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Peter Drennan gets back on track

2020 HSCC Formula Ford 2000 champion Peter Drennan (81 in the pic above) has been missing from the circuits for over a year, but now he’s racing again.

After successfully predicting a red flag to the second during a Roadsports race, he spoke to VFF about what he’s up to.

The Irishman had bought a new car after his 2020 win and planned to defend his title, but Covid put paid to that plan, meaning that the Brands Hatch season opener was the first time he had driven the car in anger.

“The goal changed last year. After the win in 2020 we sold the winner car. We took a trade-in of another car to try to bring it up the grid a bit.

“It didn’t suit for me to race in 2021 after Covid and all that, so we decided to get it going now for 2022.

“I don’t know how I didn’t get ill as I was away as much as I could, but so far I haven’t caught the pox!”

Drennan’s title-winning car was a Reynard SF79 and despite being of average height and build, it wasn’t always the most comfortable for him to drive.

“The chassis was actually quite small. Before Covid we were supposed to go to Spa. Obviously I ended up in another Reynard chassis which was actually a little bit bigger and really comfortable to get in straight away. I ended up getting into that ’79 one and I was cramped as hell.

“You were driving by your backside, which is what I like, but the Reynard was never comfortable.”

His new Royale RP27 seems a better fit.

“I can kind of throw it about a bit, get it out of shape. I’ve got a bit more confidence in the car.”

The question remains how much of the season Drennan is going to do, but he has been in this situation before and ended up winning a championship. If he racks up a win later on, then plans might change.

“For 2020 I’d no intention of doing the whole season either, and somehow how we ended up doing the whole season. I don’t think it’s going to happen this year though.”

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Features FF2000 HSCC

Molly Dodd makes her debut

There were several newcomers in Formula Ford machinery at Snetterton; Molly Dodd stood out among them.

Although car troubles meant that she did not get to finish either of her races, many observers were impressed by the Spalding teenager’s lap times and confident driving style. This was all the more remarkable as this was the first time she had driven a single-seater competitively.

“It’s the first time driving a single-seater in real life and my first time driving this car,” is how Dodd described it at Snetterton.

It was also her first time in historic machinery, apart from a few practice laps in a friend’s Clubman. All of her racing so far has been in junior categories, mainly the BARC’s Junior Saloon Car Championship, where she competed from 2018 to 2020. Despite her lack of experience with a car like her Royale FF2000, she immediately felt at home.

“I drove front-wheel drive cars before this. My main experience has come from Saxos.

“Whether it’s a case of it matching my style, or…a combination of maybe just experience, a bit of confidence. I feel confident here. Comfortable.”

Single-seaters have always been her ultimate aim, but getting a foot on the established career ladder is difficult.

“The mainstream, certainly junior single-seaters, things like Formula 4 and Formula 3, are quite expensive. This is what we went for in the end, a bit of experience.”

Dodd is a member of MSUK’s Driver Academy and her FF2000 activities are complementing the scheme’s physical training programme.

“The one thing I’ve found particularly is neck, which I’ve not had to do before. When you’re in a tin-top, you’re quite supported. I definitely need to work these muscles. But I was pretty physically prepared.”

Neck strain aside, she was enthusiastic about her experiences on the FF2000 grid.

“It’s a cracking experience really, learning from people around you as you’re on the move.”

FF2000 is back in action at Cadwell for the Wolds Trophy on the 5th and 6th of June.