Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Mitchell spins and wins

Ben Mitchell won the second Historic Formula Ford race, despite a big spin on the wet track.

The result could have gone one of several ways, with Mitchell’s Merlyn Mk20 prevailing in a series of slipstreaming contests with Tom McArthur’s Titan Mk4 and Classic Team Merlyn’s Samuel Harrison, with Jamie Vinall-Meyer in a Jamun T3 joining them. Mitchell lost out in almost as many drafting battles, with the lead changing multiple times and all three leaders even going wide together at Club at one point.

Despite getting a good start, polesitter McArthur was quickly caught by Mitchell, with Harrison catching them and taking the lead briefly. McArthur did retake, but he went wide at Becketts and Harrison retaking. As the track became wetter, Mitchell spun hard and lost time, but a collision between McArthur and Vinall-Meyer at Woodcote bought him time and his superior handling of backmarkers allowed him to build up a gap to Harrison, who was second. He saved his quickest lap until last, consolidating his gap to the rest of the field with a 2:24.8 lap.

Vinall-Meyer was third, having escaped his altercation with McArthur unscathed. The series newcomer ran as high as second despite his share of slides and showed incredible pace: he was one of three drivers to dip under the 2:26 mark, with Mitchell and Harrison.

McArthur was dropped to fifth by the contact and then had his old sparring partner, Cam Jackson, to deal with. Jackson, driving Simon Toyne’s Lola T200 after wrecking his Winkelmann yesterday, made great progress from the back of the grid, quickly gaining sixth place, but he was unable to catch the leading group, which had a huge advantage by then. He passed McArthur for fifth but could not get much closer to brother Dominik Jackson, in a Crossle, who was fourth. The elder Jackson had a steady race without much conflict, some way behind the lead group.

The struggle for Over 50s honours came next, with seventh-placed Brian Morris emerging as the winner in his Lola T202. Ross Drybrough (March 709) had attacked on the penultimate lap, but went wide at Brooklands and had to settle for eighth. Cormac Flanagan’s Alexis was next in ninth, although Flanagan had run higher earlier in the race and even had a go at keeping Jackson behind him. Tim Brise was tenth in his Merlyn Mk20, having seen off the similar cars of Chris Porritt and Rob Smith earlier. Smith, who was happier with his car than yesterday, was 12th and Porritt 13th, with Scott Rawlinson in a Merlyn Mk11A ahead of them in 11th.

Full results at TSL Timing


Fennymore conquers the rain

Graham Fennymore won a very wet second Formula Ford 2000 race in fine style, as Benn Simms’s charge from the back just fell short.

Changing weather brought mechanics to the assembly area, with many drivers, including Fennymore, opting to switch to wets. Even with new tyres, Fennymore’s Reynard SF81 was slow off the line, allowing Andrew Park’s similar car to lead the first part of the race, but he was soon back in front and left the rest of the pack standing. He credits his car’s balance for his win and he felt confident that he could hold off second-placed Simms, whose race was a different story completely.

Simms had looked set to gamble on dry tyres, but his Reynard SF77 dived into the pits at the last minute and had to start his race from there, at the back. He wasted no time in working his way up to 12th, then bided his time in sixth before striking for the podium and sweeping past Park.

His final obstacle was Ollie Roberts’s SF79, which he passed on the final lap. Roberts had got a superb start and was running confidently on the slippery circuit behind Park until Fennymore arrived and the pack shuffled. A slide as three broke for the lead meant he lost some ground to Fennymore, but he was now ahead of Park. He was third, his best result so far. Park, onthe other hand, was ruing his decision to stick with slicks.

Adrian Reynard’s experience showed as he was able to remain combative in his SF79, despite the awful conditions. A passing Simms helped him to leapfrog Park, who was fifth. Jen Ridgway’s SF78 was closing on Park in sixth, with Ridgway showing considerable pace and skill in the wet.

Adrian Langridge’s SF78 was next, a good way ahead of eighth-placed Brian Morris and ninth-placed Anthony Thompson, both in SF79s.

Drew Cameron (Royale RP27) was a fairly distant tenth, despite having started third. He had sorted out the clutch problems that marred his first race, but a mix-up in communication over which anti-roll bar needed seeing to led to a very hard-to-drive car.

