MASTERS TEST FOR FF EUROCUP MEN
This coming weekend’s Zandvoort Formula Ford races are not only the last of the summer 2011 EuroCup rounds but they also mark the beginning of the second half of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain.
One driver figures large in each of the two Duratec-powered series – Scott Malvern – and the Essex-based 22-year-old is hoping that the Dutch seaside circuit will see him reign again over his EuroCup rivals and also collect further valuable points in his quest for the British championship title.
Jamun Racing Mygale driver Scott is on a nine-race unbroken winning streak in the Dunlop MSA series, which has helped put him 52 points clear in the standings, and he has additionally taken the EuroCup honours at all three meetings held so far – at Brands Hatch, Spa-Francorchamps and Zolder.
Malvern’s chief opposition may come from within his own team – Zandvoort is home circuit for 19-year-old Jeroen Slaghekke and both he and one of Jamun’s Australian drivers, Nick McBride, were winners there when the team dropped into the Dutch Formula Ford Championship in early July to make a Zandvoort recce.
Scott’s record is an enviable one but he is not complacent: “I’d like to keep on winning but it gets harder all the time. Nick has really upped his game – he will win a race before long, I am sure – and it is Jeroen’s home track, so they will both be hard to beat. I wasn’t able to race there with the others in July but I was at Zandvoort last year and we have some testing before the event, so I’m sure I’ll be able to get up to speed quick enough.”
Jamun Racing will be back up to five-car strength in Holland, with Jake Cook returning to the fold alongside Spike Goddard.
There is serious strength among the Dutch championship contenders also, who are led into battle by Provily Racing’s Joey van Splunteren and Geva Racing man Steijn Schothorst. A field of around 26 cars is expected at Zandvoort.
In addition to Slaghekke, who won one of the Silverstone rounds in April, the only other driver so far to impede Malvern’s path to the top step of the podium is JTR’s Australian pilot Geoff Uhrhane. Geoff also won one of the Silverstone rounds and claimed his second last month at Spa in Belgium; mechanical problems and some unseasonable weather kept him off the podium at Zolder and he will be looking for improvements.
The other top 12 British championship drivers expected in action in the Netherlands include Finland’s Antti Buri, who will be hoping that his switch to the Dutch Geva team will provide him with an advantage; Uhrhane’s JTR team-mate Dan de Zille, from Jersey; fast Frenchman Philippe Layac, in the Rendez-Vous Racing/Enigma Mygale; Californian cruiser Neil Alberico, the Ray driver who will be looking to make the podium for the first time for Cliff Dempsey Racing; and Fluid Motorsport’s pilot Matt Parry, who gave the latest Van Diemen chassis some promising first outings at Spa and Zolder.
The Zandvoort races – two scheduled for Saturday 13 August and one for the following Sunday morning – support Formula 3’s European blue riband event, the RTL GP Masters.