Joey Foster Powers Through for Second Festival Title


Credit: Jack Mitchell / JAM Photography

It was Joey Foster who came away from Brands Hatch with the biggest smile as he won the Final of the Formula Ford Festival with a dominant second half to the 20 lap race.

Foster had won his heat on Saturday and fought through in the Semi-Final to also take the victory there. He was favourite going into the final, but a slightly slower semi ensured that he once again started second, this time behind Neil MacLennan.

Foster’s win ensures he continues the now-three year run of previous winners clinching the title. As a result of his second crown, he gets an invitation to the Mazda Road to Indy Shootout.

The opening laps were disrupted as a safety car was called after Peter Gillespie and Team Canada’s Ben Hurst collided into Paddock Hill bend, the pair were joined by Klaus Dieter Hackel, the only Pre ’90 car in the race ending his chances of flying the flag for the older cars.

At the front, polesitter Maclennan had held on to the lead in the opening laps, but was under intense pressure from Foster who knew that he had the speed.

Matthew Cowley had been the man keeping Foster occupied, but the Ray GR08 was soon into the lead as he outbraked Maclennan into Paddock Hill, running around the outside. Maclennan would attempt the same move a lap later, but Foster knew when to shut the door.

Joey Foster (#155) overtook Neil Maclennan (#25) around the outside of Paddock to take the lead (Credit: Jack Mitchell / JAM Photography)

From there Foster soon pulled away from the four car fight, leaving Maclennan, Cowley and Keith Donegan to squabble over second. Donegan was the man on the move though, making his way past Maclennan after Cowley’s mistake saw him drop back.

Donegan would catch Foster on the final lap, but by then the damage was done, with Foster taking the win by a mere 0.107 seconds. Maclennan completed the podium, recovering from a poor middle of the race, but again settling for another Festival podium.

Staying out of trouble it would be Josh Smith who jumped places in the closing stages to take an impressive fourth after his dodgy Saturday. Meanwhile Heat winner Chris Middlehurst could only record a fifth after falling back in the early stages.

Cowley dropped to sixth after his off track excursion, while Darren Burke and Noel Robinson were side by side across the line, with Burke taking the flag by a mere three thousandths of a second. Finally, the top ten saw Matt Round-Garrido hold off Jason Cooper in the closing laps.

Team USA Scholarship drivers Jonathan Kotyk and Aaron Jeansonne were eleventh and thirteenth respectively, split by South African champion Julian Van Der Watt with Luke Cooper following them home after a collision with Burke in the second half. Henry Chart was fifteenth.

It proved to be a poor day for the Team USA and Canada drivers (Credit: Jack Mitchell / JAM Photography)

F.F.FESTIVAL – MASTERS

Winner: John Ferguson – Kevin Mills Racing

In an incredible defensive display, it would be John Ferguson in his Spectrum 012 who held on to take the FFF Masters race in the Formula Ford Festival. The event, which gives the older drivers a chance to shine, was not short of action as oil on the track caused mayhem for many behind.

Ferguson maintained the lead at the start, but after contact with Henry Chart (which spun him into the gravel,) the leader had Miles Johnston on his tail. Jake Byrne had started at the back after crashing out of the Festival on Saturday, but after making his way past Thomas Johanssen and Johnston, set his sight on the leader.

Stray fluid at Graham Hill Bend and Surtees caused havoc in the second half as half the field were sliding off at various points.

The final lap would not let up on the action though, with Byrne running side-by-side with Ferguson across the line. It would be the Spectrum who took the victory though, as Byrne was just 0.068 seconds behind. Meanwhile, Johnston held off a late challenge from Keith Wood so that the top four were separated by one second. Simon Jackson could not hold on from his front row start and finished fifth.