Lee Bankhurst’s race was over before it even began; his RP30 pulled into the pits on the second green flag lap, ostensibly for tyres, but did not reappear. Peter Drennan appeared to have recovered well from a spin, having sorted out the electrics and water pump on his Royale RP27, but he was later disqualified, alongside Bernie Braden’s SF79. Drennan later explained that his exclusion was due to him going straight to the pits instead of parc ferme, as he needed to leave early in order to catch a flight.

Full results at TSL Timing

Classic Formula Ford HSCC

Jackson wins in orange

Cam Jackson secured another win on a damp track in Classic Formula Ford, despite having to borrow a car and start from the back.

Jackson, whose Winkelmann was badly damaged in yesterday’s Historic race, borrowed a Lola T200 from his Neil Fowler Motorsport team-mate. He has previously raced a T200 with great success and wasted little time in getting to the front, gaining ten places in the first lap and then slotting in to the leading group, even after a loss of momentum due to a short safety car period. Joe Ahrens had come off the track in his Van Diemen RF80 and needed recovery.

With a track getting progressively wetter, slipstreaming turned into sliding and spinning near the front. Both Jackson and his brother Dominik Jackson, driving a Crossle, benefitted from spins by Henry Chart’s Van Diemen RF81 and Tom McArthur’s Merlyn Mk20. The siblings approached Chart and McArthur together and capitalised first on McArthur’s misfortune, then Chart spinning. Both fought back, but McArthur going wide and Chart spinning again on the final lap in quick succession let the orange Jackson Lola get away. The Jackson Crossle was second, despite its driver having a big spin of his own at Village. McArthur stayed in touch for third and Chart was fourth.

Jordan Harrison has a well-known dislike of wet tracks and he surrendered his pole position fairly quickly in favour of McArthur and Chart. His Lola T504E was passed for fifth place late on by Richard Tarling’s Royale-bodied Crossle hybrid. It took a while for Tarling to get into his groove and he had to fend off James Rigby’s Royale RP26, then Ben Tinkler in his Van Diemen RF80 before attacking Harrison. He was fifth, in front of sixth-placed Harrison and Rigby in seventh, but Tinkler was overtaken by Peter Barrable in another RP26 and had to settle for ninth. Rick Morris was tenth, having settled his Royale in that position fairly early in the race.

A quartet of Van Diemens followed, with James Fettiplace’s RF80 in 11th after yesterday’s disqualification disappointment, Stuart Kestenbaum’s RF81 12th, Alan Fincham in another RF80 13th and Ben Hadfield’s 1978 car a little further back in 14th.

Full results at TSL Timing

Historic Formula Ford HSCC

McArthur and Mitchell triumphant as Jackson hits trouble

Tom McArthur won an exciting slipstreaming contest with Ben Mitchell in Historic Formula Ford today, but Cam Jackson’s race ended early after a collision with a backmarker.

Jackson’s Winklemann, McArthur’s Titan and Mitchell’s Merlyn Mk20 had been running as a close drafting group for seven of the race’s nine laps, with Jackson perhaps leading more than the other two, but with plenty of changes of position and very close passes. They were joined towards the end by Classic Team Merlyn’s Samuel Harrison to make a four, but became a trio once more when Jackson hit Michael Richings’s Alexis from behind close to the Wing pit straight, ending up beached on the grass. Richings also had to retire. Neither driver was hurt, but Jackson’s car appears to have sustained serious chassis damage and is unlikely to be out tomorrow.

McArthur had the upper hand for the remaining two laps, but Mitchell never gave up, briefly leading at one point. He also had the attentions of Harrison to manage and held the younger driver off admirably. Harrison was third.

Fourth place went to Jamie Vinall-Meyer, driving a Jamun T3 previously raced by Shaun Hollamby. Despite his lack of Formula Ford experience, he held his own and showed good pace. He was unable to fend off Harrison, but equally, he put a useful distance between himself and Dominik Jackson (Crossle 20F) and Simon Toyne’s Lola. Jackson and Toyne were locked in combat for the whole race, with plenty of aggressive moves going in but none really sticking. Jackson was fifth and Toyne sixth.

