Categories
Classic Formula Ford HSCC

Jordan Harrison sees off modern rivals

Jordan Harrison has come out on top of a mixed Classic and Heritage Formula Ford field, fending off the 2018 car of Rory Smith.

Harrison’s Lola T540E is 40 years old, but he still managed to keep ahead of Smith’s 2018 Medina Sport, as well as his usual Classic sparring partner, Henry Chart.

Harrison had finished third in the combined qualifying and a 20-second head start on the Heritage racers helped, but it was an assured performance. Smith only got within striking distance on the final lap, passing Chart’s Van Diemen RF81. It had been Chart who threatened Harrison’s lead at a couple of points earlier and there was very little between the two for most of the race. Chart was unable to capitalise on a late excursion onto the grass by Harrison as he was trying to pass a backmarker and unable to take advantage. He was third on track, second in the Classic standings.

Another Lola, that of Jake Shortland, was a surprise frontrunner. He qualified fourth and had a lengthy tussle with Rick Morris’s Royale RP29, evetually prevailing over the 2019 champion. Morris did not make it easy for Shortland and refused to let the Lola driver get away. He hung on for much of the race before being passed by Ian Parkington in a Crossle 25F. Parkington had overhauled Joe Ahrens fairly early and maintained a steady presence behind Morris.

Ahrens, driving Richard Tarling’s Van Diemen RF80, briefly got past Shortland at the start but was quickly re-passed and had to settle for seventh, sixth in the Classic race.

Alan Fincham was the next Classic finisher in another RF80, in twelfth place after keeping in touch with four Heritage runners. Class B winner Oliver Chapman was next in a Lola T200, followed at a distance by Paul Crosbie’s RF80 and Mark Harrison in a Royale.

Away from the front-row action, the quick and decisive action of marshals prevented a red flag. Heritage drivers Neil Hunt (Mondiale M92S) and Stuart Jones (Van Diemen RF85) collided on the start line but both cars were able to be wheeled to safety before the rest of the field reappeared. Simon Jackson, wo competed in Classic in a Javelin, was also caught up in a first-lap crash with David Billington’s Van Diemen and had to retire his Lanan 1604.

Full results at TSL Timing

Image by Richard Towler

Categories
FF2000 HSCC

Fennymore cruises to victory in chaotic first race

Graham Fennymore scored an easy victory in the first Formula Ford 2000 race of the weekend as his rivals fell by the wayside.

The race was a battle for survival, with Fennymore’s nearest challenger Benn Simms parking his Reynard SF77 on the first lap with a broken gear linkage. Third-placed starter Lee Bankhurst’s Royale RP30 also expired on the first lap as a front wheel rim had completely sheared off.

Drew Cameron ended up being the closest to Fennymore’s Reynard SF81 in his Royale RP27, almost 28 seconds behind despite having a steady but quick run from sixth on the grid. He had overtaken previous champion Andrew Park’s SF81, which was down on power with suspected timing issues. Park carried on until the end and held third, reporting that he had less and less .

There was a considerable scrap for fifth place just down the road, initially involving Ian Foley (Reynard SF78), Colin Wright’s 1979 Reynard and Class B leader Fraser Collins in his Lola T580. Collins harried Wright for several laps but could not get past, but an approaching Molly Dodd had less of a problem in her Royale RP27, sweeping through the grid to fifth after missing a gear at the start and dropping to the back. Wright was sixth and Collins seventh.

Behind them, the field thinned out. Davy Walton was eighth in his SF79, ahead of the Delta of Roger Price and Jennifer Ridgway’s Parmalat-liveried SF78. Her father Graham Ridgway only had three functioning cylinders on his own SF78 and retired on the first lap.

The race both ended and began with a red flag; the race was ended early to retrieve a pair of crashed cars, and the first start was aborted on the first lap. It looked as if a collision between Simms and Fennymore was the cause; the two had contact at Cascades and Simms spun off. However, just out of sight, there had been a four-car pile-up just past the start, with seventh-placed Doug Crosbie (Reynard SF78) being collected by Brian Morris’s 1979 car, with at least two following cars being caught up in the melee. These included Jeremy Main’s similar SF79 and Dave Margetts’s Dulon. None of these made the restart.

