidated by a big grid of Historic cars with drivers used to racing each other, week in week out.

It was Benn Simms who set the pole time in his Reynard SF77, but Shepherd wasted no time in pushing ahead on the second lap, where he stayed for the rest of the race, despite the best efforts of Simms, who has only a tenth of a second behind at a couple of points. Sadly, his car ran out of fuel late on, assuring Shepherd of a win and himself of a back-of-the-grid start in Race 2.

Ian Pearson (Royale RP30) picked up full championship points for Race 1, finishing safely ahead of Graham Ridgway’s Reynard SF78.

It was a different story in Race 2, apart from Shepherd being in front at the end. Pearson, buoyed by his Race 1 performance, passed him on the opening lap and stayed in front for another 14 laps, until his car got stuck in gear and dropped him down to sixth.

Simms was already up to seventh before the end of lap 1 and was soon fairly close behind Pearson and Shepherd. Pearson’s mishap promoted him to second after an impressive recovery.

Ben Glasswell had a good weekend in his SF77. His chief rival was Ridgway, whom he passed for third place in Race 2. He had been fourth in the first race, with his father Stephen just behind in his 1979 Reynard. Stephen Glasswell had been seventh in Race 2, just behind Pearson. Fourth and fifth were taken by Ridgway and Royale driver Nathaniel Cooper.

Class B winner Fraser Collins was eighth in Race 1, behind guest driver Andy Lancaster in a Pilbeam MP52. He did not finish Race 2 and Lancaster claimed eighth.

Molly Dodd had an indifferent weekend in her Royale RP27, remaining on the lead lap in both races but only managing a ninth and tenth place. Jennifer Ridgway in her SF78 was ninth in Race 1.

Full results at TSL Timing

Historic Formula Ford HSCC Uncategorized

McArthur and Fitz-Simon put pressure on Jackson as McArthur wins again

Tom McArthur picked up two more wins at Mallory Park this weekend, with Horatio Fitz-Simon as runner-up both times.

Both were capitalising on the absence of Cam Jackson, in action at Goodwood. Fitz-Simon still has a chance of winning the championship following his points haul and McArthur’s relative dominance showed that he is still unwilling to let Jackson have the championship his own way.

McArthur, driving Simon Hadfield’s Titan Mk4, had the advantage of being at his team’s home circuit and was impressive from the start, although he was chased all the way through qualifying and Race 1 by Classic Team Merlyn’s Fitz-Simon, who had never raced on the track before.

The Anglo-Californian Merlyn driver was in hot pursuit of McArthur throughout and was always within touching distance, but McArthur was able to hold him off, if only by a tenth or two. He had an easier ride in Race 2 as Fitz-Simon was hampered by lapped cars and giving away half a second on lap times. He trailed McArthur by almost ten seconds, although still picking up a valuable haul of points.

Race 1 looked like it was going to be another podium for Samuel Harrison in his Elden Mk8, doing both Formula Ford series this weekend, but he was pipped on the final lap by Matt Wrigley’s Merlyn Mk11A/20 by about a tenth. The pair were locked in battle with Mark Bates, driving Robin Haslam’s Alexis Mk15 for Shaws Motorsport. Bates was fifth in Race 1, just 0.199s behind third-placed Wrigley.

Harrison held on for third in Race 2, despite an oil cooler fracturing towards the end. This time he has a clear lead over Bates, who was fourth, and fifth-placed Wrigley, another 4.9s down the road.

Danny Stanzl (Elden Mk8) was not quite able to keep with his normal sparring partner, Wrigley, and had to settle for a pair of sixth places. His other usual close rival, Brian Morris, was not racing and this handed the first Over 50s win to Danny’s father, Kevin Stanzl, in a Crossle 16F. He was followed quite closely by fellow Over 50 driver Paul Unsworth’s Lola and their finishing positions were reversed in Race 2.

Classic Team Merlyn’s Mark Carter scored his first top ten in Race 1, followed by George Ditchfield’s yellow Elden. The pair repeated this feat in Race 2.

Newcomers Nikki Cottrill (Lotus 61M) and Palliser driver Zoe Newall were on track once more, with Newall the quicker of the two.

Full results at TSL Timing

(Image courtesy of Richard Towler)

Classic Formula Ford HSCC

Jordan Harrison wraps up Class A title with double win

Jordan Harrison has been crowned Class A champion in the HSCC Classic Formula Ford championship, following two wins at Mallory Park.

Harrison, driving a Lola T540E, qualified on pole in the morning. A relatively small grid made the task of winning look easy on paper, especially with Harrison’s chief rivals Henry Chart and Cam Jackson absent, but in some ways it was his to lose rather than win. Mallory is a short track that also looks deceptively easy, but there is nowhere to make up time once it has been lost.

Any pressure did not appear to faze Harrison and he won both races convincingly from Rick Morris. In the first, he pulled out a margin of just over nine seconds, which is impressive on a 50-second lap.

