Formula Scout has gone through the Formula Ford Festival entry list to find out who’s likely to shine this weekend, and some of the stories behind the drivers and teams taking part at a wet Brands Hatch
There’s a lot of anticipation about this weekend’s FFord Festival, with former Formula 1 drivers on the grid and some young talents with career ambitions to rival those of the high-profile returnees. Over 90 drivers will be taking part, which means traffic in qualifying and the races is likely to play a huge part around the short Brands Hatch Indy circuit that takes less than a minute to complete in the dry and only 70 seconds for the best in the wet.
Each driver will get two new sets of Avon’s A29 tyres over Saturday and Sunday, and then can bring along scrubbed rubber they’ve already used in FF1600 racing this year and over Thursday and Friday’s test days at Brands.
This year there were a variety of winners in the Champion of Brands events, usually a good indicator of who will star at the Festival, but with the weather set to be challenging it really could be anyone’s crown this year.
Here is a full rundown of every driver and car competing…
#1 Rory Smith ENGLAND/AUSTRALIA Medina Sport JL18
2021: 6th in BRSCC National FF1600 Festival form: 2020 winner
The defending winner has spent this year driving a Formula Atlantic car as much as racing in FF1600, and missing three of the seven National FF1600 rounds left him down in sixth in the standings after starting the season with victory. He’s brimming with confidence this weekend and is only targeting a second win.
#114 Daryl DeLeon Taylor THE PHILIPPINES Medina Sport BH20
2021: 11th in Radical SR1 Cup, 13th in British Karting Championship – IAME X30 Senior
The 16-year-old graduated from karts into the Radical SR1 Cup, and his FF1600 experience only extends to the Festival’s pre-event test.
“Doing this to drive something different. SR1 is paddleshift, so getting used to something different, learning new mechanical skills here,” the Filipino said. “More of Radicals next year, but I went from six seconds off to 0.8s off dry pace on Thursday.”
#189 Jamie Sharp ENGLAND Medina Sport JL17
2021: 5th in National FF1600 FFF: 11th in 2020
Sharp is convinced B-M has “pretty much nailed it” on the set-up for the wet, and already has a car that is naturally quick in the rain, so he thinks the team will make it two in a row this year. He’s been surprised by his own test pace given he usually comes on strong later in weekends, and chassis development certainly hasn’t been as extreme as rival manufacturers.
#17 Chris Hodgen ENGLAND Van Diemen RF89
2021: 4th in National FF1600 Clubman class, 5th in Super Classic A FF1600
Hodgen’s season has been interrupted due to a shoulder injury, and he returns to the track in his Van Diemen with a McLaren-esque Malboro livery. A contender for honours in the final for older cars.
#24 Jonathan Barnes ENGLAND Van Diemen RF90
2021: Heritage FFord champion, 4th in SC FF1600 A
Barnes has Brands Hatch experience this year in James Beckett’s Champion of Brands events, but most significantly he’s already kindled a title-winning partnership with Souley in Beckett’s other season-long project: Heritage FFord. Could make it to the final, and will certainly be threating more modern cars.
#59 Chris Acton ENGLAND Ray GR08
2021: 7th in Castle Combe FF1600 FFF: 13th in 2006 Kent class
Despite his championship placing, Acton didn’t collect a podium in the Castle Combe Racing Club’s FF1600 championship, but the Ray GR08 is undoubtedly a great car to have around Brands Hatch no matter what the weather throws at the field.
#65 Jack Wolfenden ENGLAND Firman RFR17
2021: BRSCC Northern FF1600 champion, 16th in National FF1600 FFF: 14th in 2020
‘Wolfy’ tends to perform well in the north, not so much in the south, but is undeniably rapid and a dark horse for the overall podium in a car that not all drivers are able to master but he has found the sweet spot in.
