2014 SEASON REVIEW: DUNLOP MSA FORMULA FORD CHAMPIONSHIP OF GREAT BRITAIN
With 13 race wins, Jayde Kruger is a worthy champion. Photo: www.jakobebrey.com
After the domination wrought upon the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain during 2013 by Dan Cammish and the JTR team, who won 24 times on the trot to seal the title, it was refreshing to see so many different drivers on the top step of the podium this year, and that the championship was not decided until the final lap of the final race. Actually, the title fight went on a bit longer, but more of that later…
In the end the crown went to JTR for the third season in succession, 26-year-old South African Jayde Kruger doing the job for Nick Tandy’s team to follow in the wheeltracks of Antti Buri and Cammish. But although Jayde won the lion’s share of the races he did not make things easy for himself. The title battle see-sawed all year between Kruger and Falcon Motorsport driver Harrison Scott, who although not a prolific race winner was extremely consistent, while Kruger, if he did not win, tended to finish off the podium entirely.
Jayde started his year well enough, with two wins from three on the Brands Indy circuit, and scored another brace of wins at Donington. A first-race collision cost him dearly at Thruxton, but he bounced back at Oulton to win twice more before the wheels properly came off his campaign at Croft, where his car was well off the pace and Scott claimed his third win of the year to edge into a nine-point championship lead heading into the summer break.
Unfortunately for Harrison, that summer lay-off from racing proved decisive. When the championship returned at Snetterton in August his Mygale was off its ultimate pace, and so it remained through the Knockhill and Rockingham rounds, during which time Kruger scored a further four wins to close down Scott’s points advantage once again.
Harrison was back on form at Silverstone but still could not quite manage a win; Kruger took two to dead-level the scores heading for the Brands Hatch finale. In the end, the fight was decided in the penultimate round, which Kruger won after a robust defence of his lead resulted in a clash of wheels and Scott’s early retirement. The argument over whose fault that was rumbled on until November, when the MSA’s National Court supported the Brands Hatch stewards’ view that the clash had been a racing incident.
It was a messy way to end the year, but there is no denying the fact that Kruger won more races – 13 to Scott’s five – and is a worthy champion on that basis alone. Had Harrison’s Falcon car been more consistently on terms with the pace of the JTR Mygale, the story might have ended rather differently.
Third place in the championship, and also the Scholarship Class title for rookie drivers, went the way of an outstanding talent to emerge from the 2014 season: Ashley Sutton. He began his season with Meridian, dropped out of the Donington meeting for a rethink, and returned at Thruxton with the Jamun (later to change its name to MBM) squad, whose nurturing turned the youngster into a race winner in short order. He ended the year with five outright race wins under his belt, along with an impressive 18 Scholarship class victories.
The year’s other race winners were Radical Motorsport men James Abbott (two) and Juan Rosso; JTR’s Sam Brabham, who won twice at Thruxton only to crash out of the championship with budget trouble at the next meeting, Oulton Park; and Max Marshall, who won in style for JTR at Snetterton and Rockingham. Argentina’s Rosso was pipped for championship third by Sutton by just six points, with Marshall and Abbott completing the overall top six.
Honourable mentions for Ricky Collard, who was Scholarship runner-up and who bagged a brace of second-place overall finishes for Falcon on his way to championship seventh, just ahead of his team-mate Chris Mealin, whose high-point was an overall podium at Oulton Park. Louise Richardson did well to turn her half-season of races into a top-10 championship placing, with Aussie Greg Holloway showing superb consistency to finish in the points in all but one of the 30 races.
Championship positions & prize winners 2014
Champion Jayde Kruger
Runner-up Harrison Scott
Third overall Ashley Sutton
Scholarship Cup Ashley Sutton
Teams Cup JTR
Nations Cup South Africa