SKINNER THE TRAIL BLAZER


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Australian Jordan Skinner continued to blaze a trail across British motorsport last weekend with two further victories in the Avon Tyres Northern Formula Ford Championship which staged its latest rounds at Anglesey. Skinner was by far the class of the field despite this being his debut at Trac Mon.

His original objective for 2010 was to compete in the Duratec cars of the MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain but when this proved to be out of his price range he switched his attention to the two BRSCC organised Kent-engined Formula Ford series which have rounds up and down the country. In this arena he has very much become the man to beat. One upside of stepping down to the Kent class is it’s providing far more competition mileage than would otherwise have been the case.

The 19-year olds talent was spotted last season by Joey Foster. The former finalist in the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year competition was enjoying a victorious season in Australian Formula 3 with Team BRM who were also running Jordan in Formula Ford. In the Autumn Joey brought his protégé back to Britain to contest the Walter Hayes Trophy meeting at Silverstone. From an initial entry of over 100 competitors Skinner finished a very impressive 7th in the final.

Following this taster the young Ozzie made it his target to return for this year however a lack of finance was a major obstacle. Jordan’s determination to realise his dream saw him working long hours, often 7 days a week, throughout the hot Australian summer in his father’s construction business where he helped to create car parks and lay building foundations.

He managed to raise the money to return in time for the English Spring and found himself behind the wheel of a brand new Ray GRK10 nonetheless the budget to complete the season continues to be sought. “I am currently still trying to find support as we go though the year,” Jordan explains, “but I am not having any luck due to the way the economy is at the minute. It’s not in my nature to give up so I’ll keep on trying!”

One initiative that may help matters later in the season is the “Road to the Festival” Challenge which has been instigated jointly by the BRSCC and Motorsports News. They are awarding points to drivers according to their finishing positions in every Kent-powered Formula Ford race nationwide. The prize on offer is a free entry to the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch in October. Skinner’s excellent start to 2010 saw him as the initial leader in this particular quest and the two wins at Anglesey can only strengthen his position.

Jordan is lodging with his mentor Joey Foster who lives in Truro, Cornwall. This out of the way coastal location is actually very similar to his hometown of Wallaroo. It is also one of the few places in this country that has a thriving surfing community however Skinner is one of those rare Australians who has never got into that particular sport! This is something he intends to put right during his stay in England having got to know some Cornish locals who are prepared to give him lessons.

No doubt Jordan was too busy tuning his kart to go out amongst the breakers on the shore. His ongoing technological education is something that is a key part of his make-up. He says “I have grown up around my father’s trucks, bob cats and race bikes – as well as having go-karts myself – so I have always had a basic understanding of how things work. Even so, I always want to learn more about my racing cars and how they function. I believe this is a key factor in being successful as a driver because the more you understand your equipment the better you know how to use it.”

Skinner is certainly putting this mechanical knowledge to good use as he learns all the UK circuits. Just being out on the tarmac at all the famous venues is a source of joy. “I’m loving the tracks over here,” he enthuses, “because I’ve watched them on TV since I was really young; to actually go out and race on them is a real achievement.”

Dave Williams