Boyd, Foster and O’Hara top Qualifying Heats at Brands Hatch


Qualifying for the Formula Ford Festival saw a number of red flags as the cars know the importance of a good position around Brands Hatch.

Heat 1

The cold track ensured it would take a few laps for the drivers to get up to speed as there had only been one session before hand. The cars would eventually get up to speed as Wayne Boyd set the early pace. Eventually becoming the first driver to drop into the 50 seconds.

The red flag would come out soon afterwards as the #50 of Jaime Thurburn spun into the gravel at the first turn, he would get back out, but only managed seventh. At the restart, Luke Williams was the car on form, as he immediately went second on his opening lap. The young driver would continue to challenge the consistent Boyd, as the times dropped.

It was Boyd who kept himself on form to stay top from Williams and the 2013 winner Niall Murray in third. In fourth was Ivor McCollough while the young American Michai Stephens will line up ahead of Abdul Ahmed in sixth.

Heat 2

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Joey Foster was the man to beat in Heat 2 (Credit: Nick Smith, The Image Team)

As the cars got on track it was Stephen Daly who was setting the early pace before Joey Foster took the lead with a time 0.3 quicker than the old record. Meanwhile, Daly would fall yet another position as Stuart Gough found his form to get within one tenth of Foster in first.

Once again the session was marred by a red flag as David McCollough ran into the gravel at the same position as the #50 in the first heat, he’d been running twelfth at the time.

No one initially improved after the green flag came out with the cars struggling to get up to speed. Gough pushed a little too much as he went off in the latter stages, with others searching for the pits.

As the cars realised that they weren’t going to jump up the order many used it as race practice with Foster remaining on top from Gough, Daly and Jake Byrne. Meanwhile the second of the Team USA drivers, Dakota Dickerson managed fifth in front of Adam MacKay.

Heat 3

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The final heat saw a close battle with O’Hara coming out on top (Credit: Nick Smith, The Image Team)

The #94 of Oliver White was the first car to set a time with the free air also allowing him to be the early pace setter. However; running would be short lived as the session saw another Thornburn off the track, this time it was David.

With no times under 51 seconds, it was clear that the best times were yet to come as Thornburn was taken away on the flat bed truck. Behind White, was Luke Cooper, within a tenth, with the pair breaking from the pack. Unfortunately for Cooper, he was run wide on his out lap smashing the tyre barrier and bringing out another red flag.

While the cars waited in the pits, front runner Noel Robinson had his car inspected, leaving his supporters concerned, with 11 minutes to go. A third car caused a yellow flag, but the session continued as Jonny McMullan went top.

A top three broke away at the end of the session with Kevin O’Hara on pole. While the consistent James Raven and White had to settle for second and third respectively. Behind them, Neil Maclennan and Team Canada Scholarship driver Michael Adams beat McMullan and Robinson.