The 2012 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain closed in dramatic fashion last weekend with champion Antti Buri denied a final victory, Jake Cook returning to winning ways and Matt Rao sealing championship victory in the Duratec class.
Sunday had been scheduled to see two Formula Ford races completed, but accidents in the GT1 event caused organisers to cancel the remaining events in the already jam-packed timetable. That meant that round 23 of the season became the season finale.
The first race started with Eric Lichtenstein leading away from pole only for team-mate Luke Williams to try and make a move on the first run down the back straight. However, Lichtenstein was in no mood to back down and he bravely fought back into the Melbourne Hairpin to end the first tour ahead, only to lock-up at the same corner on the next lap to allow Williams through into the lead.
However, neither driver was to get much further in the race as they came together at Goddards as their battle turned nasty, and both suffered damage serious enough for them to retire from the race.
That turn of events meant that cook sat in the pound seat for victory, although Buri was chasing him down hard, with every intention of sealing his championship-winning year with yet another victory. The Finn did indeed make a lunge for the lead around the outside at Redgate and was briefly ahead, only to slip back behind after a mistake.
After two laps of blistering pace to try and get back on terms with Cook, Buri tried again as McLeans on lap seven, only for contact between the two cars left the newly-crowned champion with a damaged car and a terminal tour back around to the pits. Cook, however, was able to continue and he led the rest of the race to finish six seconds ahead of Cavan Corcoran.
Corcoran had been debating second place with Ryan Cullen for the entire race, but the former’s decisive move into Goddards on lap ten ensured it was he that came home in the bridesmaid’s position. Cullen remained upbeat despite losing second: “We were moving through the field, avoiding accidents and trying not to create one of our own because it was very close. Fair play to Cavan, he drove well.”
Further down the grid in the Duratec class there was equally close racing. Fabian Welter held the initiative at first before George Blundell got past at Redgate and then resisted the Mexican for eight laps, securing his second class victory of the season. That result cemented Blundell’s position as Top Rookie and wins him a free entry into the 2013 championship.
Matt Rao finished in third place and in the process claimed Duratec class championship victory. Welter had taken an astounding thirteen wins in the class this season, and although he scored more total points than Rao, he slipped behind when dropped scores were taken into account.