Formula Ford

Malvern Continues Formula Ford Dominance

3 Mins read

Scott Malvern claimed his second consecutive Formula Ford EuroCup trophy with a dominant showing around Spa-Francorchamps. The Jamun Racing ace took two race wins and a second place around the Belgian circuit to extend his advantage in the 2011 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain.

Race 1

22 year old Malvern didn't get a great start to his weekend however, with a broken gearbox in qualifying leaving him fourteenth on the grid for the opening race. This meant it was his team-mate Jeroen Slaghekke who started from pole, the Dutchman leading the opening lap from Australian Geoff Uhrhane in his JTR Mygale and fellow Aussie, Jamun's Nick McBride.

McBride stormed through on lap two to take the lead, while Slaghekke worked his way back ahead on lap three. While the lead was switching hands, Malvern was making progress through the field, up to sixth by lap two and into second by the end of lap three.

Slaghekke led a six car train at the front for two laps before Uhrhane found his way to the front. This didn't last long though, as on lap seven a slight mistake at Eau Rouge allowed Malvern to pounce and take the lead. Once ahead, Malvern pulled a gap to win his tenth consecutive Formula Ford race by 2.1 seconds.

Uhrhane held second, breaking the circuit lap record by fourth tenths of a second in the process, while Slaghekke completed the podium. Fourth went to McBride, while fifth in his LMS Racing Mygale was Antti Buri, the Finn having been up to second heading into the final lap. Matt Parry took sixth in the first appearance for the new Van Diemen LA11, with Jamun's Spike Goddard seventh, ahead of Phillipe Layac and top Dutch championship drivers Steijn Schothorst and Michel Florie. Enjoying his first Spa experience was Jason Down, the Getem Racing boss finishing thirteenth.

Race 2

Once again for race two, Malvern was forced to start down the order, this time thirteenth. This didn't deter the Essex racer, with him working his way up to third on the opening lap. This put him behind early race leader Uhrhane and Dutch start Schothorst, who was relishing his chance to mix it with GB's best.

Pole sitter Slaghekke found tricky slippery conditions tough on the opening lap, slipping down to eleventh ahead of team-mates McBride and Goddard, who were forced to start from the back of the grid as a penalty for not observing flag signals in the first race.

At the front, Uhrhane was able to pull away as a furious battle emerged for second between Schothorst, Malvern and JTR's Tristan Mingay. Malvern was able to break away soon after though and begin the chase to Uhrhane, who was 5.6s clear. His cause was aided when the leader made a mistake on lap five, dropping four seconds.

This put Malvern on his tail heading into the final lap, with the championship leader deciding to make his move into the Bus Stop chicane. With Uhrhane defending the inside, Malvern went to the outside, giving him the inside line for the second part of the chicane. As they emerged, the duo were running side by side down the pit straight, leading to a tangle of wheels. This spun Uhrhane round, the Australian crossing the line virtually backwards to take the win by just 0.047s, ending Malvern's winning streak.

Scothorst took a superb third, ahead of Mingay, Bas Shouten and Slaghekke. Dan de Zille took seventh for JTR, with McBride, Jesper Egebart and Layac rounding out the top ten.

Race 3

The weekend's final race saw Slaghekke start from pole once again, while Malvern started right at the back of the 21-car grid. It was Uhrhane who lead after the opening lap, slipstreaming past Slaghekke early on. He didn't hold the lead for long though, with McBride closing him down and passing him on lap three, but the lead was brief as Uhrhane got back past by the end of the lap.

The top four of Uhrhane, McBride, Slaghekke and Burri had broken away by the time Malvern managed to work his way into fifth, giving him lots of work to do. Some quick lap times, and fighting by the front group, allowed him to catch on to them soon after.

He moved up to fourth as Buri fell by the wayside on lap six, while Uhrhane, chasing new leader Slaghekke, ended his own race on the penultimate lap when braking too late, he ran into the back of the leader's car, causing sufficient damage to end his race.

This left Jamun trio Slaghekke, McBride and Malvern heading into the final lap nose to tail, with a mis-shift by Slaghekke on the straight up to Blanchimont allowing Malvern to slide past on the slipstream to take the win from Slaghekke and McBride, the three team-mates split by less than a third of a second at the finish. Malvern was also able to break Uhrhane's lap record en route to victory.

Geva Racing's Schothorst completed his good weekend in fourth, ahead of Danish championship leader Egebart, Goddard, American Neil Alberico, Shouten, Mingay and Florie.

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Simon is an experienced journalist and PR officer, who has worked in the national motorsport paddocks for over a decade, primarily on the BTCC support package.
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