* Finn takes pole-to-flag victory for JTR and Mygale * Mexican 16-year-old Fabian Welter dominates the Duratec class
Flying Finn Antti Buri claimed the maiden honours in the new era of Formula Ford racing on Saturday, the 23-year-old winning in style for the JTR team at Oulton Park to record the first race victory for an the EcoBoost-powered chassis. Buri led all the way from pole position to take what was also his first win in the category after two seasons of trying.Mygale EcoBoost chassis from four different teams filled the top eight places in round one of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain, with Buri lopping 2.5s from the old Duratec Formula Ford lap record for the Cheshire track to underline the pace of the new-era car.There was a great race also for honours in the Duratec class today, Mexico's Fabian Welter - the youngest on the grid at 16 - winning on his Formula Ford debut.Buri, who signed with Nick Tandy's JTR team only this week, made his intentions clear in qualifying, posting a best lap a shade over a quarter-second better than that of his closest rival, Jamun Racing's Luke Williams (Sowerby). Jamun's other drivers, Argentinian Eric Lichtenstein and Rotherham racer Jake Cook, lined up third and fourth on the grid, ahead of JTR men Julio Moreno and Cavan Corcoran.It was Williams who appeared to make the better start to the race, pulling ahead of Buri on the run to OId Hall corner. But Luke ran wide and allowed Antti to fight back to the front; by lap's end the Finn was 0.7s ahead and that was the closest his pursuers would get for the duration.Williams clung on well but alas his start was deemed by race officials to be have been too enthusiastic and he was summoned to the pits for a drive-through penalty. Williams delayed taking the penalty until three laps from the end, and rejoined fourth behind his team-mates Lichtenstein and Cook.Buri was 4.2s clear at the chequered flag and was delighted to break his duck: "Finally!" he said. "It's been a long two years and I am very happy. It wasn't an easy race, but I did not make too many mistakes and I managed to pull a gap. The new car is really nice to drive and I am looking forward now to two more races on Monday."Lichtenstein was pleased enough with second given that he seemed to be suffering a fuel pick-up problem: "I made the podium, so it is a good thing, but there was a fuel problem, otherwise I could have been closer to Antti," said Eric.Cook was disappointed with his third place: "The rear tyres went away very quickly," said the Yorkshireman, "and after that I was struggling to keep up." Jake finished 7s down on Lichtenstein and 6s clear of Williams after the latter's pit penalty.Ecuadorian 16-year-old Moreno enjoyed a good debut run to fifth (and top Rookie), liberating the position from his JTR running mate Corcoran (Matlock) into Old Hall on the seventh lap. Surrey racer Fred Martin-Dye was the seventh place finisher in the EcoBoost class, with another first-time Formula Ford racer, Ryan Cullen, eighth. That Ryan even made the race was tribute to the hard work of the Cullen Motorsport/Race Car Consultants team, which had overcome a series of new-car teething problems, including a Friday-night engine swap, to put the Somerset youngster on the grid.Only three finished the Duratec class battle - the other five contenders all fell by the wayside. First out was Don Hardman Automotive driver Abdul Ahmed, whose Ray went off on the opening lap, and he was joined in retirement on lap five by Fluid's Alex Drabble, whose Van Diemen hit the gravel at Druids.Welter had made a good start to overhaul the cars of Matt Rao (Fluid Van Diemen) and Scottish FF1600 champion Kenneth Thirlwall (Myerscough Van Diemen) on the opening lap and steadily eased a small gap from his pursuers. Enigma's George Blundell started to close down the Mexican's advantage but the Essex man was involved in a collision with Rao at Shell Oils on the ninth lap and both went out. American Charles Anti also went off three laps from the end.That left Welter out in front by nearly 15s from Thirlwall, with Australian rookie Olly Rae third for the Enigma team on his racing debut. Fabian was pleased with his result: "I was worried because I could see they were catching me, then they crashed and I could slow down a bit. It was a very good race for me."The Formula Fordsters had Easter Sunday off for rest and repairs and are in action today at Oulton Park for two further races.