Classic Formula Ford FF2000 Historic Formula Ford HSCC round up

Close contests promised at Silverstone: qualifying roundup

Three close competitions are on the cards for HSCC Formula Ford this weekend.

Classic Formula Ford 1600 was the first series to go out and the chase for the top starting spot quickly crystallised between Cam Jackson’s Class B Winkelmann and defending champion Jordan Harrison in his Lola. It was close until the later laps, when Jackson pulled out a huge one-second advantage which Harrison was unable to top. Henry Chart will start third on his season debut, his Van Diemen RF81 tucked in behind the leaders and only two-tenths slower than Harrison. Late entry Ben Tinkler’s RF80 is just another couple of tenths further back, with Rick Morris (Royale RP29) running strongly in fifth, despite having an engine with a lot of miles on it.

Richard Tarling weathered huge drama to qualify sixth, having to substitute his Royale for Steve Deeks’s sister car overnight, hastily fitted with Linton Stutely’s engine. Another RP26 driven by Robert Barrable follows, then Joe Ahrens’s RF80 and Simon Toyne in his orange Lola. Tom McArthur could only manage eleventh spot in Mandie Hadfield’s Merlyn Mk20, as he had trouble with a loose exhaust.

Formula Ford 2000 followed in quick succession and it was Graham Fennymore who was on pole this time, putting his Reyanrd SF81 ahead of Benn Simms’s SF77 by the tiniest of margins. Fennymore has managed to sort the clutch issues that have affected his starts and he admits that allowing Simms past him in qualifying meant he could follow his lines and gain a sneaky advantage.

Royale honours are upheld by Drew Cameron, who put his RP27 in third spot, about half a second behind Simms. Graham Ridgway’s Reynard SF78 will be hin hot pursuit as the two were setting very similar times.

A season’s-best fifth place start for Ollie Roberts has put the SF79 driver in a confident mood. Sixth-placed Andrew Park is normally further up the grid, but the power on his SF81 kept cutting out. He was only six-thousandths ahead of Andrew Storer’s Pukka Pies SF79.

Lee Bankhurst’s RP30 was the second Royale in eighth, ahead of Adrian Reynard’s SF79 and Peter Drennan, whose Royale RP27 is a late entry.

Jackson scored another dominant pole for the first Historic race, in the same Winkelmann, after only four laps. Ben Mitchell, who had a fierce rivalry for the 2018 championship with Jackson, will line up next to him in his Merlyn Mk20. McArthur, whose Titan Mk4 was running better than the Merlyn, will be with them and looking to continue his own ferocious rivalry with Jackson. He also settled on a time early, leaving the track after four laps.

Classic Team Merlyn driver Samule Harrison will start from fourth and will almost certainly stay with the leading trio, hopefully setting up a good slipstreaming contest. Simon Toyne (Lola T200) and newcomer Jamie Vinall-Meyer in a Jamun T3 were similarly close.

Dominik Jackson (Crossle 20F) lines up seventh, with Rob Smith (Merlyn Mk20) as the leading Over 50 driver in eighth. An extremely close string of cars are almost tied for the remainder of the top ten, with defending Over 50 champion Brian Morris’s Lola next, then 18-year-old Tom Pearson snatching the last top ten spot in his Merlyn. Just missing out are Chris Porritt’s Merlyn and Ross Drybrough, who has happy with 12th in his March.

Full results at TSL Timing

Classic Formula Ford FF2000 Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Hot laps: Snetterton qualifying round-up

Qualifying for all three HSCC Formula Ford categories has finished at Snetterton, with some more super-fast laps and a few surprises.

Jordan Harrison managed to wrangle a Lola that wouldn’t downshift around the Norfolk track and set a superb 2:04.947 in the process. Thankfully he has until tomorrow to deal with the clutch in time for both Classic races.