A fascinating Over 50 class race-within-a-race followed. Class winner Ross Drybrough was seventh in his March 709 after just seeing off Chris Porritt’s Merlyn Mk20. Cormac Flanagan (Alexis Mk14) and Brian Morris (Lola T200) had led the group earlier in the race. Flanagan held on for a strong ninth place, but Morris dropped back after a spin and finished 12th. Rob Smith’s Merlyn Mk20 was also a contender, but a sticking throttle meant he had to keep taking his foot off the accelerator and went wide at Brooklands. He was tenth, with the Merlyn of Tim Brise behind him in 11th.

Tom Pearson, the youngest driver on the grid, had put his Merlyn Mk11A/17 among the Over 50 leaders, but an over-ambitious move around Drybrough dropped him to 14th, a long way behind Morris and Scott Rawlinson’s Merlyn Mk11A. Freddie Lillingston-Price, another young driver in a Mk11, had to retire after contact with Rawlinson, losing a nosecone.

Full results at TSL Timing

FF2000 HSCC Uncategorized

Simms shuts down Fennymore’s challenge at Silverstone

Benn Simms has added yet another Historic Formula Ford 2000 win to his tally at Silverstone, brushing off polesitter Graham Fennymore to speed away into the distance.

Simms, who was never challenged during the race’s nine laps, credits his win to his Reynard SF77’s ability to power off the line and to his rivals getting into their own rivalries and holding each other up. In this case, it was the SF81s of Fennymore and Andrew Park who got caught up with each other.

Park got an absolutely spot-on start, having lined up sixth due to car trouble in qualifying. He was third within a corner, deposing Graham Ridgway’s SF78 and the Royale of Drew Cameron. Park did get past Fennymore for a lap or two mid-race, but although Park was gaining on him again on the final lap, Fennymore held him off for second.

Ridgway was a solid fourth, although some way behind Park at the end. Cameron had a less straightforward run, with serious trouble downshifting causing him to drop from third to twelfth, then the lower reaches of the top ten. The quickest in a straight line, he got on top of his troubles towards the end, passing Adrian Reynard’s SF79 and Lee Bankhurst’s Royale RP30 in quick succession. Bankhurst had his own scuffle going on with Ollie Roberts, whose SF79 sat in fifth for most of the race. Bankhurst was gaining on him, but Cameron effectively towed Bankhurst past him on the final lap, meaning Roberts had to settle for seventh. Reynard was eighth. Peter Drennan had also been sparring with Reynard in his yellow Royale RP27, but he had to retire with a mysterious electrical problem.

The twin SF79s of Brian Morris and Andrew Storer made up the top ten. Storer had been passed by both Bankhurst and Reynard on their way up the grid.

Full results at TSL Timing

Classic Formula Ford HSCC

Jackson and Chart back up to speed in Classic

Cam Jackson has won the first Classic Formula Ford race of the weekend, holding off a charging Jordan Harrison after a four-car pack thinned to two.

Jackson, driving his familiar Class B Winkelmann, was pressured but never really in danger during the nine-lap race, although Harrison’s Lola T540E was gaining on him by the end.

Harrison, who had started second, did get close and was also embroiled in his own battle with returning driver Henry Chart, a racewinner in 2021. Chart, with his ex-Tim Harvey Van Diemen RF81 now painted battleship grey, did get the better of Harrison in the middle of the race when they had a lively tussle for second, but dropping behind Harrison and Tom McArthur’s Merlyn Mk20 cost him towards the end. He did well to overhaul McArthur on the final lap, grabbing the last podium spot by 0.013s.

After problems with a loose exhaust in qualifying, McArthur had a lot to do in the opening laps, but he worked his way from eleventh to fourth quickly. He set the fastest lap of the race and briefly took third from Chart, but he was unable to catch the leaders. For most of the race, he was followed by Ben Tinkler’s Van Diemen RF80, but spinning on a patch of oil dropped Tinkler down the order. He regained a few places to finish ninth.

Richard Tarling, in his improvised hybrid Crossle, was fifth, having had a good scrap with Rick Morris’s Royale early on. Morris was still snapping at his heels when the chequered flag came out. Joe Ahrens’s Van Diemen RF80 had been with them at the start, but he had to retire as his car’s engine cover had come loose.

A bit further back, the elder Jackson brother, Dominik, was seventh in a Crossle 20F, having won a minor skirmish with Peter Barrable’s Royale RP26. Barrable was eighth, ahead of Tinkler, who had Simon Toyne’s Lola behind him and the Royale RP26 of James Rigby only a few tenths further back.