Experience shows at Mallory. Morris’s Royale RP29 was not even the second fastest car on the grid, but he was able to stay ahead. Stuart Kestenbaum, driving his Van Diemen RF80, was a couple of tenths quicker both times but had to settle for third. Kestenbaum, who has said he has driven more laps of Mallory than he cares to remember, always runs well at the Leicestershire circuit.

Samuel Harrison was fourth in Race 1 and his Elden Mk8 was the only car to set a lap time within half a second from the winner’s, but it was his first time at Mallory and he found it hard going, despite keeping pace with Morris and Kestenbaum and even leading both of them at one point. A broken oil cooler ended his challenge; he did not start race 2.

Joe Ahrens, driving a Richard Tarling’s Van Diemen RF80, followed the chasing group home both time, but at a fair distance. He was fifth in Race 1 and fourth in Race 2. The similar car of Alan Fincham was next both times.

Harrison was not the only casualty. Oliver Chapman’s Lola was unable to make the start after qualifying and Dave Lowe’s Lotus expired before the second race after a seventh place in the first.

It was better news for James Fettiplace, who has struggled to get his ex-Mark Armstrong Van Diemen RF80 to the finish all year, but finished a pleasing sixth in Race 2, ahead of Phil Attwood’s Crossle and Tim Bennett’s distinctive Hawke DL21.

Full results at TSL Timing

(Image copyright Shaws Motorsport)

Classic Formula Ford FF2000 Historic Formula Ford

All aboard the Magic Roundabout…

Formula Ford goes to Mallory Park

All three HSCC Formula Ford series are set to visit Mallory Park for the firt time in several seasons this weekend.

Competing with the Goodwood Revival, grid numbers are slightly down for the meeting, but this just means that some surprises might be on the cards.

Cam Jackson is in action at Goodwood so will be missing once more, so Tom McArthur will be aiming to add a maximum figure to his points tally, keeping him within striking distance of Jackson in the championship. The Titan driver is familiar with the Leicestershire demi-oval and will be confident from the beginning.

Classic Team Merlyn’s Horatio Fitz-Simon is ahead of McArthur in the standings and is also getting faster as the season goes on. He will be looking to score his first win of the year.

Samuel Harrison cannot be discounted. The young Elden driver is trailing in the championship battle, but he has been testing at Mallory and is under far less pressure than Fitz-Simon or McArthur. Danny Stanzl (Elden Mk8) and Merlyn driver Matt Wrigley will be ready to scoop up any points on offer and have a chance of a podium.

The Classic Formula Ford grid is minus Jackson, but his chief rival Henry Chart has also elected to miss the Mallory races. This leaves room for Jordan Harrison to consolidate his position at the top of the points table, following his double win at Oulton Park. Second-placed Rick Morris will be hoping to put tyre troubles behind him and put his Royale on the podium.

Newcomer Joe Ahrens fought hard at Oulton and also has the speed to challenge for podium positions. Samuel Harrison is another driver in with a chance.

Stuart Kestenbaum is making his return to the championship with a rejuvenated car. His experience at Mallory means that he is likely to be a factor.

Formula Ford 2000 is also without a couple of its main players, with championship leader Graham Fennymore and previous champion Andrew Park opting out. Benn Simms will be hoping for a trouble-free run in his Reynard SF77, which has suffered a number of problems this year. With a fully-functional car, he will be the favourite, but nothing is certain.

He is likely to be pushed all the way by Invitation class driver Murray Shepherd in a Van Diemen RF82. Shepherd is the runaway leader of the Classic FF2000 championship and a highly-accomplished racer in different series.

Shepherd is ineligible to score points and so will not affect the championship, but Molly Dodd can. The Spalding-based newcomer has got faster and faster, and would have won a qualification race at Brands had she not be penalised for not having a working transponder.

Ian Pearson sits ahead of Dodd in the points table and is someone else to watch out for. He has scored four second places so far, behind the absent Fennymore each time.

Image copyright Richard Towler

Classic Formula Ford Historic Formula Ford round up

And the rest: Bank Holiday weekend roundup

Vintage Formula Ford cars have starred against more modern machinery this weekend.

HSCC Classic Formula Ford frontrunner Jordan Harrison earned two fourth places in the Avon Tyres Northern and Superclassic Formula Ford series at Mallory Park. He was driving his usual Lola T504E and was easily the fastest of a large historic contingent out this weekend. Behind him in both races was Simon Hadfield, driving the number 0 Hawke DL2B. Hadfield had a terrific run to the line in Race 1, beating Chris Hodgen (Swift SC94F) but just 0.002s.

Mark Bates nudged into the top ten in both races, driving an Alexis Mk15. He was tenth and eighth. Eight of the 18 cars were historic or classic Class C or D machines. Although he was in a modern Ray, Classic champion Ben Tinkler was third in both races.

PRS driver and Classic regular Oliver Chapman was down to contest the Castle Combe championship round on Monday but did not appear. Fifteenth-placed Bob Higgins was the leading Class D entry, driving an early Macon MR7, a car which has had success in recent years in the hands of Paul Sleeman.

Another rare early car, the Nike Mk4 of Alan Slater, was 18th.

2018 HSCC Historic championship contender Ben Mitchell was fourth, driving a Van Diemen RF99.