Full results at TSL Timing

Image by Richard Towler

Categories
Historic Formula Ford HSCC

McArthur fends off Grant for Oulton honours

Tom McArthur has won the Paul Simms Trophy for Historic Formula Ford after a closely-fought victory over Callum Grant.

McArthur may have been able to build up a big lead in Race 1, but he faced huge resistance this time from Grant and to a lesser extent, Horatio Fitz-Simon. McArthur’s white Titan was shadowed constantly by Grant’s orange Merlyn, with only a brief period where it looked like he would get away.

Grant made a small mistake at Shell Oil, but he was back on McArthur’s tail the following lap. He passed McArthur briefly mid-way through the race and could have done so again at many other points. Ultimately, McArthur was the winner of a tense and exciting race, but only by 0.14s. Grant and Fitz-Simon set a joint fastest lap.

Fitz-Simon, in a Classic Team Merlyn Mk20, kept close to the leaders at the beginning of the race but lost touch slightly and only came back into real contention at the end. He kept well clear of Samuel Harrison (Elden Mk8), who was a fairly solitary fourth.

Harrison came close to being attacked by Danny Stanzl, in another Elden, as Stanzl pulled away from his familiar sparring partners, Brian Morris (Lola T202) and Matt Wrigley (Merlyn Mk11A/20). He was fourth overall and the quickest of the fourth-place challengers, although Wrigley did have a go at reeling him in and would have succeeded had his car not jumped out of gear at Knickerbrook, forcing him to concede the place to a determined Stanzl with a raised arm. Morris also slipped past to claim Over 50 honours and sixth place, with Wrigley seventh.

Ted Pearson brought his Merlyn Mk11/17 home in eighth and was second in the Over 50 standings. Tim Brise’s Merlyn Mk20 was just 0.029s behind and Kevin Stanzl, driving a Crossle, was less than half a second behind him. James Russell flew the flag for younger drivers with an eleventh place in his Merlyn, ahead of the Lolas of Chris Porritt and Paul Unsworth.

Full results at TSL Timing

Picture by Richard Towler

Categories
Historic Formula Ford HSCC

McArthur gets away as rivals squabble

Tom McArthur has won the first leg of the Paul Simms Trophy for Historic Formula Ford, building up a healthy lead as Horatio Fitz-Simon and Callum Grant battled each other for second.

McArthur had put Simon Hadfield’s Titan Mk4 on pole but was pushed hard at the start, going into Old Hall Bend three-wide with the Merlyn Mk20s of Fitz-Simon and Grant and then slipping to third at the exit. Both Grant and Fitz-Simon took turns in the lead before McArthur retook his place at the end of the first lap. He would stay in front despite attacks from Grant and Fitz-Simon and would win by just over 12 seconds.

The fiercest struggle was between Fitz-Simon and Grant for second. Grant’s orange car was initially the quicker one, but the slate-blue version driven by Fitz-Simon proved its equal and the two swapped places repeatedly. Their rivalry became increasingly confrontational towards the end and the nosecone of Grant’s car ended up looking rather battle-scarred. Spectators were denied a full-bore last-lap attack by Grant as Alan Schmidt sent his Merlyn up the escape road at Cascades, triggering a yellow flag.

Samuel Harrison was fourth in his Elden Mk8, but he was mostly on his own and not close enough to challenge for second. He was followed by a three-car drafting group consisting of the sister Elden of Danny Stanzl, Matt Wrigley’s Merlyn and Brian Morris in a Lola. Stanzl won their particular race-within-a-race despite a small excursion onto the grass late on. Wrigley was sixth and Morris seventh, taking the Over 50 win.

Paul Unsworth (Lola T200) was eighth, hanging on the back of their group but not quite close enough for a decent tow.

