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Features Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Stanzl’s spare car

Before the rules changed, it used to be fairly common for Formula 1 drivers to jump into a spare car when theirs was damaged in practice. It isn’t such a common occurrence in Historic Formula Ford.

Championship regular Kevin Stanzl had a nightmare qualifying for the Silverstone International Trophy; his Merlyn Mk20 had an engine blow-up, breaking a crank before he even completed a lap.

This could easily be the end of his weekend, but Stanzl took a chance on fetching another car he had at home.

The Crossle 16F had been in the garage since last year’s Oulton Park races and was far from ready to run. It was also in Woking.

“It was an hour and half drive, then get the car prepped, get the ratios changed, set it up,” explained Stanzl.

This was all done in less than a day and he was back at Silverstone late on Saturday evening.

“The gearing needed doing, the brakes needed sorting out, the wheels, tyres, getting it off its stand, check through it quickly, and we’re here.

“It was a bit of work! Then got it in the van, got back here and then begged, and borrowed to get out and do my practice laps.”

The car was now ready for Race 2, but qualifying was long gone. Luckily, a way was found for Stanzl to get on the grid.

“They let me out for two laps, then the third lap was the green flag lap, so then I could race.”

Stanzl came from the back of the grid to finish 22nd in Race 2.

Image by Dan Bichener

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BRSCC Northern Classic Formula Ford FF2000 round up

Round-up: Classic regulars star at Mallory and Shepherd wins again

With no Classic race at this weekend’s HSCC Silverstone International Trophy, a few regulars decided to try their luck in the BRSCC Northern series.

Rick Morris, who has been vocal in his disappointment over the Silverstone decision, put his Royale RP29 in second position on the grid, out-qualifying a series of newer cars, but it was his Don Hardman Racing team-mate Stuart Kestenbaum (Van Diemen RF79) who took the lead from fourth. A lengthy yellow flag period followed while Chris Hodgen’s 1994 Swift and Edwin Hannah’s Reynard FF84 were cleared up, and combined with Mallory’s compact layout, this meant that there was no room for hesitation at the restart. Kestenbaum also had a gearbox problem to contend with and dropped down the order, finishing seventh. Morris was ultimately unable to keep on the tail of Nigel Dolan’s Van Diemen JL012K, but he held on to second ahead of Paul Mason’s Swift.

Morris was fifth in the second race, ahead of Dolan this time but a fair way back from the podium finishers, led by winner George McDonald in a Swift SC92F. Kestenbaum did not complete a lap due to continuing problems.

HSCC Classic regular Alan Fincham (Van Diemen RF80) also came along and was tenth in the first race. Ian Fernihough’s Titan Mk6 was the other Vintage-age car present.

Back at Silverstone, Murray Shepherd showed his class once more in Classic FF2000, winning both races in a Van Diemen RF82 and running among the Formula 3 machinery that shares the grid. He was seventh overall in the first race, ahead of Greg Robertson (Reynard SF79) in tenth and Jon Finch in a similar car, who was 12th.

Shepherd was fourth in the second race, with only three F3 cars in front of him, giving himself an early birthday present of another FF2000 win. eighth-placed Stephen Barlow, driving a similar car, was second, with Andrew Smith’s Royale RP27 just behind in third, ninth overall.

Full results available at TSL Timing

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Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Jackson wins as Mitchell makes his podium comeback

Cam Jackson has won the second HSCC Historic Formula Ford race in dominant style, but Ben Mitchell was a worthy runner-up on his return to the series.

The sight of Jackson’s black Winkelmann screaming away into the distance is now a familiar one and the double champion still won despite easing off with sub-optimal tyres.

Jackson may have been eight seconds ahead of Mitchell’s Merlyn Mk20, but Mitchell won his own battle against the similar Merlyn of Horatio Fitz-Simon fair and square. Mitchell, who had started from fifth after a first-race spin, quickly made his way to the front of the main pack, passing Callum Grant’s Merlyn and Linton Stutely’s Royale RP3. A confident Fitz-Simon sneaked past repeatedly and even held second place going into the final lap, but Mitchell took ruthless advantage of a small mistake to overcome his younger rival by a tenth of a second.

Close finishes were a theme in this race. Fourth-placed Dominik Jackson (Lotus 59) was granted his spot by just a single thousandth of a second ahead of Callum Grant’s Merlyn. The pair had been scrapping closely for much of the race and it could have gone either way on the last lap. Grant, who was running on used tyres, got a fierce start and challenged Cam Jackson for the first lap, but he was unable to match Jackson’s pace. He was not helped much by his proximity to an accident that dumped Stutely out of the race on lap 3. Stutely’s Royale had been down on power out of the corners and dropped a few places, but Samuel Harrison’s over-enthusiasm into Club spun Stutely off and into retirement with a bent steering rack. Dominik Jackson and Grant, who were in the pack, escaped unscathed but Harrison’s Elden had a crooked nosecone and he dropped down the order. He was able to carry on and finish 15th.

