The weather may be an uncertainty for the weekend: will it be hot or will it be as wet as Cadwell? We are certain, however, that there will be some Formula Ford action.
Historic Formula Ford starts the weekend, with Cadwell winners and title contenders Samuel Harrison and Tom McArthur both back in action. Both the Merlyn Mk20 of Harrison and McArthur’s Titan Mk4 are fast enough to win and McArthur will be wanting to put his Cadwell crash behind him.
Joining them at the front will be an old and a new face. Callum Grant had to sit out Cadwell as his Merlyn Mk20 had developed a crack in its chassis, but it will be ready to go by Saturday morning. Jamie Vinall-Meyer, who suprised some with his pace at Silverstone, will be out in the Jamun Mk3.
Damian Samuel-Camps will be making his debut as a team-mate to Grant in another Mk20. The nephew of Max Samuel-Camps has not raced before but has a good car underneath him.
Also under the Grant awning will be championship co-ordinator Ted Pearson in his Mk11/17. The continued absence of Brian Morris and his Lola will mean that the Over 50 contest will be between Pearson, Rob Smith’s Merlyn and Ross Drybrough’s March. It will probably be carried out well within the top ten. Cormac Flanagan’s Alexis will likely be among them.
Neil Fowler has a smaller stable of cars to look after this weekend, so we may see Jack Butterworth out again in his Lola, although he is not an official entry.
McArthur is bound to star again in Classic Formula Ford, driving Mandie Hadfield’s Merlyn Mk20, but with Jordan Harrison finally getting to grips with a wet setup on his Lola T540E, the weather will play less into his hands than it would have done at the start of the season.
Henry Chart is racing again and tends to enjoy a wet track in his Van Diemen RF81. Last year, he had a terrific scrap with Cam Jackson and he cannot be ruled out for a win. If Richard Tarling has worked out a strong setup for his overhauled Royale RP26, he will also be a danger to Harrison and McArthur.
Tarling’s Enigma team-mate Joe Ahrens will be looking to put his misfortune at Cadwell behind him, when a stub axle on his Van Diemen RF80 broke and sent him into a wall. Another driver hoping to bounce back from a Cadwell crash is Philip Senior, whose Royale RP24 appears to have been sorted following a practice accident.
Andy Gosling, on the other hand, ran well at Cadwell in his Van Diemen RF79 and will be confident coming into Donington.
Returning drivers include championship chairman Stuart Kestenbaum in his Van Diemen RF81 and Rudolf Ernst, who is driving a Titan alongside McArthur in Simon Hadfield’s team.
There is no prize for guessing that Benn Simms and Graham Fennymore will be at the front in Historic Formula Ford 2000. The two Reynard drivers have been in a class of their own all season and keep pushing each other to faster and faster times.
They will be joined by Andrew Park this time, in a 1981 Reynard. The multiple champion can never be disregarded as long as his car is not suffering from problems, which have been mysterious ones at times. Lee Bankhurst will be hot on his tail in his Royale RP30, having kept his hand in with a class win at least week’s Jochen Rindt Trophy.
Another Royale is likely to be near the front as Drew Cameron is back on track. He has had time to fix the problems that curtailed both of his races at Silverstone, where his RP27 was the quickest car in a straight line.
The absence of Jen and Graham Ridgway frees their usual mechanic Tom Smith up to race imself this weekend. He will be out in his unique Nomad Mk4, which has only been raced once in the past 42 years.
Ollie Roberts will be praying for rain, as he counts a wet Donington as his favourite track. The Reynard SF79 driver has been more reliably quick in recent weeks.