#94 Ollie White ENGLAND Medina Sport JL17
2021: CCRC FF1600 champion, two-time Champion of Brands FF1600 FFF: 3rd in 2018
Incredibly polite out of the car, an absolute demon in it. White won the immensely competitive Castle Combe title this year, and his more aggressive driving style usually helps bring the pace out his preferred Medina at Brands. In testing he was wheelspinning in fourth gear out of Clark Curve and down the pit straight, particularly over the new patch of asphalt laid down near the pit entry, but after putting on a new set of tyres he immediately found half a second. He knows what the target time in the dry is to be the driver to beat, but isn’t revealing all his secrets in the search for victory…
#179 Leanne McShane ENGLAND Van Diemen RF88
2021: 5th in SC FF1600 B FFF: 2020 semi-finalist
#2 Chris Middlehurst ENGLAND Van Diemen LA10
2021: National FF1600 champion FFF: 3rd in 2016
Still only 26 years old, the same age as Nicholas Latifi, Middlehurst won the Club FFord title a decade ago in a car he has put more and more time into with Team Dolan as the years have rolled by, and – after a brief title-winning sojourn into Formula Renault 2.0 – has now become a victory threat at every circuit.
This year’s National FF1600 title was earned with a brilliant comeback after a tricky opening round, and a tricky final one for his rivals, and his Brands pace has been proven by his recent Festival form: a fourth, eighth and a podium.
#33 Ben Cochran SCOTLAND Van Diemen RF09
2021: Champion of Snetterton FF1600, 10th in Northern FF1600, 13th in National FF1600
The karting graduate has had a great learning school for his rookie single-seater season, and is already set to remain in National FF1600 for 2022. In his own words: “I’ve been getting up to pace, I’m still not there yet, but I’m getting there”.
He’s found with the team a nice set-up for the greasy conditions, but knows he needs to bring his driving up to that level to match his team-mates and would love to finish in the top 15 in the final.
#77 Matt Cowley ENGLAND Van Diemen JL15
2021: 2nd in British GT4 FFF: 3rd in 2019 & ’20
Cowley has really established himself in sportscar racing now, but he’s still coming back for more bites of the Festival cherry because he knows he has the pace to win it. He’s got unlucky in the past, finishing third for the past two years, but on most occassions he turns up to these events without a full season of single-seaters behind him and is still absolutely on it.
#88 Morgan Quinn IRELAND Van Diemen RF99
2021: 14th in National FF1600 FFF: 9th in 2020
Missing three rounds in National FF1600 this year really hampered the momentum Quinn had been building, but Brands Hatch is one of his stronger tracks and is probably where we’re going to see the strongest side of him from this year.
#555 Niall Murray IRELAND Van Diemen BD21
2021: Two-time CoB FF1600 FFF: 2016 winner, 2013 Kent class winner
The car Murray is driving is now called a BD21, but is started off life 22 years ago as a RF99. By the time he was winning races in it eight years ago it had already been developed to be competitive in the modern day, and when be descimated the opposition across 2016 it was again a different car in areas. It kept the same name until this year (although retains the RF99 chassis plate) because, as Murray says: “Same brush for 20 years but different handle and different head. Front of chassis is standard, back is where the magic is.
Bernard Dolan’s development of the car has already looked rapid at Brands, as it debuted in a CoB event and Murray won both races. He then turned up to the National FF1600 finale and got in the thick of it, and track-side observes with stopwatches say he’s already the best in the dry this weekend. But what about in the rain…
Kevin Mills Racing
#21 Thomas Mills ENGLAND Spectrum 011C
2021: 4th in National FF1600, 28th in CCRC FF1600
The son of eponymous team boss Kevin is targeting 10th place on his Festival debut. Not yet being 16 meant he missed the National FF1600 opener, but his rookie season still resulted in the fourth in the points and he shone from the off. His driving style has been toned down from the initial sharpness he arrived to cars with, and he’s learned from his team-mates massively. Mills’ testing was limited by a muddy off, but he knows KMR will be very quick this weekend. There’s also AS Level homework to be done over the weekend.
