In recent seasons, the Avon Tyres National Formula Ford 1600 Championship has gone from strength to strength and this year promises to continue that trend with a superb entry for the opening 3 rounds here at Silverstone.

For those under 25, the series boasts one of the best prizes available in club level motorsport in the shape of a place in the end of season Mazda Road to Indy Shootout for the chance to win a scholarship worth US$200,000 to compete in the 2019 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda.

One person who did just that not too long ago is the very rapid Niall Murray who makes a welcome return to the category this weekend behind the wheel of a Van Diemen RF99.

Another returning champion is Stuart Gough who took the title 4 years ago. His achievement was notable as he was driving a 1992 Van Diemen although for this meeting he is behind the wheel of a Kevin Mills Racing tended Spectrum.

KMR are also fielding cars for Michael Eastwell, Hugo Bentley Ellis and John Ferguson. Eastwell should be in the thick of the action. During 2017, the former karter undertook his first full campaign competing in cars, getting faster and faster as his experience built. Ellis will be following in Eastwell’s wheel-tracks as a graduate from karting this season while Ferguson was the 2017 Clubman Class Champion.

Josh Smith is also expected to shine in the Oldfield Motorsport Van Diemen JL13 after suffering misfortune in the National Championship last year although he managed to win the Northern series. Smith will be joined by Davide Meloni from San Marino who is a complete rookie to racing but he has impressed the team in testing.

At the other extreme is the experienced Joey Foster who has an amazing record in the end of season Blue Riband events with 3 victories in the Walter Hayes Trophy and 2 in the Formula Ford Festival. A Ray GR08 is his mount here at Silverstone.

Meanwhile we have a host of newcomers from all over the Globe who could also be in the mix. Cliff Dempsey Racing have an international team of former karters piloting their Ray chassis in the shape of Jonathan Browne from Ireland and Austria’s Nico Gruber. In the cockpit of a Don Hardman Ray GR10 will be Californian Carter Williams while Swiss Van Diemen driver, Pascal Monbaron, only has last year’s Walter Hayes Trophy on his record.

Most intriguingly of all, Sebastian Job, is a computer gamer who earnt his place on the grid by winning a sim racing competition.

Finally, this weekend also sees the start of the Triple Crown, a mini-series taking in the UK’s 3 top circuits of Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Donington Park. Luke Cooper took that title in 2012 and will be hoping to do so again, as well as intending to be a serious contender in the National series, having got his family-run Swift SC16 absolutely flying towards the end of last year. Michael Moyes will solely concentrate on the Triple Crown events in 2018 and his will be the fifth Spectrum under the KMR awning.


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