Another big fight was raging just behind. Will Nuthall came out on top from a four-way tussle with Danny Stanzl (Elden Mk8), Matt Wrigley’s Merlyn and Brian Morris in the Lola T202. Nuthall’s Jamun led over the line but all four had had their turn in front. Stanzl looked to have the advantage, but Nuthall’s patience played off and Stanzl ended up at the back of the group in ninth, behind Wrigley and Morris, who claimed the Over 50s win.

Ross Drybrough was tenth in his Merlyn and second Over 50 driver. He was just ahead of Max Bartell in Drybrough’s March 709. Bartell had retired from Race 1 with a sheared gear and had started right at the back.

Sam Mitchell was hoping to challenge in his Merlyn, but a crack in the gearbox housing meant he had to withdraw. Simon Toyne’s Lola T200 was also missing from the grid.

Full results at TSL Timing

Images copyright Dan Bichener

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Historic Formula Ford HSCC

Jackson wins the race but Grant wins the slipstreaming battle

Cam Jackson took another runaway win at the Silverstone International Trophy, but the biggest on-track battle was for second and third.

Callum Grant steered his orange Merlyn Mk20 to second place on the final lap after winning an exciting slipstreaming contest with Classic Team Merlyn’s Horatio Fitz-Simon and Linton Stutely (Royale RP3).

Ben Mitchell, driving another Merlyn, had looked like the winner of this particular skirmish and almost challenged Jackson at the start, passing Stutely for second and building up a gap, but he was caught by the chasing group and then dropped right to the back of it by a last-lap spin. He recovered to take fifth, just in front of brother Sam in the Merlyn he shares with his father, Westie.

Fitz-Simon, who had been hoping for rain, proved impressive on the drying, warming track, passing first Grant, then Stutely, with whom he vied for the lead of the chasing pack. Grant quickly got involved and turned it into a three-way contest, before Mitchell was caught and made it four. Grant made the most of the International circuit’s slipstreaming possibilities and held second place over the line, four-tenths ahead of Fitz-Simon and with Stutely a little further back, having had to avoid a rotating Mitchell.

Dominik Jackson had started from fourth but dropped back fairly quickly. He lost ground to a recovering Sam Mitchell and had some good scraps with the likes of Will Nuthall (Jamun T2) and Samuel Harrison (Elden Mk8). Harrison, free of the oil line problems that affected his qualifying, was seventh, with a combative Danny Stanzl in another Elden behind, having overhauled Jackson, who was ninth. Nuthall dropped to 12th, behind the Lolas of Simon Toyne and Brian Morris.

Morris won the Over 50 honours with his 11th place. Class leader Ross Drybrough did not have the same pace as in qualifying and his Merlyn Mk20 took him to 15th. Matt Wrigley (Merlyn Mk11A/20) was another driver who found it hard going. He admitted that his car’s rear end felt twitchy and he had already had a scare with a master cylinder during qualifying.

It was a race mercifully free of incident, apart from Max Bartell retiring the March 709 early on as it was “making a strange noise”.

Full results from TSL Timing

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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

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Historic Formula Ford HSCC News

Huge Historic grid expected for Silverstone

The HSCC Historic Formula Ford championship will field an impressive grid of almost 40 cars for the Silverstone International Trophy.

The provisional entry list, released earlier today, has 39 cars on it, including early championship front-runners Cam Jackson (Winkelmann) and Linton Stutely (Royale RP3). Tom MacArthur, who was in the mix at Snetterton, is not down to race, but Callum Grant is going to be out in his Merlyn Mk20 and will be able to renew his rivalry with 2018 championship contender Ben Mitchell, also in a Merlyn for the first time since the 2020 Walter Hayes Trophy.

The exhaust troubles that put Sam Mitchell out of the running at Snetterton appear to have been dealt with and he will go up against his brother for the first time in several seasons, driving the family Merlyn.

A notable new face on the grid is BTCC racer and team owner Shaun Hollamby, who has owned his Jamun T3 for a while now and is set to race it in anger on the International circuit.

Among the familiar returning names is former championsip chairman Dick Dixon, whose yellow Lotus 61 has been absent for a while.

On-track action starts with qualifying at 9am on Saturday 22nd May. Race 1 is scheduled for 12:45.