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Formula Ford 2000 in the War of the Wolds

Marcus Pye Reports

HG Wells’ science fiction novel The War of the Worlds has gripped readers for more than 120 years.  Historic Formula Ford 2000 has only been around for 13, but back in Lincolnshire’s Wolds where the series’ first battle was enacted in 2007 (a dramatic race won by Iain Rowley) the Pinto-powered slicks-and-wings category for charismatic cars from 1975-‘81, headlined the HSCC’s annual visit to sylvan Cadwell Park on the weekend of 19-20 September. 

Thirty five competitors, the strongest entry in years, justified four races on MotorSport Vision’s picturesque playground, a qualifying heat for each championship counter giving less experienced drivers more seat time, as the quickest 10 (five from each session) progressed directly to the points races.  Late lunges by class newcomer Adrian Langridge (Crosslé 41F) and local man Lee Bankhurst (Royale RP30) snatched victory in the preliminaries, robbing Ben Glasswell and Greg Robertson (Reynards) respectively.

Twice Historic FF1600 champion Callum Grant goes airborne in his Delta T78 on the way to HFF2000 victory. Photos Charlie Wooding

Twice Historic FF1600 champion Callum Grant (Delta T78) and former Classic F3, HFF2000 and HFF1600 titlist Benn Simms (Reynard SF77) stood head and shoulders above the rest in the finals. 

Classic Formula 3 – making a rare appearance on the narrow sinuous track that hosted British F3 Championship counters until future F1 champ Ayrton Senna wrecked two Ralt RT3s there in quick succession in 1983 – and Classic FF2000 were combined, with young stars in each group.  Benn Tilley (ex-Rupert Keegan March-Toyota 743) shadowed debutant Matt Wrigley (Chevron B38) and darted past boldly into the Hall Bends on Saturday as Wrigley grappled with a clutch problem.  Tilley outran John Finch (Ralt RT1) on Sunday, the latter having worked hard to shake off FF2000 ace Ben Stiles (Van Diemen RF82).   

Benn Tilley (ex-Rupert Keegan March-Toyota 743) darted past Matt Wrigley into the Hall Bends on Saturday and outran John Finch on Sunday in Classi F3

Formula Ford, Historic and Classic, were on the timetable, with points leader Pierre Livingston (Merlyn Mk20A) continuing his Oulton Park winning ways in the former.  Linton Stutely (Royale RP3) and Cameron Jackson (March 708) disputed the other virtual podium places, netting a second and a third apiece. 

Switching to his Van Diemen RF80 local property developer Jackson won both Classic FF rounds as Mike Gardner caught the stewards’ attention by swiping the nose from his Crosslé 32F en route to fourth and second. 

Will Plant, guesting in Kevin Kivlochan’s Morgan, won the opening Historic Road Sports race

Both Road Sports categories drew big grids.  Outdragged by Kevin Kivlochan in the ‘70s opener, defending champion Jeremy Clark squeezed his Lotus Elan back past to win, then repeated. 

Will Plant, guesting in Kivlochan’s Morgan, won the opening Historic Road Sports race, as KeKi sat in the pits rueing a broken throttle spring in his AC Cobra.  Half a minute behind when Sunday’s scrappy rolling start was released, Kivlochan blasted back to fifth, this time watched by young Plant who switched the big Moggie’s Rover V8 engine off when its oil pressure light glowed ominously.

Pierre Livingston (Merlyn Mk20A) continued his Oulton Park winning ways in Classic Formula Ford

Peter Smith won both Historic Touring Car bouts in his Lotus Cortina, but had a tough time on Saturday until Roger Stanford retired his energetically-conducted version. 

For the full story see our November 2020 issue