8 September 2014

Mixed Results for Falcon but Scott Remains Top in Formula Ford

Falcon Motorsport driver Harrison Scott headed to Rockingham Speedway with a six-point lead in the 2014 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain and left with a 17-point advantage with six races remaining. Scholarship Class contenders Ricky Collard and Chris Mealin collected valuable points to remain second and third in the 2014 Rookie rankings for the Oxfordshire based team. Usual Friday testing saw Championship leader Harrison Scott losing half a session in the afternoon when his Falcon Motorsport Mygale was afflicted by a split water pipe, but he recovered towards the end of the day to go third quickest overall. There were similar issues for team-mate Chris Mealin, who managed only 11 laps in the afternoon and ended his day 12th after a water pipe and exhaust issue. Hampshire based, 18 year old Ricky Collard started his weekend campaign as strongly as he would end it. He was within a second of the top of the testing time sheet to finish fifth fastest overall and second of the Scholarship Class runners. It was a foggy start for qualifying early on Saturday morning at the Northamptonshire speedway. Harrison was disappointed with his fourth-best overall time, but Ricky was delighted with his best qualifying result of the season of a P3 result, with Chris completing the top ten. From second row on the grid at the start of Round 22 in the afternoon, Ricky made contact with the rear of Ashley Sutton at Brooke chicane, which cost him dearly. “It got a bit close,” said Ricky. “We all got bunched up into the chicane and Sutton slowed suddenly and I had nowhere to go. It broke my front wing and affected my car’s handling massively.” Harrison, who held fourth behind Ricky for the opening three laps, was then able to slot in front of him at the Deene hairpin. A race victory for Championship rival Jayde Kruger (JTR) brought him and Harrison level on points with just eight races of the season remaining. JTR’s Max Marshall relieved Ricky of fourth place mid-race, and he fell back into a multi-car battle for fifth (scholarship class P2) which came to a head at the hairpin on the final lap. James Abbott (Radical) got the better of a long battle with Chris Mealin (Falcon) to deprive the Manxman of seventh on the final lap, just missing out on the final Scholarship Class podium position. Sunday morning brought reverse-grid Round 23 and a bright, clear blue sky for Ricky Collard to start from his maiden pole position. Marshall took command of the race after five laps of pursuit of his Falcon rival, when he dived down his inside entering turn one and into the Deene hairpin. By the end of the sixth lap the race was under the control of the safety car as the MBM of Michael O’Brien was retrieved from a gravel trap after brief contact with Chris’s Falcon challenger. Ricky suffered a gearbox issue at the restart four laps later. Ashley Sutton (MBM) and Harrison swept past to demote him to fourth, where he remained until the chequered flag. Ricky commented: “I went down the box and got stuck in neutral; it’s a big shame and I feel bad for the team. To start from pole and not finish on the podium is disappointing.” He took away a second placed podium finish in the Scholarship Class, however, and set the fastest lap in class. Harrison claimed his fourth consecutive third-place finish with Chris completing the trio’s race after an encouraging performance over 14 laps and 27.16 miles in P8. Harrison made it a hat-trick of Rockingham third-place finishes at the end of Round 24 on Sunday afternoon, albeit seven seconds behind the winner. He started second on the grid behind Kruger (with Sutton failing to participate in the weekend finale), but lost out to Marshall away from the start line. The battle for fourth (and Scholarship class victory) was the highlight of the race, Louise Richardson shot ahead of Ricky Collard and Michael O’Brien on the opening lap. Whilst Ricky drove another fantastic race in an attempt to reclaim position, he was forced to retire with an exhaust pipe issue on lap 13. Chris remained in P9 from start to chequered flag to conclude a consistent weekend for the Manxman. Nick Streatfield, team manager, Falcon Motorsport: “We were struggling in a number of areas this weekend, but some luck has been on side. Even though we had a car issue with Harrison, we leave Rockingham still leading the Championship, which is a real bonus. Ricky has had another very strong weekend; he is driving extremely well. It was very unfortunate that he had an exhaust break on him during the last race. Chris has endured another difficult race event. He has made some progress and we shall continue to work with him closely before Silverstone at the end of the month.” Provisional championship standings after Rockingham: 1 Harrison Scott 582 points; 2 Kruger 565; 3 Marshall 491; 4 Rosso 459; 5 Abbott 437; 6 Sutton 435; 7 Ricky Collard 325 points; 8 Chris Mealin 254 points Provisional Scholarship Class Standings: 1 Sutton 466; 2 Ricky Collard 350 points; 3 Chris Mealin 279 points