Harrison’s nearest challengers were Richard Tarling in a Royale RP26 and Tom McArthur in a Merlyn Mk20, both more than a second adrift but close to each other. Second to seventh was covered by a second, with Jake Shortland’s Lola fourth, Ben Tinkler (Van Diemen RF80) fifth, Rick Morris sixth in his familair Royale and Joe Ahrens seventh in Tarling’s RF80.

Big pole times were also a theme again in Formula Ford 2000, with Benn Simms’s Reynard SF77 leading the way. This time, however, Graham Fennymore’s 1981 Reynard was little more than a tenth behind, despite not having enough grip earlier in the session.

Cam Jackson was happy with third in Simon Ayliff’s Delta, a little over a second back. Drew Cameron’s Royale RP27 was a further half-second behind and the two will be scrapping on the line.

A returning Graham Ridgway in another RP27 will start fifth, just ahead of another two late season starters, Stephen Glasswell and Brian Morris (both Reynard SF79).

In Historic Formula Ford, Tom McArthur put Simon Hadfield’s Titan on pole by 0.054s from Samuel Harrison in a Classic Team Merlyn Mk20. Setting up a fantastic first lap, Callum Grant’s Merlyn Mk20 is close on the tail of Harrison, just 0.37s further back.

Simon Toyne will be pleased with fourth on the grid in his Lola T200, as will his Neil Fowler Motorsport team-mate Brian Morris, who will start in fifth and as the first Over 50 driver. Matt Wrigley (Merlyn Mk11A/20) and Danny Stanzl in his newly repainted Elden Mk8 are extremely close in sixth and seventh. Tom Pearson, some way back in father Ted’s Merlyn Mk11/17, enjoys his best-ever qualifying in eighth.

Full results at TSL Timing


Simms sets the pace

Benn Simms has placed his Reynard SF77 on pole for Saturday’s opening Formula Ford 2000 round with a ferocious time of 48.628s.

To put this into context, his time would have been enough to qualify sixth for the Formula Atlantic race, against much more powerful cars.

Simms set his time in the second of two qualifying sessions and to begin with, it looked as if Graham Fennymore would be on pole. The 2021 champion has made some improvements to his Reynard SF81 and was the quickest of the first group by about half a second from Lee Bankhurst’s Royale RP30.

Simms says that he has done very little to his car and he was even having trouble with his clutch. He credited his performance to a combination of the slightly warm track and cold ambient air benefiting his car’s engine.

Four-time champion Andrew Park will slot in behind the two session leaders. Park had barely sat in his SF81 since it broke down at Oulton Park last year, other than to deal with its misfire. Bankhurst will start alongside.

Drew Cameron’s Royale RP27 was only a fraction of a second behind Bankhurst and he will start from fifth. Ian Pearson will start next, having finished third in his session in his RP30, in front of Jason Redding, who was pleased to put his new Delta in seventh spot. 2020 champion Peter Drennan put his RP27 in eighth.

Andrew Storer’s new SF79 will give him a ninth place start, followed by Ian Foley in a Reynard SF78.

Ollie Roberts will start from eleventh on his FF2000 debut, driving another SF79, while 2021 Class B champion Fraser Collins will be 17th in his new RP30. Molly Dodd, in another RP27, was hampered in qualifying and will be looking to improve on 16th.

Brian Morris and Paul Allen are among a small number of dropouts this weekend, Morris due to needing to travel for work and Allen due to serious problems with his ex-Callum Grant Delta. This means that the qualification races each day have been cancelled.

Full results at TSL Timing

Classic Formula Ford FF2000 Historic Formula Ford HSCC round up

Suprises at Silverstone

Qualifying for the Silverstone Finals has thrown up a few new combinations and set us up for some exciting and close races.

Horatio Fitz-Simon will start from pole in Historic Formula Ford, having set the pace with a highly impressive time of 1.02.997s. The Classic Team Merlyn driver was late getting onto the grid, having not heard his final call, and came straight from earning another pole position in Historic Formula Junior. This was his first real run in a Junior and he is full of confidence.

