Dutchman & Championship leader Jeroen Slaghekke will be joined by several of his compatriots for the first EuroCup race at Brands. Photo: Jakob Ebrey

The Formula Ford races at Brands Hatch this coming weekend will stake a claim to a special place in the history of the world’s longest-lived junior single-seater category, for not only will they be keenly contested rounds of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain but also the first-ever races in the Formula Ford EuroCup.

Brands Hatch is a highly appropriate venue for the EuroCup launch – 44 years ago, almost to the day, the Kent track hosted the first-ever Formula Ford race.

The EuroCup is an opportunity for the Duratec-powered cars from the thriving European and Scandinavian Formula Ford championships to get together with their compatriots from the UK for a real Europe-wide festival of Formula Ford. Following next weekend’s British rounds, the EuroCup will head for Spa-Francorchamps and Zolder in Belgium, and then the Dutch track of Zandvoort. At each event a EuroCup Champion will be declared.

So it is that the Brands Hatch grid will have a truly international feel, with drivers from the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark joining the British championship, and its English, Australian, Finnish, French, Dutch, Channel Islands and American regulars.

The three Brands races are very important mid-season counters for the UK series, with Ilford’s Scott Malvern perhaps poised to retake the championship lead for Rochester-based Jamun Racing Services. Malvern’s Mygale hasn’t been beaten since Silverstone in April, and Scott’s six wins on the bounce have brought him within four points of the title-race leader, his Dutch team-mate Jeroen Slaghekke. Scott has already broken one modern-era record – the most number of consecutive wins, which stood at five to 2008 champion Wayne Boyd – and is already half way to equalling Callum MacLeod’s 2007 tally of 14 race wins in a single season.

It’s a Jamun Racing 1-2-3 in the championship currently: one of the team’s two Australians, Nick McBride, holds third spot.

The only non-Jamun race winner this season so far is JTR’s Geoff Uhrhane, whose Mygale won the third Silverstone race. The Australian has, however, made the podium only once since and as a result holds sixth overall, a few points adrift of his Jersey-based team-mate Dan de Zille. JTR’s third man, East Sussex-based Tristan Mingay, has been a podium visitor also, with fast Finn Antti Buri completing the Mygale lock-out of the podium in his LMS Racing-run example.

The drivers bidding to end the Mygale monopoly are the Ray men – the Finns of works team Raysport, Jesse Anttila and Ville Kivinen, and Cliff Dempsey Racing’s twosome, Californian Neil Alberico and Ulsterman Jonny McMullan – as well as Juno driver David Ellesley and Fluid Motorsport Van Diemen pilot Matthew Parry.

Enigma/RV Racing driver Philippe Layac will be in action also despite being injured in a freak accident in testing at Spa-Francorchamps. The Frenchman required hospital treatment for a neck injury caused by an incorrectly positioned tow rope, attached to his Mygale by marshals after it stopped on the circuit.

Cavan Corcoran has yet to be beaten in the Scholarship class, the division for less experienced drivers using older cars, thanks to the speed and reliability of his Mygale, which is prepared just down the road from Brands in the Eynsford workshops of Getem Racing. Corcoran looks set to have a rival for class honours next weekend in the shape of championship newcomer Matt Rao, who is pencilled in for a Van Diemen drive with Fluid.

A field of around 30 cars is expected at Brands Hatch, including a large number of Dutch Formula Ford Championship contenders. Among them are Geva Racing’s Steijn Schothorst and Provily Racing men Michel Florie and Bas Schouten, each of whom claimed a race win in the Dutch season-opening Zandvoort meeting. Danish championship leader Jesper Egebart will be in action also.

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