FORMULA FORD FESTIVAL
If any one meeting could be described as the BRSCC's 'blue riband' event it is the Formula Ford Festival. Taking place each October at Brands Hatch, the Festival made the Motorsport News top ten of world-wide events that every driver wants to win!
Festival success has lead to greater achievement on the Grand Prix stage for many drivers. Johnny Herbert,Roland Ratzenberger, Eddie Irvine, Mark Webber Jenson Button and Anthony Davidson are just some of the names on the Festival’s roll of honour.
Antti Buri, from Finland, was the winner of the 2012 Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch. Eric Lichtenstein from Argentina was second and Dutchman Bart Van Os was third.
Ivor McCullough took the Kent title for the second year running, with Stuart Gough second and Luke Cooper third.
Zetec honours went to France with Xavier Michel winning from Dutchman Paul Sieljes with John Whitbourn third.
Colin Mann, from the BRSCC South Eastern Centre reports on the two day meeting;
Saturday's first race was typical Festival action, a 12-lap Formula Ford Festival Kent Quarter Final1 sponsored by Andrew Elliot for Kent Air Ambulance. First lap excursions for Luke Cooper, Graham Carroll and Ben Mitchell left them facing recovery drives. Team USA Scholarship driver Tristan Nunez benefited to tale a dominant victory ahead of Oliver White and Cooper.
Second up was Kent QF sponsored by REIS. Nunez's fellow Scholarship recipient Jack Mitchell Jr repeated his team-mate’s feat, winning from Ivor McCullough and Craig Currie. The 12-lap race finished under Safety Car conditions with Jonathan McMullan's car stranded.
A compact field of Duratecs followed with a scheduled 12-lap QF. A nasty incident involving Dutchman Michel Florie caused a Red Flag and a 5-lap rerun. National series front-runners Eric Liechtenstein and Antti Buri showed their keenness to win the coveted Festival title, finishing in that order ahead of Dutchman Bart van Os.
Motorsport News Ford Fiesta Juniors were next, with a 20-minute outing, dominated by Brightlingsea's Charles Ladell, ahead of Aiden Moffat and Alfonso Skriczka. Sunday's second outing was Red Flagged following a nasty shunt on Graham Hill for Ben Wilcox. After a delay for barrier repairs, an eight-minute rerun was claimed by Moffat just ahead of Ladell and JJ Ross.
Saturday's track action closed with a 12-lap Zetec QF. Frenchman Xavier Michel won on the road, but a 10-second False Start penalty dropped him to second behind Dutchman Paul Sieljes, but ahead of High Wycombe's Julian Hoskins.
A 20-minute Dunlop Ford Fiesta A, B and D race started Sunday's proceedings. Islington's Chris Toumazos won on the road, but was docked 10 seconds for regaining his grid slot following a formation lap spin. Andrew Wilmot did his best to throw away his chances of winning with a couple of hairy moments. Toumazos was classified second, ahead of David Elsom. Sunday's second outing was less eventful, and produced the same finishing order.
A demon overtaking manoeuvre at Graham Hill Bend earned Nunez victory in Kent Semi Final 1, sponsored by Andrew Elliott for Team USA Scholarship, ahead of McCullough and Cooper.
No fewer than 29 Dunlop Ford Fiesta runners took to the track under worsening conditions, and 26 made the finish 20 minutes later, Matthew Foley winning from Rory Bryant and Andrew Taylor. Poleman Andrew Trigwell was caught napping at the start of the second race, but recovered to finish third behind winner John Langridge and Taylor
A couple of off-track excursions cost pole-sitter Jack Mitchell Jr any chance of victory in Kent SF2, sponsored by Haines Watts. Noel Dunne used all his considerable experience to win ahead of Carroll and White.
Xavier Michel's start in the Zetec SF, sponsored by NCPI Solutions, was all above board and he took a comfortable victory ahead of John Whitbourn and Sieljes.
A half-hour BIGprofile Sports 2000 Duratec race provided variety amid the single-seater and tin-top action, a lively three-car lead battle between Mike Jenvey, Robert Oldershaw and Patrick Sherrington finishing in that order.
In the 15-lap Duratec SF, also sponsored by NCPI Solutions, Buri launched an audacious pass starting at Surtees and ending on Brabham Straight to take the lead from Liechtenstein. Van Os took another third place.
BIGProfile Sports 2000 competitors had a 25- minute race, but a Red Flag seven minutes from the end saw a result declared, Chris Snowdon winning from Peter Needham and Mike Fry.
The first of the Festival finals was a 20-lapper for the Zetecs. A late Safety Car intervention failed to deprive Michel of top honours, with Sieljes ahead of Whitbourn.
A Red Flag for Ben Mitchell's stranded car drew an early halt to the 20-lap Kent final. Poleman Nunez found himself demoted down to third, and fell way down the field with an over-ambitious passing attempt at Paddock Hill Bend on lap 6. Ivor McCullough recovered from 5thto repeat his 2011 victory ahead of Stuart Gough and Luke Cooper. The Kent class winners were David McCullough (Pre 90), Stephen Mawhinney (Pre 82) and James Hagan (Pre 72).
The 2102 Festival drew to a close with the 20-lap Duratec final. A slip-up by Buri at Druids on lap 5 allowed Liechtenstein through into the lead, and he battled franticly to get back ahead as the race passed half-distance. Contact between the pair at Clark Curve on lap 12 saw Liechtenstein spin out, but he recovered to finish second, with van Os claiming another third place.
The Netherlands won the World Cup with points being accrued by Michel Florie, Bart Van Os and Max Van Splunteren. Gavin Halls won both the John Nicol Memorial Trophy and Roger Pedrick Trophy.
Click here for the FESTIVAL RESULTS
The 2013 Formula Ford Festival will take place at Brands Hatch over the weekend of 26th-27th October.