MALVERN & PARKINGTON SCORE CLUB FF NW VICTORIES
On Saturday 11th July, Oulton Park hosted Post-89 and Pre-90 Club Formula Ford races that were rounds of both the Creative LED Solutions North West championship and the Webcon UK National championship.
Qualifying for the Post-89 field made it clear that the battle for the win later in the day was going to be a two horse race between rising stars, Rory Butcher and Scott Malvern. Butcher is the more experienced Oulton Park driver, and he used his knowledge to lead the field away from pole position at the race start. His lead looked to be secure after Malvern in second place out-braked himself and dropped back into the clutches of the following pack. Nonetheless, Malvern showed great composure to regain his concentration and reel in Butcher. At half race distance, Malvern made his move and grabbed the lead. In return, Butcher kept on the pressure all the way to the chequered flag, but Malvern drove a very impressive series of defensive laps to take a very credible win on his first visit to perhaps the most technically challenging circuit in the country. Third step on the podium went to David Grady, who finished less than a second behind Butcher at the race finish. Elsewhere in the field, the best of the entertainment was provided by a cracking battle between new-comer, Benji Hetherington, and long time racer, Simon Kinsey.
In the Pre-90 category, the day belonged to a faultless Ian Parkington.The Lancashire driver put his class D Reynard on pole with a superb qualifying lap, ahead of a pack of much newer class C cars. When the red lights went out at the race start, Parkington took full advantage of a poor start by his championship rival, Nigel Thompson, to open up a lead at the head of the field. He built on this advantage in the laps that followed and would not be challenged for the rest of the race; leaving him to take a fully deserved race win. Thompson recovered from his slow start to finish second on the podium, while the ever hard charging Justin Dawkins had a very eventful race; including a trip onto the grass, a spin and an exceptionally close wheel-to-wheel battle with Andrew Xavier as they crossed the finish line. Dawkins UCLAN teammate, John Farrell, took the third step on the podium. Once again the Pre-90 field also proved you don’t always have to watch the leaders for a great race, with a fantastic battle for ninth place provided by Lee Hannam, Mike Stewart, Stuart Dix and the returning Ian Ellis.
The next round of the North West championship is a double header meeting at Anglesey over the weekend of August 8/9, while the National championship has a break of just one week before moving to Knockhill in Scotland on July 18/19.