BRENTWOOD, England - The Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain enters its decisive phase this weekend at Rockingham, with runaway series leader Dan Cammish on the verge of clinching the championship title and several of his rivals bidding to underline their credentials in the fabulous Mazda Road To Indy competition.
For while Cammish stands to drive off with the champion’s crown - and with it a touring car test with top BTCC team Airwaves Racing and a year’s loan of a Ford Fiesta ST - several on the grid have their eyes on securing the grand Mazda Road To Indy prize of an all-expenses-paid trip to the USA to take a free full-day test in a
USF2000 single-seater, as well as a further full day’s testing in a Pro Mazda car.
The Formula Ford drivers who have nominated themselves for the Mazda Road to Indy Formula Ford Driver of the Year competition are James Abbott, Lassi Halminen, Camren Kaminsky, Jayde Kruger, Nico Maranzana, Juan Rosso, Andy Richardson and Harrison Scott. The winner will be chosen by a panel of experts from British and US racing.
Seventeen year-old Scott would dearly like to take the prize: “I’d like to think that I’m in with a shout,” he said, “and it would be a good thing to have on my CV in my Rookie year. Obviously it would be a great experience to go to the USA and do some racing, and I hope that if I concentrate on my main aim - which is to try to stay ahead of Nico Maranzana, get championship second and the Scholarship Class title - then good things will come from that. I can’t wait to get back out there and get back on the form we showed last month at Snetterton.”
The Mazda Road to Indy is part of INDYCAR’s development ladder system aimed at helping drivers graduate to the next level. This year’s USF2000 champion will win a fully funded scholarship to compete in the Pro Mazda Championship while the Pro Mazda champion will secure a fully funded scholarship to race in Firestone Indy Lights. The Indy Lights champion receives scholarship worth up to a $1 million to race in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Meanwhile at Rockingham, all eyes will be on Cammish as he bids to extend his 21-race victory run for the JTR team. The 24-year-old from Leeds enjoys a 199-point championship lead currently and as things stand could secure the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship title on Sunday at the Northamptonshire Speedway.
Only two men - Jamun driver Maranzana and Falcon Motorsport’s Scott - have a mathematical chance of stopping Dan from winning the title at Rockingham; they would need to reduce Cammish’s lead to 185 points or less by the end of the weekend in order to prolong their chances.
Both men know that qualifying is key - at Croft Scott denied Cammish pole position for one of the races and led him briefly, while at Knockhill Maranzana became the third pole-sitter of the season and gave Dan his hardest race of the year to date.
Rockingham will see the return of the SWB Motorsport and Meridian Motorsport teams, SWB fielding a Sinter chassis for championship debutant Jack Dex, 21, and Meridian’s Mygale returning in the hands of 16-year-old Connor Mills. Another newcomer next weekend will be ‘Andy’ Chang Wing Chung, the kart ace from Macau, who will make his car-racing debut in a Falcon Motorsport Mygale.
You can follow all the weekend’s action via Twitter @FormulaFordGB and the championship’s new audio iTunes podcast service