15 races. 15 wins. 14 pole positions. 11 fastest laps. 262 laps led out of 267.
With figures like that, it’s clear to see that the first half of the 2013 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain has been all about one driver, Dan Cammish.
In the debut year for the new “slicks and wings” edition of the Formula Ford 200 EcoBoost, on the championship’s return to the high-profile BTCC support package, Cammish and his JTR team have so far been a class above the rest of the field.
The opening weekend at Brands Hatch at the end of March had hinted at a potentially titanic battle for championship honours between Cammish and Scott Malvern. The 2011 champion was Cammish’s closest competitor throughout the weekend, pushing him perilously close in race two in particular, despite barely any testing in the car due to a last minute entry for the weekend.
Malvern decided not to extend his return to the series though, and with the majority of the field lacking in single-seater experience, Cammish was left with no standout rival to challenge him on track.
The 24 year old used his previous experience in Formula Ford GB and Formula Renault UK to great effect, going on to dominant the next two meetings at Donington Park and Thruxton from start-to-finish.
At the end of the third weekend in Hampshire, Cammish had led every single lap of the first nine races, having started each from pole, with just a Luke Williams fastest lap in race two at Donington depriving him of a clean sweep of all the accolades.
At Oulton Park in June, a real challenger for Cammish emerged in the form of rookie Harrison Scott. In Cheshire, the Falcon Motorsport driver became the first driver other than Cammish to lead a race, albeit thanks to a false start that was subsequently punished with a drive-through penalty.
Two weeks later at the most recent meeting at Croft, Scott became the first driver other than Cammish to take a pole position, going on to briefly lead the opening race and set its fastest lap.
Despite Scott’s pressure though, Cammish was able to continue his incredible winning streak throughout, with the Croft weekend seeing him equal and then beat Malvern’s modern-era championship record of thirteen consecutive race wins.
The fifteen wins means Cammish sits atop the championship standings with a pretty healthy 150 point lead, however it is not Scott who sits second, with that honour going to Nico Maranzana.
The Argentinian rookie has led the Jamun Racing charge following Malvern’s exit. While he’s so far not matched the raw pace of Scott, a consistent season with twelve top six finishes and no retirements has put him into second in the points.
Scott is hot on his heels in the championship though, sitting just eight points behind in third in the overall standings, whilst lying four points ahead atop the Scholarship class leaderboard. The 17 year old has picked up seven podium finishes, a figure only bettered by Cammish, and holds the honour of being the only driver other than Cammish to have led a lap of a race this season.
Alongside Maranzana, Jamun are also running fellow Argentinian rookie Juan Rosso, who just like his compatriot has been hugely impressive. Bouncing back after missing the opening rounds at Brands due to a broken hand picked up in pre-season testing, he’s taken five podium finishes en-route to fourth in the points.
Having the unenviable task of running with Cammish in the JTR ranks is Camren Kaminsky. The American had a superb start to the season, taking two podiums on the opening weekend, but has found life a bit tougher since then, picking up just one more in the last twelve races.
Other stand-out performances include Andrew Richardson’s emergence as a front-runner with a pair of podiums at Thruxton in May, and former South African Formula Ford champion Jayde Kruger’s brace of podiums on his debut in the series at Oulton.
Sam Brabham has emerged as one-to-watch, having taken his first podium with JTR at Oulton, while James Abbott has shown podium potential since switching from the Sinter to Mygale chassis, a sign of the difficulties Sinter had has matching the pace of its French competitor.
The other Sinter, run by SWB Motorsport, took some strong top six finishes at Thruxton in the hands of Fred Martin-Dye, however budgetary problems for ‘Fast Fred’ has ruled him out the last two weekends.
While the championship has therefore attracted a number of talented racers, the problem has been that there hasn’t been enough of them. Grid numbers fell to a season low of just nine at Oulton, and while these were boosted for the last round at Croft with three guest drivers, the series organisers will be hoping to attract some more full-time runners before racing recommences at Snetterton in August.
The destination of the championship title seems to be a foregone conclusion heading into the second half of the season, with Cammish’s rivals surely requiring a lot of bad luck for the championship leader, and a winning streak to rival his, to be able to wrestle the trophy from his grasp.
As well as wrapping up the title, Cammish’s sights will now be set on breaking some more modern-era Formula Ford records. Malvern’s overall record of twenty wins in the championship, and Callum MacLeod and Scott Pye’s joint overall best of sixteen pole positions in the series, are well within his grasp.
But with Scott, Maranzana, Rosso, Richardson, Kruger et al looking to make a name for themselves and knock Cammish off his throne, the championship leader will have to ensure he keeps a close eye on the competition when action resumes in Norfolk in four weeks time.
TCF’s three to watch:
1. Harrison Scott – Scott has been hugely impressive in his debut car-racing campaign, taking the fight to the vastly more experienced Cammish and looking most likely to end his winning streak. He’ll be great to watch as he pushes for that first coveted race win.
2. Andrew Richardson – Richardson has adapted superbly in his first season in single-seaters after three seasons in Ginetta’s. Running with his family team, he has regularly battled and beaten the established Ford teams and more podium finishes is on the cards.
3. Jayde Kruger – Kruger came to the UK with an impressive single-seater résumé, which shows he’s clearly got the speed and talent to win here. Once he fully adapts to the EcoBoost car, he’ll definitely be pushing for victories.
Provisional 2013 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain Standings (After Rd.15 of 30):
|2||Nico Maranzana||Jamun Racing||311||-150|
|3||Harrison Scott||Falcon Motorsport||303||-158|
|4||Juan Angel Rosso||Jamun Racing||230||-231|
|7||James Abbott||Radical Sportscars||210||-251|
|8||Andrew Richardson||Richardson Racing||179||-282|
|9||George Blundell||Enigma Motorsport||136||-325|
|10||Lassi Halminen||Falcon Motorsport||128||-333|
|11||Luke Williams||Jamun Racing||122||-339|
|12||Jayde Kruger||Jamun Racing||115||-346|
|13||Fred-Martin Dye||SWB Motorsport||70||-391|
|14||Scott Malvern||Jamun Racing||45||-416|
|15||Neil Winn||Falcon Motorsport||22||-439|
|16||David Wagner||Falcon Motorsport||6||-455|