The first sessions of the Dunlop MSA British Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain 2014 were topped today by Jayde Kruger and Harrison Scott at Brands Hatch.
Running with JTR and Falcon Motorsport respectively, the returning drivers took the first headlines of the season after managing to set exactly the same time, 45.234s, in the second session of the day.
Sam Brabham took third place just one hundredth of a second behind the top two drivers, after heading the morning by a tenth in the cold and damp running.
The best times of the day came late in the session with Kruger getting in first. His 45.234 second lap of the 1.2 mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit lit up the timing screens with fourteen minutes from the end of the forty minute free practice. Four seconds later Scott came through to post his identical time after dealing with an electrical fire in the cockpit of his Mygale chassis with a Swindon engine.
Amazingly, had Sam Brabham managed to string together his best sector times he would have gone 0.134 faster.
The South African pace setter said after the final session, “I can’t believe that Harrison and I set exactly the same time, to the thousandth. Hopefully there will be a bit more of a gap between us tomorrow.”
With Kruger on top and Brabham in third, it was a great day for JTR. That day got even better when Max Marshall, the team’s third driver set a time less than a tenth off the top pace to go fourth. Juan Rosso and Jack Barlow took fifth and sixth place.
Seventh went to the Scholarship class pace setter, Ricky Collard, son of the BTCC racer Rob Collard. The top time in the scholarship was a 45.464, less than a quarter of a second off the overall pace and unlike in the overall class, Collard secured the top spot in both sessions. The leading Falcon Scholarship driver was backed up by his team mate Chris Mealin, with Meridian Motorsport’s Ashley Sutton in class third.
The first lady racer to drive the new EcoBoost specification of Formula Ford car made her class debut today. That was former Ginetta GT Supercup racer Louise Richardson, who set the eleventh fastest time in practice, after seventy-five laps of the track. Richardson’s family run Mygale, the car which her brother Andy Richardson raced last year, bested both of the Sinter chassis in the field, using the same Scholar built engine.
Greg Holloway for SWB Motorsport was best of the Sinters in twelfth, 2.8 seconds off the leaders pace. Slowest of all went to James Abbott in the second SWB machine.
Qualifying gets underway tomorrow morning at 0900, when it can only be expected that Dan Cammish’s qualifying lap record will fall. The 45.055 seems a long way off but the weather forecast is ideal and the teams have had a full year to become more familiar with the latest spec of cars. Scott Malvern’s race record of 45.720 is almost guaranteed to be surpassed as Kruger and Scott lead the fight for the first win of the season at 14:15.
Rounds 1 & 2 will take place on Saturday, with only the third round of the championship being broadcast live on ITV4. The first and second clashes will be shown as live during the coverage however and fans can listen to the circuit commentary here: btcc.net/live-zone/live-audio
1 Jayde KRUGER/RSA JTR Mygale 50.505s / 45.234s
2 Harrison SCOTT/GBR Althorne Falcon Mygale 50.765s / 45.234s
3 Sam BRABHAM/GBR Banbury JTR Mygale 50.123s / 45.244s
4 Max MARSHALL/GBR North Kilworth JTR Mygale 51.987s / 45.327s
5 Juan ROSSO/ARG Radical Mygale 50.399s / 45.356s
6 Jack BARLOW/GBR Hastings Jamun Mygale 51.198s / 45.429s
7 *Ricky COLLARD/GBR Eversley Falcon Mygale 52.136s / 45.464s
8 *Chris MEALIN/GBR Braddan, IOM Falcon Mygale 50.256s / 46.185s
9 *Ashley SUTTON/GBR Bishops Stortford Meridian Mygale 50.898s / 46.441s
10 *Connor MILLS/GBR Upminster Meridian Mygale 52.052s / 47.237s etc