Home Formula FordFFord Festival Eastwell takes victory in second Festival semi-final

Eastwell takes victory in second Festival semi-final

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Ida Wood

Kevin Mills Racing’s Michael Eastwell came from eighth on the grid to win a slightly shortened second semi-final at the Formula Ford Festival.

Eastwell held off Team Dolan’s Chris Middlehurst by 0.163 seconds, with the race ended one lap early due to a number of cars in the gravel around the circuit.

Semi-final one victor Max Esterson therefore is due to start from pole in the final, with Eastwell alongside him.

David McCullough lined up on pole for semi-final two, but suffered wheelspin off the line and dropped to third.

Ammonite Motorsport’s Shawn Rashid immediately took the lead, with McCullough reclaiming second at Druids from Don Hardman Racing’s Abdul Ahmed.

But before the opening lap was complete, Rashid spun at McLaren and hit the barriers as rain started to come down, the American pulling into the pits to retire.

That put McCullough back in the lead from Ahmed and Middlehurst, while Eastwell gained four places to fourth. The order of the top four stayed the same in the early laps, with Jeremy Fairbairn and Jordan Kelly following close behind in fifth in sixth.

Middlehurst tried to challenge Ahmed for second at Druids on lap five, but ran wide and lost third to Eastwell, while behind them Team Dolan’s Kelly pulled off the circuit before Graham Hill Bend and retired.

The safety car was deployed two laps later, with Adam Fathers having crashed out at Paddock Hill Bend, losing his rear-right wheel.

Eastwell moved up the inside of Ahmed for second when the race restarted on lap nine, with Ahmed then running wide and spinning on the greasy surface, dropping him well down the field.

After getting a good run through McLaren, Eastwell swept past McCullough into the lead at Clearways on lap 10, with Middlehurst following him through into second.

Middlehurst kept the pressure on Eastwell until the chequered flag was waved a lap early, with Oliver Chapman beached in the gravel at Druids and Sam Street having also retired.

McCullough was half a second behind the leaders in third, with Oldfield Motorsport’s Brandon McCaughan fourth. Fairbairn and Davidson were close behind in fifth and sixth. Robbie Parks was seventh ahead of Wallace Martins and Ben Cox.

Ammonite Motorsport’s William Ferguson climbed from 25th to 10th, the Team USA scholar having won the second progression race.

Tom Nippers was 11th ahead of Ben Miloudi, but Tom McCarthur narrowly missed out on an automatic final berth in 13th.

B-M Racing’s Megan Gilkes climbed from 28th on the grid to 16th, but will have to make it through the Last Chance Race in order to make the Final. Ahmed finished in 25th after receiving a 10s time penalty.


Race result (13 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Michael Eastwell Kevin Mills Racing 13m58.718s
2 Chris Middlehurst Team Dolan +0.163s
3 David McCullough Team DDR +0.694s
4 Brandon McCaughan Oldfield Motorsport +0.878s
5 Jeremy Fairbairn Kevin Mills Racing +1.196s
6 Alan Davidson +1.346s
7 Robbie Parks Vertical Racing +2.613s
8 Wallace Martins Swift Cooper +3.278s
9 Ben Cox Souley Motorsport +4.332s
10 William Ferguson Ammonite Motorsport +5.378s
11 Tom Nippers +6.201s
12 Ben Miloudi +8.990s
13 Tom McArthur Simon Hadfield Motorsport +9.172s
14 Drew Stewart +9.777s
15 James Penrose Border Reivers +9.954s
16 Megan Gilkes B-M Racing +10.225s
17 Gabe Tesch Team Dolan +10.605s
18 Brindley Kinch +17.327s
19 Marc Sawer MDS Motorsport +20.441s
20 Jake Cowden Graham Brunton Racing +20.460s
21 Molly Dodd B-M Racing +20.970s
22 Peter Lucas Souley Motorsport +21.470s
23 Klaus-Dieter Haeckel Auto Haeckel Motorsport +24.412s
24 Derek Palmer Jr +24.901s
25 Abdul Ahmed Don Hardman Racing +31.044s
Ret Oliver Chapman OCI
Ret Sam Street Swift Cooper
Ret Jordan Kelly Team Dolan
Ret Adam Fathers AF Racing
Ret Shawn Rashid Ammonite Motorsport
Fastest lap: Middlehurst, 56.373s