Scott Malvern has been crowned the 2011 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford of Great Britain champion after the Jamun Racing driver continued his sensational season by taking a double win at the penultimate meeting of the year at Donington Park.
The latest two wins means Malvern has now won seventeen of the twenty races so far this season and he has become Jamun's seventh successive champion. Malvern now heads into the final triple-header at Silverstone in two weeks' time with the chance to make it a remarkable twenty wins in a season.
22 year old Malvern started his Donington weekend in top form, storming to pole position in qualifying on Saturday, before going on to take victory in the weekend's opening race on the same day. Malvern led away from pole position and despite race-long pressure from his team-mate Nick McBride, was able to hold on for a 2.8s win.
McBride took a comfortable second, while Jeroen Slaghekke took third to make it a Jamun 1-2-3 after a great move on lap seven saw him outbrake both Antti Buri and Geoff Uhrhane at the Melbourne hairpin, with those two then making contact, both spinning into retirement.
Dan de Zille's strong recent form continued with a fourth place finish, while Fluid's Matthew Parry capped off a strong run from eighth on the grid to take fifth. Luke Williams and American Neil Alberico were next up ahead of Dutch drivers Steijn Schothorst and Jelle Beelen, the duo making a guest appearance at Donington. New JTR man Max Marshall took twelfth on his car racing debut to take the Scholarship Class win, after class leader Cavan Corcoran went off on the opening lap.
Malvern once again started from pole for Sunday's first race, though this time nearly bogged down on the line with wheelspin. He managed to recover though to lead the opening lap, with McBride holding second once again, despite losing it for a lap early on to fellow Australian Uhrhane.
McBride soon shrugged off Uhrhane and began closing on Malvern, setting the race's fastest lap on the fourth tour. Soon on his tail, the duo headed into the opening lap split by just 0.2 seconds. McBride sniffed a rare chance to beat Malvern and made it count, diving past at the hairpin to take the lead and with it his maiden Formula Ford victory, with just 0.093s splitting the pair at the flag.
JTR's Uhrhane soon came under pressure from Slaghekke and despite his best efforts to hold him off, the Dutchman squeezed by on lap seven and held on to make it another Jamun one-two-three at the top. Uhrhane just held off Buri for fourth, with de Zille completing the top six. Parry and Spike Goddard were next up, while Schothorst once again finished top of the guest entries in ninth and Corcoran the Scholarship win in eleventh.
The weekend's final race proved to be the toughest of the weekend as rain fell over Donington, however untroubled by this was the all-conquering Malvern. Starting from pole once again, the Ilford-based driver cruised home to win by over five seconds.
A delighted Malvern reflected: “It's been so tough since the first round, where we had a nightmare. We had to regroup and think about how we were going to attack it again and the only thing we could do was win as many races as possible. The plan since then has been all-out attack, win every race we could, and that's happened.
“Sometimes we've been fortunate, at other times the car has been mega and I've done the job. Massive thanks have to go to the guys at Jamun. The car has been amazing, it's been a mega year and I really have to thank them.”
“I'd love now to go and win twenty races in one year, that would be fantastic and that is the goal now heading to Silverstone. More than that, though, I'm just going to go out and enjoy the races – I've won the championship and to go to Silverstone with no pressure whatsoever, that will be completely new to me so it'll be an amazing feeling.
“For next year, we'll move on to whatever the best option is for us if we can secure the funding. We'll have to look at Formula 2, Formula 3 or GP3. I've got to take a big jump having stayed in Formula Ford for a couple of years. It was a risky strategy racing in Ford again this year; we had to win lots of races and the championship – but now we know we did the right thing.”
A superb fight for second place saw Uhrhane come out on top after producing a superb move around the outside of McBride and team-mate de Zille at Melbourne Hairpin on lap two, only Uhrhane's second podium in nine races after a run of bad luck.
McBride took third, meaning he now holds a 23 point lead over Slaghekke in the fight for second in the standings, Slaghekke having retired from the race on the opening lap after a spin. Parry took a superb fourth in his Van Diemen, with LMS/Geva Racing's Buri fifth and Schothorst a great sixth. After a strong early showing, de Zille had to settle for seventh, while in the Scholarship class, a last corner move by Corcoran saw him pass Marshall for the class win.
Corcoran's double Scholarship class victory over the weekend meant the 18 year old secured the coveted 'junior championship' title for 2011. The Derbyshire-based driver has now picked up fourteen class wins this campaign, twelve with previous team Getem Racing and now two with current outfit Cliff Demsey Racing.
Corcoran, who hopes to remain in Formula Ford in 2012, said: “It's been a brilliant season, particularly since I have limited single seater experience. I have hardly done any testing this year, so I have been very much up against it, and I am still learning. Despite this I have made very good progress and changing to Cliff Dempsey Racing has definitely helped me improve; hopefully I will be pushing for the title in the main class next year.”
Looking ahead to 2012, the all-new Formula Ford chassis was on show all weekend for spectators at Donington Park, the new single-seater being brought to Britain after its public unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this month.
Championship Manager Sam Roach said: “We have had a lot of positive feedback from all who have seen the new car and in particular from the young drivers currently competing, all of whom I am sure would like the chance to drive it, and from teams.”