#25 Neil Maclennan SCOTLAND Spectrum 011C
2021: NC in Scottish FFord FFF: 3rd in 2017
The dominant 2020 National FF1600 champion has only made one category appearance this year, a winning cameo in Scottish FFord, and he is a master at feeding energy into the tyres. This means in the cold, wet conditions anticipated his swashbuckling style will make him rapid on the opening lap and it means even if traffic hurts his qualifying he will be at the front in the races.
#49 Megan Gilkes CANADA Spectrum 011C
2021: 10th in National FF1600 FFF: 20th in 2020
The W Series race-winner has been making good gains with KMR alongside her aeronautical engineering degree, and rises up the pecking order in the wet with a smoother driving style that minimises risk – and often therefore sliding. She’s aiming for the top 10 but knows anything can happen in the Festival, and is targeting a return to W Series next year.
#64 Nick Gilkes CANADA Spectrum 011C
2021: Toyo Tires F1600 champion, Formula Tour 1600 champion
The brother of Megan has rocked his home country in his rookie season, winning in the Honda-powered equivalent to FF1600 in Quebec and Ontario. The Toyo Tires F1600 crown was claimed with a pretty substantial points advantage, with many races at Mosport, but even cooler than that was the fact that Gilkes won the single-seater element of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. He primarily exceeded his own expectations of the season, so could do so again in the Festival as he makes plans to move his racing career to Europe for 2022.
#125 Michael Moyers ENGLAND Spectrum 011C
2021: no racing
Somehow the two-time Walter Hayes Trophy winner and Castle Combe lap record holder has never contested the Festival. Well that all changes now as he plans to go out in style with the Festival win and then a record-equalling third WHT success on his final appearance there week after that. He’s only been to Brands three times before, with one National round to count on as FF1600 experience, as it’s a circuit he’s usually skipped as it doesn’t favour his smooth and pointed driving style.
But upgrades to KMR’s fleet of Spectrums has got him encouraged, and his pace looked good out of traffic in testing.
Low Dempsey Racing
#22 Max Esterson USA Ray GR18
2021: 3rd in National FF1600, Champion of Snetterton FFF: 6th in 2020
It’s testament to Esterson’s dry-weather pace that ex-Formula 1 driver and team-mate Jan Magnussen was singing his praises, but it is going to be wet and there was an off during testing. That he’s competing as a Team USA scholar adds some extra pressure, and Esterson will aim to nail it in qualifying to make his life in a races a little easier as he can sometimes get super close in combat. That he finished sixth on his Festival debut last year suggests he will be finishing higher now.
#30 Dennis Lind DENMARK Ray GR19
2021: British GT champion, 4th in Spa 24 Hours, 7th in GT World Challenge America FFF: 2010 winner
You can hear more about Lind’s Festival experience on Formula Scout later this weekend, but for now the key factors are that this is a driver who is super relaxed after a slightly stressful 12 months where his sportscar career briefly hung in the balance, and that he is already on pace with the top 10. British GT race director and BRSCC chairman Peter Daly helped put together Lind’s deal, and Lind then brought in Magnussen to join him, and he’s fully immersed in the Festival atmosphere.
#169 Jan Magnussen DENMARK Ray GR14
2021: 3rd in TCR Denmark, currently 7th in WEC LMP2 Pro-Am, 13th in Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia FFF: 1992 winner
Is it too much to expect a victory charge in the wet from a 1990s F1 driver? No, because Magnussen’s dry-weather pace on the stopwatch was less than a second off the fastest and he clearly has a lot more pace to find. He told Formula Scout that nothing is relearning for him, it’s all learning in the car, and he’s spent hours watching onboards trying to master lines. There’s been a fair bit of set-up tinkering too, but he knows he needs to work on his driving more to bring himself back into sync with the FF1600 car. Once he’s done that, he will be a proper dark horse.
