British Racing & Sports Car Club

News MALVERN CONFIRMED AS NATIONAL CLUB FF CHAMPION

Essex based Scott Malvern has been confirmed as the Webcon UK National Club Formula Ford Champion after a judicial hearing of Motorsport Ireland ruled in his favour last week.

The hearing followed Malvern’s appeal at the Mondello Park double header in September. The final two rounds of the championship at the prestigious ‘Leinster Trophy’ meeting were set to decide the season long battle between him and Rory Butcher.

With dropped scores coming into play after the Saturday race – which Scott won with Rory a net second behind Noel Dunne – the scenario was quite clear for Sunday’s title decider. Whoever finished ahead of the other would be Champion. There was a great expectancy hanging over the Co Kildare track at twelve minutes past three on the Sunday afternoon. The showdown was about to unfold.

As has been reported in the specialist media and on various websites and driver blogs, the classic showdown did not happen - We had to wait until the Formula Ford Festival for that! On the second corner of the first lap, there was contact between the two title contenders. Both drivers continued. In a nutshell, Scott pulled off into retirement on lap five and Rory took the chequered flag some four laps later, by 5.838 seconds from Stephen Daly.

So that was it, an unsatisfactory finish to six months of enthralling Formula Ford racing and Rory Butcher was the 2009 Webcon UK National Formula Ford Champion. Or was he?

The next few hours saw both drivers and their teams climbing and descending the steps to Race Control and the Stewards Room. Each protested the others driving. Scott’s protest was upheld and Rory was excluded by the Clerk of the Course. Rory’s protest against Scott was declined. Both drivers then appealed these decisions to the Stewards. Rory again lost his case against Scott, but was successful in his own appeal and was reinstated in the results, so yet again he was champion, but not for long.

Scott’s team decided to take the matter to the next level and a Motorsport Ireland Tribunal was held on 12th November in Dublin. We believe the tribunal lasted for more than six hours and the decision wasn’t announced until the following morning.

Two months after the race meeting itself, the court ruled in favour of Scott so Rory was finally excluded from the second race. So it is now official, Scott Malvern is the 2009 Webcon UK National Formula Ford Champion on 221 points and Rory Butcher finished runner up on 211 points.

There was never much between Butcher and Malvern all year. The very first qualifying session of the season at Anglesey saw them separated by a scant 0.019 seconds and it seemed like their cars were just one eight wheeler for the rest of the season, with each taking a turn in the lead.

The BRSCC would like to congratulate Scott on becoming a champion in his first season of car racing and commiserate with Rory on losing out at the last. No matter what did, or didn’t happen on track, both drivers fully contributed to a splendid season of National Formula Ford racing.

Ian Smith

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