•Grand Prix circuit outing attracts 23 Formula Fords•Antti Buri leads EcoBoost contenders after Rockingham hat-trick
Around 23 cars are expected on the grid next weekend (23/24 June) at Brands Hatch for the latest rounds of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain. In addition to the championship regulars - being led into battle by Finn Antti Buri in his JTR EcoBoost Mygale - there will be a bevy of contenders from the UK, mainland Europe and beyond, joining in the fun in celebration of the Formula Ford EuroCup.
The EuroCup, which next month features races at the Belgian Grand Prix circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, Zandvoort in the Netherlands and the Nurburgring in Germany, provides the opportunity for contenders from the Scandinavian and Benelux Formula Ford series to go racing in their Duratec- and Zetec-engined chassis alongside the latest cars.
Among the additions next weekend will be highly rated 16-year-old American Falco Wauer, who will race a Duratec Mygale for Enigma Motorsport on the Saturday, ahead of a defence of his F4 championship lead at Donington Park on Sunday. There are entries also from Dutchmen Bart van Os, Jos Kiekens, Michel Florie and 16-year-old Max van Splunteren, all driving Mygales.
Dover-based Ryan and Matt Hayes, who normally race their Zetec-powered Jamuns in the Dutch series, will be on track also, as will Bahrain-based Brit Gavin Halls in his Fluid Motorsport Van Diemen. James Hammond, who showed promising speed on his Duratec debut last weekend at Rockingham, returns with the Race Car Consultants team
It’s been only a month since the championship last saw action at Brands Hatch, but a lot has happened between visits. For one thing, Antti Buri has taken a clear and decisive championship lead thanks to a hat-trick of wins at Rockingham.
Buri won one of three Formula Ford races held at Brands in May on the Indy circuit, with Jamun Racing man Eric Lichtenstein on top in the other two. But at Rockingham - JTR’s local track - nobody could catch the mercurial Finn, who now has a total of five race wins under his belt from nine outings, and a 70-point series lead.
However, the tables could well be turned this weekend as the men from Rochester-based Jamun - whose cars have carried the last seven Formula Ford champions to their titles - will be out to avenge their Rockingham defeat by putting on a strong showing at their home track.
In addition to Lichtenstein’s twin wins, Jamun’s other drivers, Jake Cook and Luke Williams, each has a win under his belt, and Cook has finished on the podium seven times from nine to be Buri’s closest points challenger.
Williams in particular is hoping for good results next weekend. The 20-year-old from Sowerby in North Yorkshire cane away from Brands last month with a second and a fourth, ruing a couple of incidents which cost him points. “I like the long circuit, it’s very good; you have Paddock Hill Bend and Druids, which are two of the best corners on the track, but you also get the long straights up through Hawthorns and Dingle Dell, which are pretty special.
“We won’t have had the opportunity to test on the Grand Prix circuit until the day before the meeting but I know the track well enough. I hope the weather is OK: dry would suit us best. We have found a bit more in the car recently, and hopefully we can reduce the gap between ourselves and Antti.”
Buri’s JTR team-mates Cavan Corcoran and Julio Moreno are both still seeking their first wins, with Corcoran in particular edging ever-nearer. The other runners in the EcoBoost class so far this season are Ryan Cullen and Fred Martin-Dye, newcomers to circuit racing both. Enigma Motorsport driver Martin-Dye has been a metronomically reliable top-six finisher and holds championship third, while Cullen Motorsport’s Ryan scored his best results last time out and will be hoping for more.
The Duratec division has seen lively competition all year, with four different class winners and some breathtaking battles. Mexico’s Fabian Welter has done the majority of the winning for the Rendez-Vous Racing team, with Enigma Motorsport’s Australian Olly Rae twice claiming the honours. Fluid Motorsport Van Diemen driver Matt Rao took his first class win at Rockingham.
The other Duratec podium men this season include Grays-based George Blundell (Enigma), Fluid man Alex Drabble and American racers Charles Anti and Abdul Ahmed.
Provisional championship standingsOverall1 Antti Buri/FIN 259 points; 2 Jake Cook/GBR 189; 3 Fred Martin-Dye/GBR 176; 4 Cavan Corcoran/GBR 160; 5 Luke Williams/GBR 148; 6 Julio Moreno/ECU 144 etc.Duratec class1 Fabian Welter/MEX 252; 2 Olly Rae/AUS 191; 3 George Blundell/GBR 182; 4 Matt Rao/GBR 154; 5 Alex Drabble/GBR 131 etc
Brands Hatch timetableSaturday 23 June: 1155 qualifying, 1535 race 1Sunday 24 June: 1245 race 2, 1730 race 3