The Merlyn Mk20s of Tim Brise and James Russell followed, with Kevin Stanzl’s Crossle some way behind. Ted Pearson (Merlyn Mk11/17) was twelfth on his first race back from a break, having had to start at the back.

For such a physical race, there were no stoppages. George Ditchfield dumped his Elden on the grass at Cascades on the second lap, but yellow flags were enough.

Full results at TSL Timing

Image by Richard Towler

Categories
Classic Formula Ford HSCC

Jackson gets lucky in tricky Classic race

Cam Jackson needed all the good fortune he could get in the second Classic race at Brands Hatch, but he still managed to win.

Winkelmann driver Jackson benefited from countback on a restart and was quicker off the line than Henry Chart’s Van Diemen, who was nominally ahead. Chart was determined to keep with Jackson and attacked on several occasions, but conditions intervened and he spun on the final lap. Chart admitted after the race that he didn’t know why his brakes locked up, but the track was slippery and gave him no chance. He was fourth in the end.

The race could have been very different without a red flag. An F3 car went off at Paddock Hill Bend and changed everything. At this point, Chart was ahead, having got on the back of Jackson fairly quickly and passed him efficiently. Just after the F3 off, Jackson had a spin of his own and went sliding through the gravel at Paddock Hill. He rejoined in fifth and would have struggled to get back with Chart without a restart.

Ben Tinkler (Van Diemen RF80) was second, adding to his podium finish yesterday. He was troubled by Jordan Harrison’s Lola T540E and briefly passed but he had put a couple of seconds between himself and Harrison by the time the chequered flag came out.

Harrison confessed to having got his tyre pressures all wrong, but he was far quicker and more comfortable on a dry track.

Rick Morris was very close to Chart on the line, but the experienced Royale driver claimed that it was one of the most frightening races he had been in, due to oil on the track.

Joseph Ahrens was sixth in Richard Tarling’s Van Diemen RF80, having got ahead of Stuart Kestenbaum’s 1979 machine. Kestenbaum was safely ahead of new Classic driver Simon Toyne, who steered his Lola to eighth from the back of the grid, having failed to finish on Saturday. The similar car of Chris Porritt was ninth, but some way behind. Mark Harrison was tenth in his Royale RP21.

Also coming from the back of the grid was Simon Clews, in his distinctive frog-green Royale RP24. He made strong progress in the early part of the race. James Fettiplace, who had ploughed a Van Diemen RF80 into him the day before, was 17th, both drivers having repaired their cars overnight.

Full results at TSL Timing

Image courtesy of Richard Towler

Categories
Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Another win for Jackson as red flag denies McArthur

The first Historic Formula Ford race of the weekend was declared null and void due to an accident (more on that tomorrow), but Race 2 featured another robust stand-off between Cam Jackson and Tom McArthur.

Jackson nosed his Winkelmann over the line just over a tenth ahead of McArthur’s Titan on what should have been the start of the final lap, due to a red flag. Classic Team Merlyn driver Alan Schmidt had crashed quite hard at Surtees and triggered the stoppage.

An angry and frustrated McArthur did get ahead of Jackson for a lap or so and believed he could have taken him again with an extra lap. His fastest lap was marginally quicker than Jackson’s too. Action between the two was very close and got rather physical at times, with both scrapping over the same lines.

The chief rivalry was between Jackson and McArthur, but Classic Team Merlyn’s Horatio Fitz-Simon stayed with them for much of the race. He was closing on McArthur in the closing laps. The young Anglo-American driver is looking more confident and is adding some consistency to his skillset.

Samuel Harrison’s Elden had started off on the back of this group, but he lost ground and then had to visit the pits with a misfire caused by a loose plug lead. He rejoined but did not have enough time to get back to the business end of the race.

A fascinating tussle for fourth was won by Matt Wrigley, driving his usual Merlyn Mk11A/20. This was another race-within-a-race that could have been different with another lap. He had been part of a three-car drafting group with Will Nuthall (Jamun T2) and Danny Stanzl’s Elden Mk8 and the three swapped places almost every lap. Nuthall was only 0.019s behind by the end, with Stanzl a further 0.031s down the road.

