So day one of the 2015 BRSCC Formula Ford Festival is over and it seems that the Irish contingent are doing pretty well. 2008 Festival winner Wayne Boyd took pole for Heat one in the Medina Van Diemen with Niall Murray in third, Ivor McCullough 4th and Rob Barrable 8th. In older machinery, Ryan Campbell lined up 16th with Denis Sheehan 21st. Boyd used all his experience to dominate the opener, crossing the line almost 5 seconds to the good, the gap having opened drastically when closest pursuer Luke Williams took a trip through the gravel trap avoiding an errant backmarker. When told on the podium by Brian Jones that Martin Donnelly had a tenner on him to win the event and asked who he feared, he replied “Probably Martin Donnelly, if he loses a tenner!” Michai Stephens and the recovering Williams completed the podium with Barrable charging to 4th just ahead of Murray in 5th. An off form McCullough, a former double winner of the event, fell to 12th by the flag.
The hugely experienced Joey Foster took pole for Heat 3 from Stuart Gough but Stephen Daly and Jake Byrne were 3rd and 4th, just a tenth off Foster’s time. In the older cars Paul McMorran, Ivor Mairs and Henry Campbell lined up 20th, 21st and 22nd respectively. When the lights went out, Daly rocketed off the line and incredibly was almost 2 seconds to the good at the end of the opening lap. Despite a mid race safety car wiping out his lead of almost 5 seconds, he was never really challenged and had opened the gap out to 2.5 seconds to Foster by the end. Critically, he had also claimed fastest lap by over a second in difficult conditions. Jake Byrne climbed to third to complete the podium whilst Crossle Car Company owner Paul McMorran earned bragging rights in 18th, with Mairs and Campbell 20th and 22nd respectively. Daly told Brian Jones that his tenner was probably safe if conditions remained the same tomorrow during the podium banter afterwards.
Martin Donnelly Trophy winner Kevin O’Hara stuck his KCMG backed Van Diemen on pole for heat 3, with Jonny McMullan back in an unaccustomed sixth. Noel Robinson was 7th whilst a great run from Kirkistown regular David Nicholl put his ’89 Reynard 11th on the grid with Geoff Richardson 14th. Michael Adams too the lead initially before O’Hara resumed the positon as McMullan charged up to join them. At the flag, it was Adams, from McMullan, who also had fastest lap, and O’Hara right there too. Richardson drove superbly to cross the line in 5th with Robinson in 7th and Nicholl in 10th.
So not looking too bad for the Irish FF1600 drivers at this stage, and all to play for tomorrow with semi -finals and or course the all important final.
Unsurprisingly Brendan Fitzgerald qualified on pole for the Blackchurch Fiesta race but when he rotated at Paddock on the opening lap, it was the prelude to a carnage riddled sequence, with 5 cars, himself included, not making the subsequent restart. Former karter David Yamamoto has gone well on previous visits to the Kent venue and has also showed well in wet conditions, so it was then time for him to step forwards. He drove well to take a debut Fiesta win, despite the best efforts of Adrian Finnegan who was just a few tenths behind at the flag with Hugh Grennan completing the podium. As I type this, there is frantic repair work going on in the Brands paddock to repair some of the cars for the next race tomorrow- best of luck guys.
In the UK Fiesta series class A,B &D race, Alastair Kellett qualified on pole position and then had a race long scrap with season long rival David Nye for the duration. The experienced Kellett grabbed the lead for keeps with a lap to run, to the delight of the Paddock Hill Grandstand mob, and added another win to a very long list!
until next time,