David McArthur heads the Post 89 Northern Formula Ford standings. Photo: www.bournephoto.co.uk

As the F1 paddock takes time out for its summer break, so the Formula Ford 1600 Northern Championship does likewise – and it’s the perfect time to take stock of what has been a terrific season to date.

So far the championship has visited Oulton Park three times, Anglesey once and finished before the summer break with a superb meeting at Donington Park. The second Post-89 race of the Donington weekend underlined everything that has made Formula Ford such an enduring, entertaining and much loved category. A nine car battle for the lead, numerous overtaking manoeuvres and countless different race leaders… it was acknowledged by many in the paddock as being up there amongst the finest FF races they had enjoyed.

Medina Sport driver, David McArthur, heads the Post-89 standings but is being hotly pursued by the hugely experienced Stuart Gough; who is making a very welcome return to the category for 2014 with the Oldfield Motorsport team. Cliff Dempsey Racing’s James Raven lies in third overall, with David’s younger brother, Tom, also well up in the standings along with seasoned Northern Championship performer, Doug Crosbie. Steve Chapman suffered a spectacular roll in qualifying at the opening meeting of the season, and so it was great to see him back on the grid, car fully repaired at the Donington event.

Meanwhile the Pre-90 category for earlier chassis has once again proved that there is an on-going strong demand for close, competitive club level single-seater racing. The dominant force in the opening brace of meetings was Jamie Jardine; taking a clean sweep of four race wins on the bounce. However Jamie has not been short of wheel-to-wheel action on track, with both Chris Hodgen and Stuart Jones to be found in close quarters throughout the season so far.

Good mates Mario Sarchet and David Murphy are also both having strong seasons……the friendship translating into fierce competitive spirit once on track! The paddock was saddened by the unexpected loss in December of the very well-liked Brian Linley. Brian had helped Mario through much of his racing career, and he would certainly give his nod of approval to the way Mario has bounced back this year.

New drivers are the lifeblood of any successful championship, and once again Northern FF1600 has been delighted to welcome new faces to the fold in both categories for 2014. In Pre-90, both Alan Williamson and teenager Matt Cowley have performed exceptionally well in their first seasons, the latter particularly so having never raced cars before. Meanwhile both Tom Hodgson and Brian Young have both made significant progress this year in their race performances.

Roll on the second half of the season, as the racing continues at both Oulton Park and a triple header meeting at the Anglesey Circuit.

You can keep up with all the news from the Northern Championship at http://www.brsccff1600.co.uk

Matt Hawkins


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