Ammonite Motorsport’s Nolan Allaer took his first Formula Ford win on UK soil in the second FFord Festival heat.
Although the track had dried significantly since the first heat, there was still some spray being kicked up and the inside line on the grid appeared to be grippier as Allaer held the lead from pole and Motorsport Car Preparations’ Jordan Dempsey went straight past front row man Jordan Kelly into second place.
Kelly then went wide at Druids and just avoided the gravel, which promoted B-M Racing’s Rory Smith to third place. He immediately attacked Dempsey, getting alongside him on the Cooper Straight and making use of the inside line at Surtees to get ahead.
But the inside became the outside for the remaining corners and Dempsey was back into second by the end of the lap while Kelly lost further ground by going off exiting Clearways.
Smith thought about going down the inside of Dempsey at Paddock Hill Bend on lap two but backed out of it, giving Team USA scholar Ayrton Houk the room to attempt a double move around the outside. He could not make it work, and up ahead his team-mate Allaer put his left wheels into the gravel at Clark Curve and had his lead eradicated.
The race was then red flagged due to Oliver Chapman going off at Druids, and marshals got his car back on track. He was able to join in the race, which was restarted from lap one with the original grid order.
Andy Charsley stalled on the formation lap and then got a 10-second penalty for having an ‘out of position start’, while Kelly realised where the grip was and went straight to the inside to hold second into Paddock Hill Bend.
Smith rose from fifth to third, which became second when Kelly skated off again at Clearways, with Henry Chart doing the same. Houk and Dempsey moved into third and fourth, as Allaer built a gap of a second up front.
Kelly gained back a spot on lap four, while Smith started to pressure Allaer. The leader make a mistake at Clearways on lap five but it was not costly, then Smith tried at Paddock Hill Bend and Druids to go down the inide on the next lap.
Allaer cut across at Surtees to ensure Smith did not try again, but on lap seven Smith changed tune by going for the outside at Druids. There was not enough room, and when the pair came to lap backmarkers on lap eight it proved chaotic for both.
Smith got stuck behind several cars, while Allaer ended up shooting across the grass at McLaren when trying to lap someone. That helped Houk and Kelly, who had set fastest lap, get on their tail but then Kelly had another Clearways off on lap nine of 12 and at McLaren on lap 10.
Once they were clear of all the traffic, Allaer reestablished himelf up front and Smith pulled away from Houk. He was pleased to finish second after gambling on his qualifying set-up due to missing pre-event testing.
Team Dolan’s Isaac Canto da Silva was running in ninth place on his car racing debut until his car got stuck in the Clearways gravel on the last lap.
Race result (12 laps)
|Motorsport Car Preparations
|Simon Hadfield Motorsport
|Dan Rene Larsen
|Auto Haeckel Motorsport
|Isaac Canto da Silva
|Fastest lap: Allaer, 56.139s