RORY BUTCHERS THE COMPETITION
Saturday 27th June saw Silverstone stage round 5 of the Creative LED Solutions Club Formula Ford North West Championship, the event also counting as a round of the Webcon UK National Club Formula Ford championship.
A strong 22 car field was signed on for the day’s Post-89 event, and right from the word go it was Scottish youngster, Rory Butcher, who dominated the proceedings. In qualifying, Butcher put his 17 year old car on pole with a time nearly half a second quicker than his closest rival, Scott Malvern. Come the race, and Butcher carried his impressive performance on with a virtually faultless lights to flag victory, leading the rest of the field by close to seven and half seconds at the end of the event. Malvern, clearly not in the best of health on the day, took an impressive second place finish having kept Butcher firmly in his sights for much of the race
The third step on the podium went to a delighted Matt Rivett, who has clearly lost none of his touch in a Formula Ford, despite a very limited number of outings during 2009. A mention must also go to Doug Crosbie, who after various technical problems in qualifying started nineteenth on the grid, but worked his way through a high quality field to finish a very respectable eighth place at the chequered flag
Two incidents on the opening lap of the Pre-90 race saw three drivers out of the event, with a fourth subsequently running two laps down after a trip to the pits. Contact between Pedro Matos and Matt Ridge at Becketts saw the latter airborne in spectacular style, while at the following corner, Kevin Donnelly leapt over the back of Nigel Dolan’s car in an equally dramatic incident.
Once the dust settled it was pole sitter, Justin Dawkins, who set about building a very comfortable lead with a seemingly endless stream of consistently fast laps. This very professional drive rightly earned Dawkins the win, but behind him the most watchable battle of the race was the hard fought duel for second between Nigel Thompson and John Farrell. The pair swopped places throughout the race in an incredibly close, yet clean and fair, encounter that must be applauded. At the chequered flag it was Thompson who just snatched the second step on the podium by less than a tenth of second. The Class D result was a popular one in the paddock, with Stuart Dix finishing ahead of Barry Thompson and Mike Mullins.
Both the North West and the National championships now have a two week break before moving to Oulton Park on July 11. For more information on Club Formula Ford visit : www.clubformulaford.co.uk