Classic Formula Ford Formula Ford Festival Historic Formula Ford

Historics go to the Formula Ford Festival

(Pictured: Chris Knox’s Van Diemen RF79)

The Brian Jones Trophy was the event’s Historic Final, although the cut-off point was 1998 rather than 1982 and genuine historic cars were outnumbered and somewhat outgunned.

Former BTCC and truck racer Matt Rivett was the winner in a 1991 Van Diemen, having pulled onto the tail of Darwin Smith’s 1990 version during a safety car period. Rivett had started fourth and spent the early part of the race putting himself into a favourable position to pick off Smith. He need not have bothered, however, as Smith went off on the final lap. Brandon McCaughan was second in a Mondiale M89S, with Chris Goodwin making the most of the final five-lap sprint to put his Van Diemen RF89 in third.

First place was something of a curse on the wet Brands asphalt, as early leader Alan Davidson suffered a series of problems with his 1989 Mondiale and dropped to tenth.

Returning star, the Van Diemen RF80-mounted Roberto Moreno, only lasted a single corner before spinning off into the gravel, triggering a safety car period.

The “proper” historic action was further down the grid, with Robert Higgins’s Macon MR7 the quickest pre-’72 car in 13th place. Higgins, competing alongside sons Richard and Adam, made up several places in the closing stages of the race and finished just ahead of Chris Knox, having his first single-seater race in a Van Diemen RF79. Former Mini racer Knox was perhaps the most impressive of the Historic entries, running as high as eighth for a good portion of the race.

The debut appearance of Shaun Hollamby’s Jamun T3 was also a positive one. Hollamby had been waiting for it to be ready all season and managed to climb to 15th place from the back of a 30-car grid.

Rick Morris usually runs well at the Festival but his Royale RP29 had an argument with the barriers in his semi-final and he dropped a lot of places on the final lap of the historic final, finishing 20th. Stuart Kestenbaum, racing Mark Harrison’s Royale RP21 for the first time, was 23rd.

None of the pre-’82 runners made it in to the Grand Final, won by Jamie Sharp, although Historic regular Samuel Harrison was 14th in a Ray GR07. Knox qualified for the first semi but could only finish 26th, and Morris crashed out of the second.

Full results at TSL Timing

Image copyright Linton Stutely


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 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

FF2000 HSCC Uncategorized

And the rest: Snetterton roundup

Two further Formula Ford championships were in action at Snetterton’s HSCC meeting this weekend.

The URS Classic Formula Ford 2000 series for later FF2000 cars runs alongside the URS Classic Formula 3 championship. 2019 Locost champion Murray Shepherd was the winner of both races. Driving a Van Diemen RF82 belonging to Tony Hancock, he was head and shoulders above his nearest rival Erik Pagano and was two seconds a lap quicker at his fastest. The gap between the pair, who came to blows on-track at Donington, expanded to almost three seconds in Race 2.

Although not quite within Vintage Formula Ford’s timeframe, the Zig Zag Lighting Heritage Formula Ford series hosted some older cars, including the PRS of Oliver Chapman, who had also raced in Classic Formula Ford the day before. The modern Ray of Max Esterson took both victories, with commentator Ben Edwards’s Van Diemen RF92 the first of the Heritage cars home.

Image copyright HSCC/Paul Lawrence