Full results at TSL Timing

Classic Formula Ford HSCC

Harrison leads four-way thriller

Jordan Harrison has won the second Classic Formula Ford race of the weekend in dramatic style, thwarting a three-sided attack from Tom McArthur, Richard Tarling and Ben Tinkler.

Harrison’s Lola T540 has been the fastest car in the Classic pack all weekend and it was something of a surprise when McArthur’s Class B Merlyn nosed alongside Harrison at the start. The two of them were side by side into Riches and furiously challenging each other for the opening two laps.

Eventually, they tripped each other up and Tarling took a chance in his Royale RP26, towing Ben Tinkler’s Van Diemen RF80 with him. Harrison bided his time, running in the leading back but as low as fifth. It was a plan that paid off; once the time and place were right, he surged past Tarling and Tinkler and quickly pulled out a significant gap.

McArthur was then caught in a slipstreaming contest with Joe Ahrens’s Van Diemen RF80, Rick Morris’s Royale and the distincitive Lola of Jake Shortland. Shortland pulled off near the start-finish line with evident mechanical problems, reducing their group to three. The number decreased but the intensity did not, with Ahrens making increasing incursions into the territory of Morris and McArthur. He eventually prevailed, finishing fourth. Morris was fifth, ahead of McArthur, who received a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits. This did not affect his final finshing position.

Philip Senior was a lonely seventh in a red Royale RP24. Some way behind him, Oliver Chapman’s Lola T200 and James Rigby’s “Jesus Saves” Royale RP26 were engaged in a race-long scuffle. Rigby prevailed, but only by a tenth of a second. Alan Fincham (Van Diemen RF80) rounded out the top ten.

The lower of the field had its own rivalries present. Stuart Kestenbaum, driving a Van Diemen RF81, was 11th, and led home a second slipstreaming pack of Ben Hadfield’s 1978 Van Diemen, Mark Harrison’s green RP24 and Richard Yeomans in his Crossle 25F.

Full results at TSL Timing


Another Simms double as challengers fall

Benn Simms has completed another HSCC Historic Formkula Ford 2000 double, winning by a big margin from Graham Fennymore.

Apart from the gap, this sounds like a standard FF2000 story, but both Simms and Fennymore were helped by several of their closest challengers retiring.

It felt as if there was a curse on second place. Cam Jackson started his Delta T80 behind Simms and shook off an attack by Ben Glasswell, in a Reynard SF77 like Simms’s. However, he dropped out before the first lap was over with a disconnected HT lead.

This put Glasswell into second, where he remained in what looked like a safe position if quite a way behind Simms. He had made a quick series of passes to third place. Unfortunately for him, his car began misfiring noisily with a probable electrical fault and he had to retire.

Fennymore’s Reynard SF81 had begun in ninth. He worked his way up to fourth quickly, but it took some time to get past Graham Ridgway’s Royale RP27. Glasswell’s retirement promoted him to second, where he reaimed after breaking free of the chasing group.

Ridgway’s car had been subjected to an inspection the night before and the opened rocker cover was leaking oil, causing him to lose speed. He was passed by Glasswell after a good start and then overtaken by Greg Robertson’s SF79 and Stephen Glasswell’s SF79. Glasswell Sr’s car developed an electrical problem like his son’s, quite early, but Robertson continued his charge from sixth and finished the race third. Lee Bankhurst (Royale RP30) was fourth, having spun in the previous race and worked his way back from seventh place on the grid. Ridgway was fifth.

Andrew Storer’s Pukka Pies SF79 was a reliable sixth, some way ahead of the 1978 Reynard of Adrian Langridge. Nathaniel Cooper’s Royale RP27 and Adrian Reynard’s SF79 followed him home a few seconds apart.

Jon Finch completed the top ten in his SF79. With another lap, Ollie Roberts (SF79) might have caught him as he was very close.

Drew Cameron had to stop on the first lap and his Royale RP27 was found to have serious driveshaft problems.

Jen Ridgway was awarded Driver of the Day for her mission from the back of the grid to 15th place, passing many cars with guts and enthusiasm.