25 August 2014

Strong Weekend for Collard as Falcon Aims for Formula Ford Titles

The 2014 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain headed to Knockhill Racing Circuit in Fife last weekend. The challenging track produced mixed results for the trio of Falcon Motorsport drivers; a brace of podiums for Ricky Collard and Harrison Scott, but the disappointment of two retirements for Chris Mealin. The test sessions for rounds 19, 20 and 21 took place on Friday. Championship leader Harrison, from Althorne in Essex, ran closest to pace setter Ashley Sutton around the 1.27-mile track, Scotland's national motorsport centre situated six miles north of Dunfermline. 18 year old Ricky, in his now Duo liveried EcoBoost Mygale, was second fastest in the Scholarship Class and seventh fastest overall after damaging his suspension on Knockhill’s unforgiving kerbs in session one, as did 20 year old Chris from Braddan on the Isle of Man, who ended the day with a combined time in ninth place. Qualifying came on Saturday morning and the Falcon trio of Harrison, Ricky and Chris qualified in third, fifth and ninth respectively for round 19 later in the day. A heavy pre-race shower dampened the circuit sufficiently to bring out the wet Dunlop tyre option. JTR’s Jayde Kruger, who started second on the grid, was soon under pressure from Harrison. A shrewd manoeuvre, which began at the hairpin at the end of lap six, allowed Harrison to close in on Kruger’s gearbox along pit straight and he swept past through Scotsman Corner to demote his title rival to third. “I attacked him going into the hairpin and he had to go defensive,” said Harrison. “I got a good slipstream on him and then he went defensive again into turn one and ran wide; I switched back again got him around the outside. I was pushing after that but Ashley started to drive away as the track dried and my tyres started to go away.” Harrison’s second place extended his championship lead to 19 points. At the end of the lap 15, Ricky got the better of Kruger on the exit from the chicane and out dragged him on the run up the pit straight to secure his third overall podium finish of the season. “I waited behind him for three of four laps,” said Ricky. “When I knew that my tyres were at their coolest and Jayde started to brake, I focused on out braking him into the hairpin. I never expected to pull it off from that far back, but I was then able to edge away. To get a solid third place and a Scholarship Class second is what we are trying to do. The first half the season has been tough, so consistency is what we are aiming for the rest of the year.” Ricky ended the day in P2 in the Scholarship Class standings with team mate Chris, whose inexperience at the demanding track led to him to stall on the wet hill start and finish ninth at the chequered flag. The reverse grid second race on Sunday morning saw Ricky line up on the second row in P3, with Harrison next to him in fourth and Chris in P9. With the gremlins remaining in Harrison’s car with regard to pace, he had to be satisfied with a third placed podium at the end of round 20. Unfortunately, for his Championship title bid, he finished behind Kruger and Marshall, who finished six seconds ahead of him. Ricky lost third place to his Essex-based team-mate on lap two, but then embarked on a superb race with Juan Rosso. Ricky claimed fourth and, with class rival Sutton crashing out on lap 24, took the Scholarship class win, his fourth of the year, to push him much closer to the top of the leader board than he had been to date. Chris endured a difficult race. He went off track and had to retired to the pits with damage and also an engine issue. Despite no points being scored, he remained third in the Scholarship Class standings after round 20. The ITV4 live-televised weekend finale on Sunday afternoon saw Harrison pick up a third placed trophy once again, but his Championship advantage over Kruger had been cut to just six points with nine races to go. The majority of the track action for round 21 was between Hampshire based Ricky and Sutton once again. One over enthusiastic lunge by Sutton, however, was answered by a cool Ricky on lap 15 which led to Sutton losing ground and being repassed by Rosso. Unfortunately, Ricky was unable to fend him off during a further attack and he had to be content with sixth place overall at the chequered flag, but another second placed podium in the rookie Scholarship Class. It was a weekend that Chris will wish to move on from swiftly, however. After the team did a superb job to change his engine between races, he struggled with the handling during the final round, ran wide and was forced to retire to the pits once again. Nick Streatfield, team owner, Falcon Motorsport: “It was another very strong weekend for Ricky and we started well with Harrison, but in the Sunday races pace alluded us once more and so we’ll have to go back to drawing board with his car. Chris has had a very, very tough weekend. It was another new track for him and he endured an engine failure, with some character building moments as well, so we shall get him back out testing as soon as possible. We are more confident for Rockingham. It is a track we traditionally do well at and so we shall be pushing hard to try to extend our Championship lead once again.” Provisional championship standings: 1 Harrison Scott 510 points; 2 Kruger 504; 3 Marshall 438; 4 Rosso 421; 5 Abbott 391; 6 Sutton 380; 7 Ricky Collard 303 points; 8 Chris Mealin 214 points; 9= Sam Brabham & Holloway 186 Provisional Scholarship class standings: 1 Sutton 413; 2 Ricky Collard 326 points; 3 Chris Mealin 245 points; 4 Connor Mills 214; 5 Richardson 151

