RAVEN RULES THE SILVERSTONE ROOST


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James Raven impressed on his Silverstone return. Photo: www.bournephoto.co.uk

With another packed schedule of 21 races at the home of British motorsport, Silverstone was the place to be for anyone with a penchant for tin tops with an added dose of Formula Ford action for good measure this past weekend.

A healthy grid of 28 entries filled the Avon Tyres National Formula Ford 1600 paddock, as Graham Carroll was the lucky man to grab pole position in qualifying. He was duped in race 1 by reigning Formula Ford Festival champion and series returnee James Raven on track, however his return to the top step was briefly short-lived. The man from Portsmouth was handed a 5 second penalty post-race for exceeding track limits, handing victory to the Ray GR11 of Stephen Daly overall and in Post-89, while Jamie Jardine took the spoils in Pre-90 aboard his Reynard 84FF.

Race 2 saw redemption for Raven as he delivered a mistake free performance to claim overall and Post-89 success, with Jardine once again taking victory in Pre-90. Class wins were also clinched on Saturday by Luke Cooper, Matthew Cowley, Peter Hannam, John Svensson and Ben Tinkler.

The ever increasingly popular Fiesta Junior Championship saw a new winner enter its history books as Carlito Miracco from Bookham, Surrey claimed a brace of inaugural victories in only his first ever season of racing full stop. He completed both wins from pole position with Nathan Edwards and fellow series rookie Ronan Quinn completing the podium in race 1, while Quinn and championship contender Michael Higgs filled out the rostrum for race 2.

Title favourite Aaron Thompson suffered a weekend of incredible misfortune, with retirements in both races cutting his lead in the championship to just 8 points from main rival and teammate Higgs. A new face also adorned the paddock, as Bradley Burns made his series debut this past weekend, Burns only gaining his race licence the day before practice!

Their more senior compatriots in the Jam-Sport Fiesta Championship saw a dominant weekend for young charger James ‘JJ’ Ross with a clean sweep of all sessions bar practice, including two race victories with pole and fastest lap in both. Scott Robertson was his closest rival all weekend with two 2nd places, while Samuel Priest and Myles Baker shared a 3rd place each overall and in Class C.

David Abbott was top man in Class D all weekend, while Race 1 also saw a new face heading to the rostrum as Jessica King claimed her first podium finish with 3rd place. John Bateman and Peter Dendy-Sadler shared the spoils of Class A with a win apiece and Stuart Robbins kept his nose out of trouble to seal out Class B.

Staying with the Ford theme a little longer, the XR Challenge saw an incredibly competitive field, despite the reduced size. Qualifying was hard fought from start to finish with the top 4 separated by less than a second. With Adam Burgess’ Class B Fiesta XR3i starting from pole in race 1, it was Michael Heath who just overhauled Burgess at the line to claim the win in his Class A Fiesta XR2 by 0.442 seconds. Heath doubled up with the same again in Race 2, but this time had fellow XR2 man Robert Clapton for company, with the gap just over half a second at the flag. Michael Taylor secured Class B honours by 0.704 seconds from Ryan Bowron.

Both of our magnificent Mini championships were also in action this past weekend, with the Mighty and Super Mighty Minis putting on an exceptional display. Mighty Minis saw Brayden Fletcher grab the Race 1 victory from 5th on the grid after having a time disallowed for exceeding track limits in qualifying. The top 3 filled the rostrum by less than a second come the finish, with Steven Rideout and Caroline Gilbert keeping Fletcher company. Liam Sullivan took race 2 for his own with Fletcher 2nd and Stuart Coombs 3rd.

Jamie White showed everyone exactly why he carries the No.1 on his car in Super Mighty Minis this year, as he powered his way to both victories this past weekend. While his first win saw him succeed by almost 6 seconds from a close fought dice for 2nd between Scott Kendall and Neven Kirkpatrick, the second race was no walk in the park for White. When the flag dropped, he only just managed to complete the double from Kendall by the mere margin of 0.145 seconds, with Ian Slark a further half second behind.

The weekend also saw plenty of support from our friends at Track Attack Race Club once again, as they brought the Nippon Challenge, Deutsche Marques Cup, Happy Racer Tricolore Trophy and YourIrishShop.com MR2 Racing Series to join in the festivities. James Janicki’s Nissan Skyline R32 was a man on a mission in the Nippon field with two commanding overall victories, while James Mumbray took his BMW 330 to a double success in the Deutsche Marques Cup.

The Tricolore Trophy saw Simon James claim a pair of lights-to-flag wins aboard his Citroen Saxo VTS with Russ Thompson, Lee Williams and Tony Hunter also sharing the podium places amongst themselves. The YourIrishShop.com MR2 Racing Series produced a close fought affair in qualifying with the top 6 covered by less than a second, with Adam Lockwood taking top spot. Despite this, he couldn’t stop championship veteran Dave Hemingway securing 1st place by almost 5 seconds in Race 1 ahead of Lockwood and Nathan Harrison, before coming out on top from an incredibly close finish in Race 2. Hemingway held on to the win from Roger Pullan and Harrison, albeit seeing the top 3 covered by just over half a second!

Also attending in support was the Avon Tyres Intermarque Championship to give the weekend a taste of short-oval style Hot Rod action on the track. Reigning champion Matt Simpson stuck the #1 Vauxhall Tigra on pole but was forced to miss the start of Race 1 due to a broken differential. This allowed fellow Tigra driver Malcolm Blackman to claim the spoils of victory from Chris Brockhurst’s Tigra and Daniel Smith’s VW Corrado.

Lewis Smith was also disqualified due to a ride height issue on his Tigra, which forced him to start from the back for Race 2, along with the now repaired car of Simpson. Despite their relegation to the rear of the grid, this did nothing to faze either Simpson or Smith as both cars charged through the pack to come home 1st and 2nd, with Simpson coming out on top by almost 6 seconds from Smith and Race 1 winner Blackman following home in 3rd.

All the results, qualifying times and lap analysis can be viewed at SILVERSTONE RESULTS.

Scott Woodwiss