Full results at TSL Timing

Historic Formula Ford HSCC

McArthur wins in Historic photo finish

Tom McArthur pipped Samuel Harrison on the line for a second Historic Formula Ford victory of the weekend.

McArthur, who had jumped straight out of a Merlyn Mk20 in Classic FF1600 into the Titan he uses for Historics, weathered a strong challenge from Classic Team Merlyn driver Harrison, who was leading into the final lap. A precision move into the final metres of the race secured the win, although both the timing screens and the commentary team were initially unsure who had won. McArthur was declared the victor by 0.041s shortly afterwards.

He had led for most of the 20-minute race, initially carving out a gap, but Harrison gradually crept up behind him with a series of fastest laps, leading briefly at about three-quarters distance before making another move on the penultimate lap.

Harrison had passed Callum Grant’s Merlyn early in the first lap. Grant had qualified second but was struggling with understeer and let Harrison past. He held on to third, although he was on his own for most of the race.

The usual chasing pack of Matt Wrigley (Merlyn Mk11A/20), Danny Stanzl’s Elden and Brian Morris in a Lola looked different. Wrigley broke away fairly early after a fast start and ran his own solo race in fourth. The others, joined by Rob Smith in his Merlyn and Tim Brise’s similar car, met different fates. Morris hit a kerb on the Bentley Straight and retired with a broken upright on lap three, leaving Stanzl and Smith to it. Smith’s car then snapped a rear stub axle and he coasted off onto the grass just before Palmer, leaving Stanzl alone in fifth. Brise was sixth and leading Over 50 driver, after a few skirmishes with Ross Drybrough in his March. Drybrough was seventh, with Cormac Flanagan (Alexis Mk14), the Crossle 16F of Kevin Stanzl and Tom Pearson in a Merlyn Mk11/17 following behind at intervals to complete the top ten. Pearson did well to recover from an off just after Riches, in which Brise was also caught.

Oliver Chapman limped to the end after spinning his Lola T200, while Scott Rawlinson’s Merlyn and Louis Hanjoul’s Elden never really got going.

Full results at TSL Timing

Classic Formula Ford HSCC

Harrison wins as McArthur and Tarling squabble

Jordan Harrison cruised away into the distance to win this weekend’s first Classic Formula Ford race, leaving Tom McArthur and Richard Tarling to push hard for second.

Harrison’s Lola T540E was never challenged for the lead and his win soon became a foregone conclusion. He got a good start and was quickly lapping in the 2:04s, over a second faster than than his nearest rivals.

He was impressive, but the biggest drama grew from the rivalry between McArthur, in a Class B Merlyn Mk20, and Tarling, driving a Royale RP26 for the first time in anger this year. The two tried different lines around each other, with both holding the lead at different times as Harrison got away. McArthur took the lead going into the final lap after Tarling appeared to have repelled him and although he was never more than a whisker away from McArthur’s car, he could not get past. McArthur was just 0.2s ahead on the line.

Tarling had the additional challenge of defending from Ben Tinkler towards the end. Tinkler, driving his red Van Diemen RF80, leapfrogged the Lola T440 of the struggling Jake Shortland on the first lap and gradually insinuated himself into the chasing group, coming very close to making a serious attack that Tarling had to head off. The gap between him and Tarling was even smaller than the tiny interval between McArthur and Tarling.

A furious race-within-a-race for fifth followed, contested by Rick Morris in his Royale RP29, the RF80 of Joe Ahrens and Shortland, who missed a gear at the start and dropped from fourth to seventh. Morris and Ahrens were particularly gung-ho and both took turns at leading their group, but it was Morris who was at the front at the right time and he was fifth, from sixth-placed Ahrens. Shortland dropped back in the closing laps, but he had had a go at both Ahrens and Morris previously.

The rest of the field was spread out. Philip Senior’s Royale RP24 was a lonely eighth, with the RF80 of Alan Fincham some way behind. Fincham had broken free of a midfield drafting pack involving Stuart Kestenbaum’s RF81 and an improving Richard Yeomans, driving a Crossle. Kestenbaum was tenth and Yeomans eleventh.

Class B driver Oliver Chapman, in a Lola T200, was quick enough to run in the top ten but did not finish.

Full results at TSL Timing

(Image copyright Sophia Harrison/Shaws Motorsport)