Cam Jackson’s Winkelmann was only a third of a second behind, with the Titan of Tom McArthur only 0.2s further back. The nature of the National circuit means that competition will be very close and pole position will be difficult to hold.

Another surprise came in the shape of late entry Linton Stutely, driving his Royale RP3 to fifth place, just over a second away from pole. In between him and McArthur was Samuel Harrison’s Elden.

Tim Brise led the Over 50s qualifying charge and will start from seventh in his Merlyn, behind Simon Toyne’s Lola.

Ross Drybrough, still undergoing extensive physio on his injured hand, put his Merlyn in tenth place. Another welcome returnee is Cormac Flanagan, having repaired his Alexis after its first-round shunt.

Champion-elect Jordan Harrison’s Lola on pole was no surprise for Classic Formula Ford, but a late entry from Ben Tinkler split up the expected favourites. Tinkler, in a Van Diemen RF80, was only 0.166s slower than Harrison, despite a spin mid-session. Henry Chart’s RF81 was almost collected, but both carried on and set incredibly similar times. The front three will be extremely close and it will all come down to who breaks the tow first, as long as the start is good and clean.

Class B driver Toyne is making another guest appearance and will start fourth in his Lola, only a couple of hundredths ahead of Rick Morris, who was struggling with understeer. Together with Paul Britten’s PRS, the front six cars are covered by about three-quarters of a second.

Joe Ahrens will start seventh in Richard Tarling’s Van Diemen RF80, still less than a second away from second place. Philip Senior’s Royale RP24 is next, followed by series regulars Richard Yeomans (Crossle) and Ben Hadfield (Van Diemen) in ninth and tenth, having qualified well.

Stuart Kestenbaum will be absent after crashing his Van Diemen in practice on Friday.

There were fewer surprises in Formula Ford 2000 qualifying, but a close contest is still assured, with 32 starters and the front seven cars within a second of one another. Graham Fennymore will lead the pack away once more in his Reynard SF81, ahead of Tom Smith, who is not in his rare Nomad FF2000 car but a more standard Reynard SF78.

Benn Simms will line up third and will be hoping to get a decent slipstream off the leaders. Leading Royale driver Ian Pearson was only a whisker off Simms’s time in fourth; Simms will be looking in his mirrors as well as ahead of him.

The SF79s of Greg Robertson and Marc Mercer are in fifth and sixth, then Adrian Reynard’s SF78 and two more SF79s, driven by Andrew Storer and Dan Eagling. Paul Allen is back out in his Delta and will start tenth, ahead of Molly Dodd’s Royale.

Ben Glasswell has had to pull out due to illness. Dad Stephen will start 12th in a Reynard SF79.

Full results at TSL Timing

Classic Formula Ford FF2000 Historic Formula Ford HSCC round up

Gold Cup is go…

Racing action is set to get under way at Oulton Park tomorrow afternoon, as Historic and Classic Formula Ford and Formula Ford 2000 take to the track.

Qualifying for Historic Formula Ford and the Paul Simms Trophy has already taken place, with Tom McArthur on pole in Simon Hadfield’s Titan Mk4. McArthur at the front is not unusual, but the top places on the grid have a rather different look. Multiple champion Cam Jackson is sitting out this round, meaning that another new winner for this season is possible.

Horatio Fitz-Simon, driving for Classic Team Merlyn, put in a late burst of speed on a crowded track to set second-fastest time, ahead of the Merlyn of Callum Grant. Grant, returning to the championship after a break, led the session early on.

Samuel Harrison was another late surger, saving his fastest lap for last and putting his Elden Mk8 in fourth. Brian Morris (Lola T202) will line up next, having been impressive for the whole session. Matt Wrigley’s Merlyn will start from sixth, pushed out of the top five by Harrison.

Danny Stanzl was a steady top-ten presence and will start seventh in his Elden, ahead of Paul Unsworth’s Lola, Tim Brise in a Merlyn and Kevin Stanzl in a Crossle, who bumped James Russell (Merlyn Mk20) out of the top ten as Russell sat in the pits. Championship chairman Ted Pearson is making his return to the series in his Merlyn and will start from twelfth.