#211 Andre Castro USA Ray GR15
2021: 25th in USF2000, 35th in F1600 Championship Series
He competed part-time in USF2000 this year due to a lack of budget, and his team has now brought in a YouTuber to increase investment. The Team USA Scholarship has brought him to Europe, and the 22-year-old was wary of the constantly changing conditions in testing but he does know the track from racing in EuroNASCAR. He’s happy with his progress so far, and expects a top five in his heat. After that, anything can happen.
— Formula Scout 1600 (@ff1600website) October 30, 2021
#12 Kevin Donnelly ENGLAND Van Diemen RF01
FFF: 2017 semi-finalist
Donnelly was part of Oldfield’s line-up when it first contested National FF1600 in 2014 and is a driver with very close connections to the team. He hasn’t been as active in FF1600 recently, but converging on set-up with two of his team-mates suggests there’s a good base already to find pace from.
#29 Ian Gough ENGLAND Van Diemen JL13
2021: no racing
The brother of former FF1600 regular Stuart Gough has raced in Australia and done National FF1600 and the Walter Hayes in the past, but doesn’t come into the Festival with a huge wealth of experience. That means Oldfield is without a team leader, which will hurt its victory ambitions.
#55 Noel Robinson NORTHERN IRELAND Van Diemen JL012K
2021: 21st in National FF1600 FFF: 8th in 2017, 4th in 2014 Kent class
Robinson is an underated talent who can perform as a privateer and as part of a larger operation, and he’s got the ability to make it all the way through to the final and finish in the top 10 this year. A strong qualifying will likely be critical for that.
#73 Lucas Romanek ENGLAND Van Diemen JL13
2021: 7th in National FF1600
The rookie switched from KMR to Oldfield mid-season and has been constantly learning under the eye of 2018 Festival winner Josh Smith. He was a little under-the-radar en course to seventh in National FF1600, but could be the surprise of this weekend if there’s a little more pace in the bag.
Don Hardman Racing
#3 Rick Morris ENGLAND Royale RP29
2021: 2nd in Classic FFord A, 4th in SC FF1600 C FFF: 2nd in 1981 & ’82
Possibly the most experienced FF1600 driver of all time, you can see how competitive the 74-year-old is from the stats above. He competed against Ayrton Senna and Roberto Moreno in his younger years, and has since become one of the benchmark drivers in older machinery. Expect him to get his elbows out in battle, and be fast in qualifying in a Royale that really shone in period and is still engineered well today.
#56 Abdul Ahmed INDIA Firman RFR
FFF: 9th in 2012
Ahmed raced in British FFord nine years ago, but it was a very different type of FFord back then. A long-term partnership with Don Hardman began that’s led to some strong results in FF1600 for the Indian. He’s got the tools to be quick, and he’s been happy with his progress so far, but a lack of practice at standing starts could make or break his weekend in his heat.
#217 Sam Harrison ENGLAND Ray GR07
2021: 2nd in Classic FFord B, 5th in Historic FFord, 6th in SC FF1600 D FFF: 13th in 2020
A brilliant run in Classic FFord won’t be repeated with a switch of machinery, but he does have Festival form and should make it to the final.
#277 Joey Foster ENGLAND Firman 2021
2021: 4th in Northern FF1600, 9th in National FF1600 FFF: 2003 & ’17 winner
The category legend had his best performances in Northern FF1600 this year, but the Foster-Hardman combination is a more formidable one when against better opposition. At the last National round he tried out new suspension, but has reverted back to previous spec after opting to be able to be on the pace straight away rather than having to spend time in testing tuning in the new suspension still. He spilled tea on his brand new racesuit on Friday, but was otherwise mistake-free and with a Firman chassis developed in several areas he will no doubt have the pace to win.
#4 Shaun Hollamby ENGLAND Jamun T3
2021: 25th in EuroNASCAR2
The ex-British Touring Car Championship racer and team boss actually has a lot of junior single-seater experience at this level and is with a team that is very strong at running older machinery such as the Jamun.
