•Antti leads from pole to chequered flag for JTR•Matt Rao claims Duratec class victory for Fluid
Finland’s Antti Buri kept his wheels clean to take his third victory of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain season Saturday at Rockingham, while several of his rivals fell foul of rigidly enforced rules aimed at stamping out sloppy driving. Buri’s win ahead of his JTR team-mate Cavan Corcoran gives the Mygale EcoBoost driver an extended overall points lead.
Buri led from pole position to chequered flag but was pressured hard for much of the race by Jamun drivers Luke Williams and Eric Lichtenstein. Sowerby driver Williams made a brilliant start from fourth on the grid to slot ahead of his team-mates Jake Cook and Lichtenstein for second as the pack stormed around the banking and into the Deene hairpin, and Luke survived a big lock up through Tarzan to hold station.
Indeed Williams held on to second spot, less than a second from Buri’s tail, until lap 10, when a charging Lichtenstein profited from an error by Williams. Unbeknown to Luke, Lichtenstein had already been handed a five-second penalty for exceeding the track limits. Regrettably, Argentinian Eric then erred again and was ordered into the pits for a drive-through penalty; he didn’t take it and was excluded from the results; he would have finished second.
“I’m so disappointed with the result,” said Eric. “I didn’t even know I was disqualified until I stopped in parc ferme and my mechanic told me. I saw the flags and the drive-through sign but I didn’t realise they were for me so it was an honest mistake. I was pushing so hard because we’re a step behind JTR in speed this weekend so I couldn’t help running wide once or twice.”
Williams was also given a five-second penalty for a similar offence but it did not affect his position - Luke had already ceded what would become second to Corcoran, the Matlock man achieving his best-yet result in the championship.
Buri’s win was uncontroversial, however. “The car was great but the race was pretty tough,” he said. “I got a decent start but Luke was all over me. I clipped a tyre stack at the Pif Paff chicane on the left-hand side but luckily it didn’t do any damage. I didn’t get that much heat into my tyres on the warm-up lap so I didn’t have the pace I’d like in the early stages but once the tyres warmed the car felt great. I’m really confident for this weekend.”
Added Williams: “To be on the podium is amazing considering the amount of problems I had. When Antti clipped the tyres I was right behind him and they hit my front-left and knocked a wheel weight out so I had a really bad balance with the handling. I then ran wide at Turn One and clipped the wall, which dented my rear-right wishbone. I had no idea I had a penalty too. It shows that persistence can pay off.”
Julio Moreno placed fourth, despite a 5s penalty, to make it three JTR cars in the top four, with Ryan Cullen fifth in his Cullen Motorsport Mygale, ahead of the Enigma machine of Fred Martin-Dye. Cook’s car stopped with an apparent electrical problem after four laps.
In the Duratec class, points leader Fabian Welter led for seven of the 13 laps but started to fade thereafter, along with his tyres, which allowed Fluid Van Diemen driver Matt Rao, who had been shadowing the Mexican throughout, to find a way past to claim his first class victory of the season.
Welter was passed also by championship debutant James Hammond, driving a Race Car Consultants-prepared Mygale, the Shepshed man making an impression with his first taste of Duratec power. Welter slipped back to third but was able to keep out of the clutches - despite being another to attract a 5s penalty - of Fluid’s Alex Drabble. George Blundell and Olly Rae completed the Duratec finishers, the latter losing time with a spin on the seventh lap.
Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great BritainRound 7 (of 24), Rockingham 9/6/1213 laps / 26.67 miles
Overall & EcoBoost1 Antti BURI / FIN JTR Mygale 18m 43.451s / 85.47mph2 Cavan CORCORAN / GBR JTR Mygale +9.587s3 Luke WILLIAMS / GBR Jamun Mygale +17.571s4 Julio MORENO / ECU JTR Mygale +21.399s5 Ryan CULLEN / GBR Cullen Mygale +21.595s6 Fred MARTIN-DYE / GBR Enigma Mygale +21.988s
Duratec class1 Matt RAO / GBR Fluid Van Diemen +59.572s2 James HAMMOND / GBR RCC Mygale +1m 01.252s3 Fabian WELTER / MEX RVR Mygale +1m 06.687s4 Alex DRABBLE / GBR Fluid Van Diemen +1m 09.239s5 George BLUNDELL / GBR Enigma Mygale +1m 09.616s6 Olly RAE / AUS Enigma Mygale +1m 14.563sFastest lap Buri 1m 25.395s / 86.49mph Est Rec
Full results bit.ly/L8Hdup
Provisional championship standingsOverall 1 Buri 199 points; 2 Martin-Dye 136; 3 Jake Cook 133; 4 Moreno 130; 5 Williams 126;6 Corcoran 116 etcDuratec 1 Welter 198; 2 Rae 135; 3 Blundell 133; 4 Rao 132 etc