Formula Ford

Pye Takes Championship Lead With Brands Hatch Win

3 Mins read

Scott Pye led a Jamun Racing Mygale 1-2-3 in Round 20 of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain at Brands Hatch. His win, coupled with a disappointing sixth for title rival Scott Malvern, moved him into the championship lead, the first time someone other than Malvern has topped the standings all season.

The Australian started on pole for the race, with a best time of 46.369s in qualifying. Emil Bernstorff lined up alongside him, with Josh Hill and Antti Buri making up row two. Pye made a good start as the lights went out, leading lead the field into Paddock Hill for the first time, while behind, a quick starting Buri jumped past Hill for third and then slid past Bernstorff for second into Druids.

The Finn quickly set about trying to take the lead, but Pye defended well to maintain his place. Behind, Hill was soon past team mate Bernstorff for third, pushing through at Druids on lap four, with the move also allowing Dan de Zille to sneak past, dropping Bernstorff to fifth.

With Hill quickly chasing down Pye and Buri ahead, with de Zille left defending hard from a determined Berstorff, while behind, Malvern and Dan Cammish were enjoying a scrap for sixth.

Hill soon caught onto the back of Buri and set about trying to pass for second. He made his move on lap ten, with Buri running wide at Paddock, allowing Hill to draw alongside. Despite contact between wheels, they remained side by side as they headed into Druids. There was more contact as they reached the corner, this time more decisive, sending Buri wide, giving Hill second.

Behind, Bernstorff finally got the upper hand over de Zille, after the latter got sideways at Graham Hill Bend. At the front, Pye was beginning to pull away, holding a lead of over a second, but this was soon to be wiped out with the deployment of the safety car on circuit, to allow the recovery of James Tucker's stricken JTR Mygale at Clearways.

As the race restarted there were four laps left to run, with Pye timing his restart well. Hill managed to stick with him though and attempted an ambitious move around the outside of him team mate at Paddock. Pye defended his place well, with the move allowing Buri to slide through on the inside of Hill into second. Hill fought back straight away, with his pressure on Buri forcing the Finn to run wide coming out of Clearways. This gave Hill a run on him down the start finish straight, the Jamun Racing driver making the move stick at Paddock Hill, with Bernstorff following through behind to take third.

All the fighting was allowing Pye to have a comfortable run to the line to take his eleventh win of the season, with the 20 year old now just three victories away from Callum MacLeod's 2007 record for the most wins in a season. Hill and Bernstorff completed the podium for a Jamun Racing lockout, with Bernstorff also recording the fastest lap of the race. Buri took fourth ahead of de Zille, with Malvern holding off Cammish in sixth, with Rockingham race winner Tio Ellinas in eighth.

In the Scholarship class, Luke Williams took the class win and the championship lead with a thirteenth place finish, after main rival Tristan Mingay unable to start the race due to damage from a crash in one of the weekends earlier races.

The next meeting for the Formula Ford drivers see them join the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship package for a triple header at Donnington Park. Pye heads to that with a four points lead over Malvern, while Williams' win in the Scholarship class sees him hold a 15 points advantage as they head to Donnington.

Provisional championship placings
1 Scott Pye 479 points

2 Scott Malvern 475
3 Daniel Cammish 377
4 Antti Buri 368
5 Josh Hill 351
6 Tio Ellinas 346
7 Emil Bernstorff 276
8 Jake Cook 247
9 Dan de Zille 213
10 James Tucker 190

Scholarship class
1 Luke Williams 391
2 Tristan Mingay 376

Photo credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

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Simon provides coverage of the support championships for the BTCC, having been a fixture in the TOCA paddock for over six years.
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