#8 Pat Blakeney ENGLAND Van Diemen MS13
2021: 20th in CCRC FF1600 FFF: 17th in 2009 Kent class
Thruxton’s circuit manager is a mean talent behind the wheel too, with experience in FR2.0 as well as coming third in British FF2000 in 1989 and coming second in the CCRC FF1600 championship.
He’s essentially a privateer but running with the support of PA’s Pete Alexander as he sold me the Van Diemen back to Blakeney last Christmas. He also has his old FF2000 and FR2.0 team-mate Rob Manger helping out. Testing was his first driving around Brands since 2010.
#188 Chris Goodwin ENGLAND Van Diemen RF89
2021: 8th in GTWC Europe Endurance Cup Pro-Am class, CoB FF1600 FFF: 18th in 1988
Best known for his contributions as a test driver for big racing brands, especially during an era at McLaren where Lewis Hamilton was winning, the 54-year-old also has BTCC experience and is still a well-renowned sportscar star in Europe today. His original run in FF1600 was a long time ago, but he’s definitely still got it.
#771 Chris Sharples ENGLAND Palliser WDF1
2021: 50th in Historic FFord
Graham Brunton Racing
#9 Logan Hannah SCOTLAND Ray GR21
2021: 9th in Scottish FFord FFF: 18th in 2020
Hannah has bigger ambitions than FF1600, but keeps coming back to the category and keeps improving. Last year she won the David Leslie Trophy at Knockhill, and while she only got around to contesting one Scottish FFord round in 2021 she did look more competitive than 2020 and should be able to beat her previous Festival results in her Laser Tool Racing-sponsored car. She’s also feeling confident in wet, given that’s what Scottish weather is like half of the time.
#23 Derek Palmer Jr SCOTLAND Ray GR15
2021: 8th in Scottish FFord
The ex-BTCC driver has got the bug for FF1600 after joining Graham Brunton’s team north of the border, but may end up being the weakest GBR driver this weekend. He’s driving a chassis formerly taken to success by Ciaran Haggerty.
#48 Michael Gray SCOTLAND Ray GR10
2021: 3rd in Scottish FFord
Gray used to do a lot of Scottish FFord, then went off to historic racing, but now he’s back and his 2021 season was an upward curve that could really send him to the top 15 in the Festival final.
#10 Jeremy Fairbairn USA Van Diemen RF00
2021: NC in National FF1600
Some US F4 experience and the National FF1600 finale at Snetterton it what prepares Fairbairn for this weekend, although he’s got GB3-experienced Max Marzorati helping him. In reality it’s an unknown where he sits in the competitive order, but not as much as with his team-mate…
#20 Daniel Mavlyutov RUSSIA Van Diemen RF99
2021: no racing experience
You haven’t heard of Mavlyutov, and that’s because the Russian has travelled all the way to England for his first ever motorsport experience. He’s not raced anything before, and is contesting the Festival to gain licence signatures so he can race F4 United Arab Emirates next January.
#6 Peter Daly ENGLAND Van Diemen RF88
2021: 10th in SC FF1600 B FFF: 22nd in 2015, 9th in 1994 Kent class
The BRSCC chairman can sometimes produce spellbinding results, but 2021 hasn’t really been his year and there’s a lot of similarly-aged vehicles that are going to give him a challenge in the races. Making the final would be a good target after winning last year’s Historic one.
#13 Stuart Kestenbaum ENGLAND Royale RP21
2021: 4th in Classic FFord A, 6th in SC FF1600 C FFF: 17th in 2020
Kestenbaum is racing a different car to last year, but has a rivalry with Morris to continue into the Festival and really wants to come out on top.
#15 Lorna Vickers ENGLAND Van Diemen RF88
2021: 6th in SC FF1600 B FFF: 2020 semi-finalist
#71 Sam Street ENGLAND Swift SC92F
2021: 14th in CCRC FF1600 FFF: 2017 semi-finalist
The Aston Martin F1 aerodynamics design engineer can only rely on mechanical grip this weekend in a wingless car, but has been focusing on his driving when at FF1600 meetings this year which is why he’s being run by Alan Cooper’s team rather than his own.