Jackson is also missing from the Classic grid. The two races are likely to become a battle between Henry Chart in his ex-Tim Harvey Van Diemen and Jordan Harrison, driving a Lola T540E. Both drivers have recorded wins during the season and as long as the weather is dry, both will be very quick. 2019 champion Rick Morris cannot be counted out either, although he has been struggling with tyres and set-up on his Royale RP29 this season. His Don Hardman Racing team-mate Stuart Kestenbaum will not be on-track.

Joseph Ahrens will be looking to improve on his previous performances. Newcomer Ahrens has shown top-five pace in Richard Tarling’s Van Diemen and will be in with a chance.

The first Classic race will share a grid with Heritage Formula Ford. McArthur will be racing in a 2017 Medina.

Formula Ford 2000 will also feature a wide-open top end. Benn Simms is back in action in his Reynard SF77 after taking a break to move house and sort out a blown engine. Championship leader Graham Fennymore will not be letting him get away and Andrew Park will also be keen to challenge; two 1981 Reynards will be in the mix with Simms’s yellow car. Races this year have mostly been dominated by Simms or Fennymore, but a three-way lead scrap is a clear possibility.

Molly Dodd (Royale RP27) will be out to make up for losing her win at Brands Hatch due to a transponder problem. The Spalding teenager might not be quite on the pace of Simms and Fennymore yet, but a top-five finish is a distinct possibility.

Classic Formula Ford FF2000 Historic Formula Ford HSCC round up

Brands Hatch Superprix: qualifying round-up

Qualifying is now complete for the weekend’s Grand Prix circuit action, although changeable weather conditions mean that setups might need a little tweaking if paces are to be matched.

Jordan Harrison has put his Lola T540E on pole for Classic Formula Ford, beating late entry Cam Jackson fair and square, if only by 0.024s. Harrison admits to not liking wet races, but he also struggled with backmarkers during the session and is capable of going quite a lot faster. Jackson’s Winkelmann was similarly impeded, as was the Van Diemen RF81 of Henry Chart. Chart enjoys a wet track and will be keen to progress from third. Horatio Fitz-Simon was a little further back in his Merlyn Mk20, but it is unclear whether he is going to start the race, possibly promoting Ben Tinkler (Van Diemen RF80) to fifth. Rick Morris’s Royale RP21 was next, then another Lola driven by Simon Toyne. Stuart Kestenbaum (Van Diemen RF79), Jospeh Ahrens in Richard Tarling’s Van Diemen and Ross Drybrough’s March 709 complete the top ten.

Jackson managed pole position for the Historic race, closely followed by Fitz-Simon and Tom McArthur, who defeated him at Donington in the same Titan Mk3. Samuel Harrison is only contesting the Historic rounds this week in his Elden and will start fourth. Toyne and Drybrough secured a second top-ten start each, in fifth and eighth respectively. They were separated by the Elden of Danny Stanzl, on his home circuit, and Will Nuthall’s Jamun T2. Matt Wrigley (Merlyn Mk11A/20) is next, then Brian Morris’s Lola T202.

Ian Pearson and Graham Fennymore line up first and second in Formula Ford 2000, hoping to renew their rivalry from yesterday. Pearson (Royale RP30) will be hoping to avenge his defeat at the hands of Fennymore (Reynard SF81). Fennymore in turn will be hoping that the fuel float issue which scuppered his heat yesterday will not recur.

Andrew Storer is next up in his Reynard SF79, followed by Molly Dodd’s Royale RP27. Dodd will be looking to make up for losing her heat win yesterday. Graham Ridgway’s SF78 is just ahead of Nick Haryett’s SF79 in fifth, with the sister SF79 of Stephen Glasswell just under a second behind Haryett. Nathaniel Cooper’s Royale RP27 breaks up the Reynard train in eighth, followed by two drivers in Reynards, Ian Foley in an SF78 and Colin Wright in an SF79.