Yet another three-car skirmish followed, which decided the result of the Over 50s class. Tim Brise was the victor in a Merlyn Mk20, having held off Brian Morris’s Lola T202 for long enough. Morris did overtake him briefly but he fought back. Kevin Stanzl brought up the rear of his group in his Crossle 16F.

Chris Lillingston-Price completed the top ten, driving a Merlyn Mk11, ahead of another hotly-contested spot; 11th was taken by James Russell’s Merlyn, ahead of Paul Unsworth’s Lola. Unsworth recorded his first finish of the year.

Tom Pearson, reported in the programme as being his father Ted, had a solid race in the family Merlyn Mk11/17. He was 17th from the back of the grid, just behind Harrison.

Full results at TSL Timing

Image courtesy of Richard Towler

Categories
FF2000 HSCC

Fennymore puts Pearson in his place

Graham Fennymore has won another Formula Ford 2000 final at Brands Hatch, defeating polesitter Ian Pearson.

Fennymore started second in his Reynard SF81 and was right on the tail of Pearson’s Royale RP30 from the start. He sneaked past Pearson at Graham Hill Bend on the opening lap and kept his lead, despite Pearson’s best efforts. For most of the race, he shadowed Fennymore in his matching white car and it was only right at the end that the eventual winner was able to put any clean air between himself and his rival. It looked as if Fennymore was getting away at mid-distance, but Pearson re-attached himself, only to be shaken off at the end.

Andrew Storer, driving the “Pukka Pies” Reynard SF79, was third, some way behind the leading pair and never really challenged by the rest of the field, which was led by Molly Dodd. The Spalding teenager was looking to make up for her hefty penalty in her heat, which denied her a win in her Royale RP27. She was not able to catch Storer but she did a great job of seeing off Nick Haryett’s 1979 Reynard, which did threaten her early on. Haryett held fifth for a long time but was passed by a charging Jon Finch, whose SF79 needed major work between qualifying and today’s race after a crash. Finch did well to progress steadily from 11th, making his final push past Haryett and the SF79 of Stephen Glasswell, who was seventh.

The Royale RP27 of Nathaniel Cooper was eighth, some way ahead of Adrian Reynard. Reynard was another driver who made up many spots from a lowly qualifying position, taking his SF79 from 24th all the way to the top ten. Ian Foley was next in an SF78.

A lively midfield battle just behind the top ten was won by Jennifer Ridgway in another SF78, who got ahead of Roger Price’s Delta and Antony Raine’s Merlyn. Raine was the Class B winner.

Full results at TSL Timing

Image courtesy of Richard Towler

Categories
Classic Formula Ford HSCC

Jackson defeats the rain

Cam Jackson has capitalised on a late entry in to the Classic championship with a win in the first race at Brands Hatch.

Jackson had qualified his Winkelmann in second place but got a good start and was never seriously challenged for the win. Henry Chart also got a great start in his Van Diemen RF81 and held second for the entire race, which was cut to twelve minutes after a full restart.

Jordan Harrison was hoping for a better restart after slipping to fifth in his Lola T540E, but wet tracks are not his favourite and he was left behind again, passed by Jackson and Chart on the line and then reeled in by first Ben Tinkler (Van Diemen RF80) and Rick Morris in his familiar black Royale. He ended the race in fifth.

Tinkler was a lonely but safe third in his first Classic race for a long while. The erstwhile champion took third within a lap of the restart and stayed there. Morris had more work to do, having slipped down the order as low as seventh before using his considerable experience to master the wet track.

Experience was really needed on the wet-but-not-really-wet surface, coupled with backmarkers from the Historic Formula 3 championship. Stuart Kestenbaum followed Harrison home for sixth in his Van Diemen RF79, in front of a disappointed Joe Ahrens (Van Diemen RF80) who made up a few places to finish seventh.

Chris Porritt, who is taking part in three different series this weekend, was eighth in his Lola, a good 11 seconds ahead of Ross Drybrough, making an appearance in the March 709 used so effectively by Jackson last year.

