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After 243 racing laps of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford season and with half the year remaining, just nine points separates the two leading contenders for the championship title. It’s been an extraordinarily close battle between Harrison Scott and Jayde Kruger, and one which shows no sign of losing its intensity. If anything, the action is likely to hot up as the protagonists head for Snetterton, Knockhill, Rockingham, Silverstone and Brands Hatch…
The championship lead has passed between Falcon Motorsport driver Scott and JTR man Kruger a remarkable seven times during the first 15 races of the 30-round championship, with 18-year-old Harrison enjoying the long summer break with the baton in his hand.
Kruger has won six races – two each at Brands Hatch, Thruxton and Oulton Park – to Scott’s three, claimed at Donington, Oulton and Croft. But Harrison has been the more consistent podium finisher, claiming five seconds to Jayde’s two and four third-place finishes where Kruger has none.
Scott, while consistently towards the sharp end of the field all year, hasn’t shown the pace to dominate at any one track while Kruger, who has shown very strong pace at several circuits, slipped back dramatically at Thruxton and Croft, failing to make the podium at either. It will be fascinating to see how the rest of the season plays out between them, the suspicion forming that it’s likely to be the fickle finger of fate which decides the outcome rather than any sudden difference in their relative speed or performance…
And that’s not to say that it will remain a two-cornered fight for the crown – the two Radical Motorsport team-mates, Juan Rosso and James Abbott, are not far behind on points and could quickly catch up if Kruger and Scott suffer a non-finish. Abbott scored his maiden Formula Ford race from the pole of the reverse-grid race at Brands Hatch, and romped to victory last time out despite heavy pressure in the Croft finale. Rosso won at Thruxton and has finished in the top three a further six times and, given the right circumstances, will be a leading contender for the top step of the podium.
There have been two other race winners so far – Sam Brabham and Ashley Sutton. Brabham, after threatening for many races to do so, finally broke through at Thruxton, winning twice for JTR to establish himself as a title contender. Unfortunately for Sam, a bad crash at Oulton Park cost him a result in the second race of the weekend and has ruled him out of the cockpit since. After skipping the Donington Park rounds, Sutton burst back in style at Thruxton with a new team and was immediately competitive, scoring a brace of overall podium finishes and a hat-trick of Scholarship Class wins. Such results were harder for him to replicate in the mixed conditions of Oulton Park, but Croft handed Ashley the ideal opportunity to show his stuff – a win and two seconds his reward. There is plenty more where that came from, although there is still a question mark over his Mygale’s wet-weather pace.
The season’s other overall podium finishers are Jack Barlow – alas now sitting out the rest of the season after his Thruxton testing crash – Falcon Motorsport drivers Ricky Collard and Chris Mealin, Meridian’s Connor Mills and JTR’s Max Marshall. Collard, Mills and Mealin are all going great guns in the Scholarship class, but have some catching up to do if they are to prevent Sutton from walking off with the rookie honours. Marshall has proved himself blindingly quick on occasion and, as his track experience grows, is increasingly likely to find himself in the winner’s circle. Mills has been on the receiving end of some dreadful mechanical luck but has shown pace, particularly in the tricky mixed conditions of Donington Park. Mills’s young team-mate Connor Jupp is a promising recent addition to the Meridian squad.
Just outside the top 10 overall currently is Aussie racer Greg Holloway, who has been gaining pace and experience with every outing at the wheel of the only regular non-Mygale chassis in the competition, SWB Motorsport’s Sinter. Another small team doing good work is Richardson Racing, which has fielded Mygales this season for Ovie Iroro, Andy Richardson and Louise Richardson who, with the benefit of a confirmed drive for the rest of the season, finally has the chance to show her mettle.
Battle recommences in early August at Snetterton in Norfolk, where Jayde Kruger will be bidding to get back on top in the championship stakes and also to add to the £4000 he’s won in prize money this season, and the rest will be doing their utmost to stop him. It’s going to be a fascinating couple of months…
For more information about the championship visit http://www.britishformulaford.co.uk/
23 July 2014
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