NATIONAL FORMULA FORD VENTURE TO KNOCKHILL TO CONTEST DAVID LESLIE TROPHY


It’s time to make a trip across the border into Scotland as the Avon Tyres National Formula Ford Championship heads to the Knockhill circuit in Fife to contest its second weekend of racing after the season opener at Donington Park.

A mixture of wet and dry weather conditions meant the first three races of 2021 were unpredictable and ended up with Rory Smith and Alex Walker as victors on that weekend, and while Smith isn’t on the grid this weekend, points leader Walker most certainly is in a bid to maintain his current position at the top of the points. Alex heads to Knockhill with a points lead of just five, meaning he will be under pressure to perform and maintain his form. He will be one of four Kevin Mills Racing-run Spectrum chassis racing this weekend as he’s joined again by full-season racers Lucas Romanek and Megan Gilkes, while Thomas Mills (son of team boss Kevin) makes his National debut in a fourth car and will be hoping to make an instant impact.

With no Smith on the grid, it leaves the nearest challenger to Walker as Low Dempsey Racing’s Maxwell Esterson. He has a 2nd, 3rd and 4th to his name already and was always in the fight for the win at Donington, so perhaps the shorter layout of Knockhill will play to his strengths. He has two teammates in support in Scotland this time as while Colin Queen is back to continue his decent beginning to racing in the UK, the pair will be joined by fellow American young racer Andre Lafond, who was forced to miss the opening races due to travel restrictions but has been able to make it across to finally begin his 2021 campaign. Andy Low’s trio of US chargers will be hoping to come away from Knockhill with some silverware for the journey back home.

B-M Racing will again support Jamie Sharp at a circuit he knows well from his British F4 days, while their second car is filled this weekend by experienced junior single seater racer Jordan Dempsey. The former Chinese F4 front runner has made sporadic appearances in Formula Ford over the last few seasons for a variety of different teams and chooses Andy Brickles’ outfit on this occasion in a bid to make a winning comeback to the category.

Former champions Team DOLAN appear to be back to full strength with a three-car effort for the second meeting. Chris Middlehurst has a series of up and down fortunes as a mixture of spins, collisions and mechanical issues left him struggling to leave Donington Park with a strong haul of points. He has some serious ground to make up from 12th in the points, already 75 behind leader Walker and keen to put this right, so watch for Chris to try and be on the pace from the word go. His teammates on this occasion are Benjamin Cochran, another driver making his National debut in his first season of racing out of karts and the experienced Morgan Quinn, who has been steadily learning his craft and will be raring to get back behind the wheel and on the grid once more.

The rest of the National grid is made up with two solo effort, as Carter Williams continues his Formula Ford return with Oldfield Motorsport and will be looking to use all of the mileage gained from racing in British F4 at this venue to his advantage, while Drew Stewart brings plenty of local knowledge to the table aboard his SC Motorsport run Van Diemen and will be hoping to mix it up with the full season drivers in a bid to show his skills.

On the same grid as the National drivers will be eight cars from the Scottish Formula Ford Championship, as both series will be racing on track to contest the coveted David Leslie Trophy named after the Scottish racing legend who sadly passed away a few years ago and began his racing career at the wheel of a Formula Ford. Notable drivers from this part of the grid include former champion Jordan Gronkowski, fast females Logan Hannah and Lucy Grant, experienced Northern FF racer Matthew Chisholm and newcomer Grant Alcock.

Scott Woodwiss