Jeroen Slaghekke On His Way To The Final Race Win Of 2011

 

At the opening rounds of the 2011 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain at Silverstone, Scott Malvern, Geoff Uhrhane and Jeroen Slaghekke shared the race victories and six months later when the series returned for its final weekend, those three drivers took the wins once again. 

Round 22

The opening race proved to be a superb encounter, with between five and seven cars vying for the lead during the majority of the races, with multiple lead changes early on. It was Slaghekke who started from pole and the Dutchman got away well to lead, but was soon passed by Jamun Racing team-mate Malvern.

They were soon under pressure from Uhrhane though, the front three passing through Abbey three abreast, with Urhhane emerging ahead. Malvern nipped by soon after, before JTR's Uhrhane re-took the lead, only to lose it to Malvern again on the next lap.

Malvern's race was to end soon after though, the 2011 champion dropping to third by lap five, before retiring on lap six as his engine died. This had given Uhrhane the lead from Slaghekke, but he soon lost ground to Dan de Zille and Antti Buri on lap seven, though Slaghekke felt he was unfairly overtaken under a yellow flag.

At the front, Uhrhane cruised home for victory, with Slaghekke working his way back to second on the final lap. De Zille took third, but was later excluded for passing under yellows, giving Buri third ahead of JTR's Tristan Mingay and Australian duo Nick McBride and Jack Le Brocq, the latter making his debut with Jamun.

Taking eighth as the only non-mygale in the top ten was Neil Alberico in his Cliff Demsey Racing Ray, just behind Phillipe Layac, but ahead of Spike Goddard and Steijn Schothorst. Taking the Scholarship class victory was Max Marshall.

Round 23

Overnight saw Malvern's Jamun team working frantically to repair his Mygale, with a borrowed engine from Geva Racing getting fitted to ensure his weekend could continue. Malvern started from pole and a great start saw him lead away, while a sluggish getaway from Uhrhane saw him slip to third behind Slaghekke.

Malvern held the lead throughout the race, coming under pressure from his team-mate early on, before a slight mistake for Slaghekke saw him slip away, allowing Malvern a clear run to the line for his eighteenth win of the season.  

Slaghekke came home second, while Uhrhane completed the podium, overcoming pressure from Buri early on, the Finn left to defend fourth from four cars behind. De Zille took sixth, with Matt Parry seventh, while Layac, Le Broc and Luke Williams completing the top ten. Marshall once again took the Scholarship win.

Round 24

The Formula Ford stars produced a season finale to remember in the weekend's final race at Silverstone. Uhrhane started from pole, but Slaghekke got the jump at the start to lead the field. Uhrhane was back in front soon after though and went on to lead by 1.2s by the end of the opening lap.

Malvern dropped to sixth at the end of the opening lap, but within two laps he had fought his way back to third and soon closed on Slaghekke. The duo looked unable to catch Uhrhane until a small error on lap five by the leader allowed them onto his tail.

The final three laps proved to be a frantic affair, with the front  three passing, counter-passing, attacking and defending to the highest quality, as the season's only race winners looked to add to their tally. Slaghekke crept ahead on the penultimate tour but Urhhane soon forced his way alongside on the way to Luffield, where he locked up and slide wide, giving Slaghekke the advantage.

Uhrhane fought back on the final lap and tried to repass, while also defending from a determined Malvern behind. Slaghekke held on for his third win of the season, confirming himself as the 2011 vice-champion, with Uhrhane second and Malvern ending his sensational season third.

De Zille just missed out on the podium once again in fourth, ahead of Geva Racing's Buri, with McBride taking sixth, leaving him third in the championship, just three points behind Slaghekke. Le Brocq took seventh, with Alberico, Mingay and Layac rounding out the top ten. Matt Rao took the Scholarship class victory as Marshall went off on the final lap.