(Image courtesy of Richard Towler)

Classic Formula Ford FF2000 Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Cadwell Park Wolds Trophy: qualifying round-up

Qualifying for all HSCC Formula Ford categories is now done at Cadwell, with some familiar faces on top and some surprises.

Cam Jackson is out again in his Winkelmann for both Historic and Classic Formula Ford and qualified on pole both times, but was not quite on his usual dominant form. Henry Chart will line up second in Classic less than half a second slower, although he had engine trouble with his Van Diemen RF81 towards the end of the session. Jordan Harrison (Lola T504E) is another couple of tenths behind in third, setting up an interesting opening lap.

Samuel Harrison will start fourth in his Class B Elden Mk8, ahead of 2019 champion Rick Morris’s Royale RP21.

The session was interrupted by a red flag after a collision at the Hairpin between the Alexis of Robin Haslam and the Van Diemen RF78 of Ben Hadfield. This has left several drivers with only a few laps under their belts.

Historic Formula Ford 2000 has a massive entry and two heats will be held later today. Benn Simms was the quickest from two qualifying sessions in his Reynard SF77, ahead of Andrew Park, who topped the second qualifying session in a Reynard SF81. His fellow SF81 driver Graham Fennymore was third quickest and these three were the only ones to go under the 1:31 mark. Murray Shepherd, the sole Classic FF2000 entry in Tony Hancock’s Van Diemen RF82, was fifth in the first session.

Jackson was predictably the quickest of the Historic FF1600 drivers, but again, he was kept relatively honest by his rivals this time and only did three laps. In the absence of Linton Stutely, whose Royale RP3 is still being repaired after its Silverstone shunt, Samuel Harrison qualified second. Harrison, who ran well at this circuit last year, will be looking to make up for the disappointment of losing out due to a crash with Mike Gardner.

Horatio Fitz-Simon, driving for Classic Team Merlyn, was another driver who only got three laps in, but they were good for third on the grid. Brian Morris (Lola T202) and Danny Stanzl’s Elden are up next, with Matt Wrigley’s Merlyn just a thousandth of a second slower than Stanzl.

Full qualifying results at TSL Timing

Image copyright Shaws Motorsport

Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Jackson seconds ahead at Silverstone

Cam Jackson has qualified on pole for Saturday’s Historic Formula Ford more than two seconds ahead of anyone else.

Winkelmann driver and multi-champion Jackson set his time fairly early on in the session, before pockets of traffic slowed his rivals down.

Linton Stutely will line up second in his green-and-white Royale RP3. Stutely’s times were in the lower reaches of the top five for much of the 20-minute quali, but he got himself clear of Horatio Fitz-Simon’s Merlyn Mk20 towards the end and leapfrogged Fitz-Simon, who will start fifth, and several others. Once Fitz-Simon was behind Stutely he had some trouble getting through traffic and couldn’t regain his place. This was the case for several drivers after Samuel Harrison’s Elden Mk8 ruptured a line and dropped oil on the back of the track.

Returning driver Ben Mitchell was third quickest, driving the Merlyn Mk20 that almost took him to the 2018 title. He was relatively consistent and will look to challenge the front-runners. Brother Sam, in the Mitchell family Mk20, could only manage 17th due to some engine trouble and will be hoping to charge through the pack.

Dominik Jackson, part of another sibling duo with Cam Jackson, was fourth, driving a Lotus 59, ahead of Fitz-Simon and Callum Grant, who maintained steady pace for sixth spot on the grid.

Eighth-placed Ross Drybrough (Merlyn Mk20) leads the Over 50 charge, some way behind Matt Wrigley’s Merlyn Mk11A/20. Drybrough’s other car, the March 709 previously driven by Cam Jackson, will start tenth in the hands of Max Bartell. Another returning driver, Will Nuthall, was ninth in a Jamun T2.

Full qualifying results at TSL Timing

Image by Dan Bichener