Ian Jeary’s first outing of the year in his Elden gave him a tenth place. Mark Harrison won the first big midfield scrap in 11th, driving a Royale RP21. Phil Attwood was the winner of the battle at the back, finishing 14th in a Crossle 32F.

Full results at TSL Timing

Image courtesy of Richard Towler

Categories
FF2000 HSCC

Fennymore fights back

Graham Fennymore has won the Formula Ford 2000 final on the Indy circuit, despite some scares on the way.

Fennymore, driving his Reynard SF81, took advantage of a safety car period early on to get on the back of Ian Pearson’s Royale RP30, then charge past soon after green flag fell again. Pearson, who qualified on pole, had been leading comfortably until Geoff O’nion went off in his Reynard SF77, triggering the yellow flags.

This is not to take anything away from either Fennymore or Pearson.

Fennymore looked set for a win in his heat, leading comfortably until the final lap. On the final lap, he suddenly slowed, taking over a minute to get back to the line and dropping to fourth. This meant that he started eighth for the final.

Pearson had put his car on pole via a win in the first heat, having won his own battle with the SF77 of Adrian Reynard mid-way through. He actually started quite slowly and dropped to third; despite setting a fastest lap and being the first driver to duck under the 49s bar he took a while to challenge for the lead.

Reynard himself was third in the final, having just about kept within sight of Fennymore and Pearson. Andrew Storer was fourth in an SF79, ahead of Jon Finch in a similar car, who had passed him for the heat win late in that race.

Royale driver Molly Dodd was sixth. She was another competitor who had a few obstacles to overcome. After Fennymore’s Heat 2 issue, she looked to have bagged a safe win, but she was penalised 30s for a faulty transponder and was classified fifth. In the final itself, she worked her way up from tenth and was considerably ahead of seventh-placed Ian Foley in an SF78.

Another SF78 was next, driven by Graham Ridgway. He too had problems in the closing laps and did well to recover to eighth from tenth. Ninth place went to Nick Haryett (Reynard SF79), another driver who had a bit of a nightmare in his heat. He qualified third but had problems early on and spent most of the race playing catch-up. Nathaniel Cooper (Royale RP27) followed him home in his heat and did the same in the race itself.

Full results at TSL Timing

Categories
FF2000 HSCC

Fennymore wins again under pressure

Graham Fennymore has won the second Historic Formula Ford 2000 race at Donington, despite strong challenges from Ian Pearson and Andrew Park.

Reynard SF81 driver Fennymore, who has only recently returned to the track after a seven-year layoff, led from lights to flag, but it was far from an easy ride.

Pearson’s Royale RP30 was second and got very close to Fennymore mid-race, but he benefited from Park’s off-track excursion at the Old Hairpin. Park’s Reynard SF81 ran as high as second, but his small off let Pearson go and also allowed Benn Tilley through in Simon Ayliff’s Delta T80. Tilley was third and Park almost two seconds behind in fourth.

Ben Glasswell (Reynard SF77) held his qualifying position in fifth, ahead of Adrian Reynard’s SF79. Reynard had won the qualification race earlier in the day and worked his way up from thirteenth. He was helped by the retirement of close rival Drew Cameron, whose Royale RP27 shed a wheel at the Old Hairpin.

Graham Ridgway was seventh, driving daughter Jen’s SF78. He was relatively fast at the beginning, quickly progressing from 14th to sixth. There was an eleven-second gap to eighth, held by the SF70 of Greg Robertson. Robertson had qualified well on Saturday but admitted to over-driving his car. Lee Bankhurst’s Royale RP30 was a few seconds behind in ninth. Steve Collier’s Royale RP27 completed the top ten.

Fraser Collins won Class B in his Lola T580, finishing 16th overall after having to qualify again this morning. He had enjoyed a big scrap with Jeremy Main’s Class A SF79. Main was 17th.

Full results at TSL Timing

Image courtesy of Richard Towler