5 August 2014

Falcon Motorsport Maintains Top Spot in Formula Ford

Rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the 2014 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain took place at Snetterton circuit in Norfolk last weekend. Falcon Motorsport’s Harrison Scott continues to lead the Drivers’ Championship with the team maintaining second in the overall standings despite coming away with a more modest trophy and points haul than usual for the Oxfordshire based squad. Running commenced on Friday with two test sessions while qualifying took place early on Saturday morning. Harrison Scott qualified third for the first and third races (- 0.611 min from pole) while team mates Ricky Collard, who celebrated his 18th birthday last week, and Chris Mealin set the fifth and tenth fastest lap times respectively. Sunny and dry conditions welcomed Race 1 (round 16) of the weekend on Saturday afternoon. After a clean start by the Falcon boys, Ashley Sutton slipped behind Harrison Scott to third, and yet further to sixth behind Ricky Collard. Having regained positions he tried to catch the leaders, but was unable to catch Harrison, who was satisfied with another second placed trophy at the chequered flag and an increase in his championship lead. (Scott 389 points and Kruger 371 after round 16). Ricky Collard drove a solid race to secure fourth place, his best result since Brands Hatch in March, and second place in the Scholarship Class, whilst Chris Mealin narrowly lost out to Rosso in the battle for seventh position. “I had a good battle with Juan for a few laps,” said Chris. “He kept it fair, but then we both went through Bomb Hole corner, both understeering, and I was pushed wide on to the grass and I lost two places to finish ninth.” The reverse-grid Race 2 on Sunday morning saw plenty of action for the Falcon Motorsport team. Starting from P2, Ricky, from Eversley, Hampshire, was jumped by the faster Sutton at turn three on the opening lap. Despite being unable to challenge the eventual race winner, Ricky drove an impeccable race to claim second spot in both the main race and Scholarship Class - his best finish to date and his first overall podium since the start of the season at Brands Hatch. “This feels like a win to me. We are improving all the time and getting our heads around the car’s performance and it is coming on in leaps and bounds. If we can get some other technical issues sorted we will be on terms with Ashley and fighting for wins.” The battle for third was another the highlight of the race for the Faringdon based team. After being passed by Sutton and Collard, James Abbott held third briefly but was powerless to prevent Harrison and Kruger from overtaking. The championship front-runners battled from the third lap to the chequered flag to settle the podium outcome, with Harrison defending superbly. They crossed the line separated by only a tenth of a second, with the 18 year old from Essex gaining a further two points on his title rival. Team mate Chris Mealin, from the Isle of Man, crossed the finish line in eighth overall and completed the Scholarship podium by claiming the third placed trophy. A long wait ensued until the weekend finale at 17:40 on Sunday afternoon. Max Marshall stole third position from Harrison early on in the proceedings, who then struggled with pace thereafter, having to settle for fourth and a loss of six points to Kruger. For most of the race all eyes were on championship newcomer Michael O’Brien (MBM) and Ricky Collard. O’Brien got ahead of Ricky momentarily for fifth on lap two. Having regained position two laps later Ricky was then handed a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits, and then a drive-through penalty for repeating the misdemeanour, which handed O’Brien fifth place overall. Chris Mealin brought his Eco Boost Mygale home in eighth position, while Ricky was ultimately classified ninth after both penalties were enforced. Nick Streatfield, team manager, Falcon Motorsport: “We had some good racing over the weekend. Ricky was sensational and it is such a shame it had to end the way it did for him. Harrison struggled with the car and didn’t have the pace that he should have had, so we need to work on that. Chris also had a difficult event; not because of quite the same problems as Harrison, but he has been struggling to get to grips with this particular circuit. We take some comfort from the fact that we are leading the Drivers’ championship, but in terms of overall competitiveness, we are not where we want to be and will be working flat out to resolve that by Knockhill.” The next rounds of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship take place on 23/24 August at Knockhill circuit, Scotland. 2014 Provisional Drivers’ championship standings after Round 18: 1 #6 Harrison Scott 435 points; 2 Kruger 421; 3 Marshall 364; 4 Rosso 361; 5 Abbott 343; 6 Sutton 328; 7 #11 Ricky Collard 239 points; 8 #23 Chris Mealin 202 2014 Scholarship class standings: 1 Sutton 354; 2 #11 Ricky Collard 265 points; 3 #23 Chris Mealin 233 points 2014 Team championship standings: 1 JTR 771; 2 Falcon Motorsport 738 points; 3 Radical 485

