Level on points, Harrison Scott and Jayde Kruger to go into battle for the final time to determine which will wear the crownFive-driver fight for championship thirdJack Barlow to return to series with MBM Motorsport
After 850 miles of racing spread over six-and-a-half months of competition, the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain goes down to the wire this weekend (11/12 Oct) at Brands Hatch with two drivers ready to battle for the honour of wearing a crown previously donned by some of the greatest names in motorsport.
Jayde Kruger and Harrison Scott are exactly level on points heading into the final three races for what promises to be the closest Formula Ford championship finish for a generation.
Twenty-six-year-old South African Kruger has the momentum, having drawn level with Scott last month at Silverstone when he collected his 12th race victory of the season for the JTR team, but Scott, 18 and from Essex, is far from keen to hand over the reigns, having led the championship since the end of June when he scored his third win at Croft.
Harrison was Formula Ford runner-up in 2013 to another JTR driver, Dan Cammish, and does not want to repeat the experience: “I have the mindset now that we are back at round one, starting all over again… I’m going in with a clear mind to try to get the best possible results I can from the three races, and I hope that that will be enough to win the championship. I have a big job to do at Brands Hatch, and it’s a very special circuit; it’s not every week that a driver gets the chance to race on it, so to be there for the final rounds of the year will be something special.”
Though he has won fewer races than Kruger, Scott’s podium finishing record in his Falcon Motorsport EcoBoost Mygale has been remarkable – on top of his three wins he has nine times finished second and has placed third on 10 occasions; a total of 22 podium visits from 27 races.
Kruger has a habit of winning two races out of three on a race weekend – he did so at Donington, Oulton Park, Knockhill, Rockingham, Silverstone and on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit at the start of the season in March. But Jayde has a less consistent finishing rate and knows that to fail to score in one of the Brands races could prove fatal to his hopes of adding the British Formula Ford crown to the several single-seater titles he has won in his home country.
“It’s all to play for at Brands and we’ll see what happens,” he said. “I think we have the fastest car in the field and we have loads of confidence; we just need to finish all three races in front of Harrison… We need to work on our pace to try to find a little more: we may have the fastest car but it can always be made to go faster.”
It’s highly likely that the championship battle will not be decided until the live-televised 30th round of the championship on Sunday afternoon.
To add to the excitement in Kent there is a five-way battle to decide who will finish third in the championship, to be disputed by MBM Motorsport’s Ashley Sutton, JTR’s Max Marshall and Radical Motorsport duo James Abbott and Juan Rosso, who are separated currently by just 14 points. Sutton, who has already clinched the Scholarship class championship title for rookie drivers, starts as favourite thanks to his five race wins but Marshall and Abbott have each won twice also and Rosso – a three-time victor at Brands last year – is keen to add more wins to his sole 2015 success.
This weekend will also see the long-awaited return to the championship of Jack Barlow, who impressed on his March Formula Ford debut with a podium finish at Brands Hatch but who then suffered a high-speed testing crash at Thruxton which effectively ended his hopes of a full season of competition. Jack, 19, takes over the MBM Motorsport Mygale campaigned effectively last month at Silverstone by Jessica Hawkins.
While Ricky Collard (Falcon) can’t be overtaken for second place in the Scholarship class title, his team-mate Chris Mealin is looking a good bet to secure class third, although the ever-improving Louise Richardson (Richardson Racing) still has a chance of exceeding the Manxman’s points tally. SWB Sinter driver Greg Holloway, who has one of the most consistent finishing records of the entire field, will be looking to cement his top-10 overall championship placing.
Scholarship runners Clay Mitchell (JTR), Michael O’Brien (MBM) and Ovie Iroro (Richardson) are set to complete the grid at Brands.