BRANDS BATTLE LOOMS FOR FORMULA FORD MEN


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Joint championship leader Antti Buri is looking forward to Brands Hatch this weekend. Photo: www.jakobebrey.com

After a month’s break from racing, the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain bursts back into life this weekend at the spiritual home of Formula Ford, the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

The first of the three races is scheduled for Friday evening (18 May); the Kent track is playing host not only to Formula Ford and its exciting new EcoBoost-powered chassis but also the mighty saloons of the German touring car brigade.

It’s one of the blue riband events on the Formula Ford calendar, and one which joint championship leader Antti Buri is looking forward to: “I like the Indy circuit a lot,” said the 23-year-old Finn. “It’s very difficult, and very challenging because it is a short track with hard corners. It is difficult to get a perfect lap there.” Buri scored his first Formula Ford win in England last time out, at Oulton Park, and was testing two weeks ago at Brands Hatch with the JTR team to assist his bid for further victories.

“I hope it will be dry, because it was good weather when we tested. The other teams have had a lot of time in the last month to test in the wet and I haven’t.”

Buri and the Jamun Racing team’s Jake Cook lead the championship to Brands Hatch – each took a win, a second and a third in their EcoBoost Mygales at Oulton Park. The third first-time race winner of the Oulton weekend was Cook’s Jamun team-mate Luke Williams.

Buri and Cook have a few points in hand over their pursuers, led by promising rookie Fred Martin-Dye, who made the podium for Enigma Motorsport last month in only his second race. Close behind him is JTR’s16-year-old Ecuadorian Julio Moreno, Williams, and the Rochester-based Jamun team’s third driver, Argentinian Eric Lichtenstein.

Another rookie who performed impressively at Oulton Park was Ryan Cullen, whose Cullen Motorsport Mygale EcoBoost finished all three races to give the Somerset youngster a good championship start and third place, behind Martin-Dye and Moreno, in the Rookie division. Last year’s Formula Ford Scholarship winner, Cavan Corcoran, also made a solid start to his EcoBoost career, with the JTR team.

Fluid’s drivers Matt Rao and Alex Drabble have started their 2012 seasons with trusty Duratec-powered Van Diemens, and were part of a fierce Duratec class battle throughout the Easter weekend. The championship’s youngest competitor, 16-year-old Mexican-Swiss driver Fabian Welter, was the master of the conditions, winning two of the races in his Rendez-Vous Racing Mygale.

Enigma Motorsports rookies George Blundell and Olly Rae enjoyed strong opening weekends, with Grays-based Blundell making the podium and Australian Rae twice making the class top five. At Brands Hatch, Americans Abdul Ahmed (Don Hardman Automotive) and Charles Anti (AntiSpeed Competition) will be hoping to get their first points of the season up on the board; they will be joined in the Duratec ranks for the weekend by guest drivers Jason Down in his Getem Racing-prepared Mygale and by Dutch driver Melroy Heemskerk, with the GEVA Racing team.

For more information visit www.britishformulaford.co.uk