28 July 2014

FORMULA FORD BATTLE RECOMMENCES AT SNETTERTON

- Scott v Kruger and the rest as the second-half kicks off Formula Ford’s long summer break comes to an action-fuelled end next weekend (2/3 Aug) at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk, with several drivers seeking to make a decisive break as they bid for the championship title. After 15 races and with 15 to go, just nine points separates the leading title contenders, Essex-based Falcon Motorsport EcoBoost Mygale driver Harrison Scott and JTR’s South African pilot Jayde Kruger. The overall lead of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain has passed between the two of them seven times already, with Scott gaining the upper hand at Croft last month with a win and two thirds while the best Kruger could achieve was two fifths and a sixth. Between them Scott and Kruger have won nine races so far, and the Snetterton 300 circuit is a happy hunting ground for both – Harrison scored a hat-trick of podiums in Norfolk last year and Jayde bagged a double. Scott will be honing his skills at this weekend’s Silverstone Classic at the wheel of Peter Fenichel’s 1961 Cooper T56 Formula Junior car. While Ashley Sutton may have accelerated into the Scholarship class lead, the rookie crown is far from won. In addition to Mills, Falcon Motorsport men Chris Mealin and Ricky Collard are close behind on points and each has taken class victories – Mills four times, Collard on three occasions and Mealin once. Kruger’s JTR running mate for the weekend, Max Marshall, will meanwhile be bidding to claim his maiden outright Formula Ford win, having come close at both Donington and at Thruxton. The Snetterton field will be complemented by Richardson Racing’s Louise Richardson, and by the SWB Sinter of Aussie racer Greg Holloway. Hostilities begin on Friday 1 August with two official test sessions; qualifying and Round 16 are on Saturday, and ITV4’s live cameras will capture the action from Rounds 17 and 18 on Sunday.

