RICHARDSON RETURNS TO FORMULA FORD AT CROFT AS TITLE BATTLE HOTS UP


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Louise Richardson impressed on her Formula Ford debut at Brands. Photo: www.jakobebrey.com

Louise Richardson is to return to the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain this weekend (28/29 June) at Croft, and has secured sponsorship to drive a Richardson Racing EcoBoost Mygale for the remainder of the season.

Twenty-one-year-old Lincolnshire-based law student Louise made her single-seater debut with Formula Ford at Brands Hatch in March, her performance impressing a backer sufficiently that funding has been provided for her to complete the season. “There have been a few false dawns in the past when we thought a deal was in place and then it didn’t happen,” said Louise, “so this one was kept quiet from me until we knew for certain. It was a nice surprise when I was told what was happening, and I’m delighted to know that I’m now sorted in a car for the rest of the season.

“Croft this weekend will be something of a test as I haven’t driven the car since Brands Hatch and will only get into it again during Friday testing. I’ve not been to Croft for a few years and also need to get used to the car again, while there are a few things we want to try out. I can then aim to come out stronger at Snetterton and really push for some good results in the second half of the year. My target is to work towards a full season in the series next year.” Louise will be the sole representative for the Richardson Racing team this weekend at Croft, with the team aiming to field two cars during the second half of the season.

Formula Ford reaches the mid-point of its season this weekend and, with just nine points separating the top two drivers – Jayde Kruger and Harrison Scott – there is everything to play for.

A multiple champion in his native South Africa, 26-year-old Kruger’s experience of winning is paying dividends for the JTR team. Jayde’s EcoBoost Mygale won two of the three Brands Hatch races, a further two at Donington and, last time out at Oulton Park, collected a further brace of wins; he’s twice finished second as well.

Croft lap record holder Scott has won only twice for Falcon Motorsport – at Donington and at Oulton – but he has failed only three times to finish on the podium, compared with Kruger’s four absences. Harrison flew at Croft in his rookie season, becoming the only driver to beat Dan Cammish to pole position during the whole of the 2013 season.

“That was quite special for me – the first pole of my car-racing career,” said Harrison. “Unfortunately things didn’t work out in the race, but it was still a great feeling starting from the front row. Croft is a great track and hopefully this year I can get more than the one pole position there. It’s been an incredibly close season so far between me, Jayde and the others, and winning the championship this year is going to be all about consistency and racking up the points and the podium finishes, so although I’ll be looking to win races at Croft I also need to think about that aspect.”

Kruger and Scott are unlikely to get things all their own way this weekend. This season has brought race wins for JTR’s Sam Brabham, and for Radical Motorsport men James Abbott and Juan Rosso. Argentinian Rosso was on strong form last time out and, despite a race-two crash, claimed a brace of podium finishes at Oulton to consolidate his championship third. Abbott is, as last year, the last man standing to have finished every race, and his consistency helps him maintain championship fifth, just behind Rosso and JTR’s Max Marshall, who led the Oulton reverse-grid race before crashing.

Three drivers are separated by just 10 points in the tussle for honours in the Scholarship class for rookies. After his class win in the final Oulton race, Meridian’s Connor Mills is a nose ahead of Falcon Motorsport’s Ricky Collard, with Ashley Sutton coming up fast for Jamun Racing despite missing the Donington meeting. Falcon’s Chris Mealin won the Scholarship class – and claimed an overall podium to boot – in the rain-curtailed Oulton reverse-grid race, a great return to the championship for Manxman Mealin after his Thruxton crash.

Mills gained a new team-mate at Oulton in the shape of promising 16-year-old Connor Jupp, and Meridian is due to have a further former karting star in its ranks at Croft in the shape of Jai Nijjar, who turned 16 yesterday (Sunday).

For more information go to http://www.britishformulaford.co.uk/