BRENTWOOD, England – Formula Ford’s long summer break comes to an action-fuelled end next weekend (2/3 Aug) at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk, with several drivers seeking to make a decisive break as they bid for the championship title and a couple of newcomers joining the pack.
After 15 races and with 15 to go, just nine points separates the leading title contenders, Essex-based Falcon Motorsport EcoBoost Mygale driver Harrison Scott and JTR’s South African pilot Jayde Kruger. The overall lead of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain has passed between the two of them seven times already, with Scott gaining the upper hand at Croft last month with a win and two thirds while the best Kruger could achieve was two fifths and a sixth.
Between them Scott and Kruger have won nine races so far, and the Snetterton 300 circuit is a happy hunting ground for both – Harrison scored a hat-trick of podiums in Norfolk last year and Jayde bagged a double. Scott will be honing his skills at this weekend’s Silverstone Classic at the wheel of Peter Fenichel’s 1961 Cooper T56 Formula Junior car.
Should either of the title favourites falter there are several drivers not far behind who will be keen to profit, not least Radical Motorsport men Juan Rosso and James Abbott, who have three race wins between them. Abbott goes to Snetterton with confidence gained from Croft, where he enjoyed his most competitive yet Formula Ford weekend with a win, a second and a fourth-place finish.
Ashley Sutton, now firmly ahead in the Scholarship class stakes, claimed his maiden outright race win last month and, like Scott, made the podium in all three Croft races. He will be joined in James Mundy’s MBM Motorsport team at Snetterton by championship newcomer Michael O’Brien, 20. Son of 1980s Formula Ford racer Mike O’Brien, Silverstone-based Michael has race-winning experience thanks to his exploits in the HSCC’s Historic Formula Ford series, which he has contested at the wheel of a 1971 Merlyn. He says of his recent EcoBoost testing exploits: “It was so different to what I am used to, but I feel that I am definitely ready for it; I was quite comfortable in the car.” O’Brien, who is backed by Buildbase and Abacus Insurance Services, hopes to complete the season with MBM.
Having postponed his race debut to gain testing time, 16-year-old Jai Nijjar hopes finally to line up on the Formula Ford grid at Snetterton alongside his Meridian team-mates Connor Mills and Connor Jupp.
While Sutton may have accelerated into the Scholarship class lead, the rookie crown is far from won. In addition to Mills, Falcon Motorsport men Chris Mealin and Ricky Collard are close behind on points and each has taken class victories – Mills four times, Collard on three occasions and Mealin once.
Kruger’s JTR running mate for the weekend, Max Marshall, will meanwhile be bidding to claim his maiden outright Formula Ford win, having come close at both Donington and at Thruxton. The Snetterton field will be complemented by Richardson Racing’s Louise Richardson, and by the SWB Sinter of Aussie racer Greg Holloway.
Hostilities begin on Friday 1 August with two official test sessions; qualifying and Round 16 are on Saturday, and ITV4’s live cameras will capture the action from Rounds 17 and 18 on Sunday.