30 June 2014

Falcon Motorsport Tops Championship Table at Croft

At the mid-way point in the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Formula Ford of Great Britain championship season, Falcon Motorsport has returned to the top of the Drivers’ leader board after a successful weekend at Croft. The Oxfordshire based team continued to push its rivals at the Yorkshire circuit last weekend to secure its third overall win with Harrison Scott, who also came away with a hat-trick of podiums, two Scholarship Class podiums for Chris Mealin and another for Ricky Collard. The team commenced the fifth Formula Ford event with a solid test outing on Friday. Its strategy for qualifying, on Saturday morning, saw the three Falcon drivers take to a drying track and 2013 Croft lap record holder Harrison Scott set a blistering time of 1m 20.863s to bag double pole for Rounds 13 and 15 for the second successive year. Team mate Ricky Collard, from Hampshire, showed continuing improvement in his first year of single seater racing by setting a superb fifth fastest qualifying time - the fastest Scholarship class runner. Manxman Chris Mealin was ninth fastest, setting a 1m 22.869s, to see all three Falcon drivers within the top ten once again. Essex-based Harrison led the first race on Saturday afternoon from pole to chequered flag. At the end of lap six his advantage over second placed Ashley Sutton was diminishing, however Sutton was then involved in a three-car collision at slippery Tower, triggered by a touch between Connor’s Mills and Jupp. As their cars spun they tagged Falcon team mate Ricky Collard and all three were halted, bringing out the safety car. The positions at the end of the lap 10 were held under caution to the chequered flag four laps later. Harrison took the Falcon team’s fourth victory of the season, with Chris seventh overall and claiming the second placed trophy in the Scholarship class, with Ricky falling victim to the unfortunate incident-led retirement. For the start of Round 14 of the season, race two of the weekend, Harrison lined up in in P4, Chris in P7 and Ricky in P10 for the reverse-grid format. Harrison commented, “I had a good start and made it up to second, but James was a bit too quick to catch. I had Ashley right behind me for a long time and then he got past and that was it really – I had a big gap behind me so third it was and I am happy with that, and to finish well ahead of Jayde.” Harrison collected another third placed podium trophy to end the day six points ahead in the championship title fight. 17 year old Ricky started race two from the pit lane as a result of his first-race damage and subsequent repairs and came home in a solid ninth place. Chris had little opposition for second place in the Scholarship class and crossed the finish line in seventh place overall. “It was a good race and I got a better start and was able to make a few moves,” said 20 year old Chris. “We have some work to do for tomorrow’s race, though.” The ITV4 live broadcast finale on Sunday afternoon brought a host of action and excitement. The start of round 15 of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain saw James Abbott jump pole sitter Harrison on the run down to Clervaux. Harrison tried to put pressure on the race leader, but had first to defend position from first Juan Rosso and then Ashley Sutton, who surprised a mirror-less Harrison by seizing second position from him on lap 11. He finished third to complete a hat-trick of Croft podium finishes and end the North Yorkshire weekend with a nine-point championship lead over closest rival, Jayde Kruger. Ricky drove a solid final race to take the chequered flag in eighth and also stand on the third step of the Scholarship class podium. Chris was extremely unlucky as he was tagged early on, on lap three, and sent into a spin at the Hairpin. He kept his Falcon EcoBoost Mygale charger on the black stuff and recovered to cross the finish line in P9. Nick Streatfield, team manager, Falcon Motorsport concluded: “It's been another roller coaster of a weekend for the team. Qualifying went well, with an excellent double pole for Harrison, and a particularly strong run from Ricky. It's been good to get the win in race one for Harrison and podiums for Chris and Ricky, but both our Scholarship drivers fell victims to on track incidents and we weren't really fully there on set-up this weekend. We leave Croft feeling we could have done better, however on the positive side, we're now leading the Championship and have time to re-group for a strong performance at Snetterton.” The next rounds of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship take place on 2/3 August at Snetterton Circuit, Norfolk 2014 Provisional championship standings: 1 #6 Harrison Scott 362 points; 2 Kruger 353; 3 Rosso 311; 4 Abbott 305; 5 Marshall 290; 6 Sutton 242; 7 Brabham 186; 8 Mills 183; 9 #11 Ricky Collard 178; 10 #23 Chris Mealin 162 2014 Scholarship class standings: 1 Sutton 270; 2 #11 Ricky Collard 219 points; 3 Mills 214; 4 #23 Chris Mealin 194 points