#80 Luke Cooper ENGLAND Swift SC20
2021: 2nd in CCRC FF1600, 15th in National FF1600 FFF: 7th in 2019, 3rd in 2012 Kent class
Cooper has won at Brands, and for once has had a trouble-free testing for the Festival. The results rarely come to him in this event though, with the Swift not quite as nimble as some of its rivals. But the package of driver and car is as fast as ever.
#160 Alan Slater ENGLAND Nike Mk4
2021: 26th in CCRC FF1600
Wayne Poole Racing
#76 James Colborn ENGLAND Van Diemen RF88
2021: 13th in CCRC FF1600
#222 Peter Barrable IRELAND Royale RP26
2021: no racing
Barrable has history in this event in proper FF1600 machinery, but hasn’t had any big results yet. If he ends up as the top Royale driver it will be a good weekend.
Motorsport Car Preparations
#31 Jordan Dempsey IRELAND Van Diemen RF00
2021: Northern Irish FF1600 champion, 4th in Martin Donnelly Trophy, 18th in National FF1600 FFF: 7th in 2020
The Chinese F4 champion and former Formula Regional racer is a top FF1600 talent, and won the Walter Hayes two years ago. This year his dad’s Motorsport Car Preparations firm ran his car in the Northern Irish championship, and he convincingly won the title but lost out on the Martin Donnelly Trophy at Kirkistown. He’s looking at sportscars or National FF1600 for 2022.
#121 Robert Barrable IRELAND Van Diemen RF08
FFF: 2nd in 2015
He’s won in British GT4, featured at the front in World Rally Championship 2, and has actually had a fair amount of FF16000 sucess in the past. It might be hard to relive old glory, but Dempsey is convinced MCP could be giving the pair a winning car.
#11 David Parks IRELAND Ray GR07
2021: MDT runner-up, 5th in NI FF1600
The two-time Formula Sheane champion (in 2017 and ’18) is still adapting to FF1600 slightly. He came second in this year’s Martin Donnelly Trophy by just 0.001s.
#39 Robbie Parks IRELAND Ray GR14
2021: 5th in MDT, 6th in NI FF1600 FFF: 2014 Kent semi-finalist
David’s son Robbie is learning like the popular Irish team, in its second year in FFF1600, but that learning was on hold this week as an aircraft engineering exam meant he missed testing and won’t turn up until qualifying.
#27 Hayden Hardyman ENGLAND Van Diemen RF90
2021: CoB FF1600 FFF: 2020 semi-finalist
#124 Vincent Jay ENGLAND Ray GR21
2021: 23rd in CCRC FF1600 FFF: 24th in 2017
The ex-Don Hardman driver joined TM for 2021 but hasn’t seen the results yet. With a brand new Ray he could make the final.
#28 Tom Hawkins ENGLAND Ray GR11
2021: 6th in CCRC FF1600 FFF: 23rd in 2019 & ’20
The family-run team has tinkered a lot with set-up through testing, and now the Ray should be capable of making it to the final.
#191 Bob Hawkins ENGLAND Ray
2021: 21st in CCRC FF1600 FFF: 2020 semi-finalist
The 64-year-old father of Tom used to be a regular at Brands and Combe, but an ankle-breaking accident at Graham Hill Bend soon ended his regular Champion of Brands appearances. He returned to action last year after a break of 33 years.
#128 David McCullough NORTHERN IRELAND Van Diemen RF00
2021: 3rd in NI FF1600 FFF: 10th in 2018
With two Northern Irish FF1600 titles to his name and a car that has tweaked just to his liking over the years, McCullough certainly knows how to drive a Formula Ford but he is yet to have a headline result in Britain yet. That could change now.
#271 Ivor McCullough NORTHERN IRELAND Van Diemen RF00
2021: MDT winner, 8th in NI FF1600 FFF: 16th in 2019, 2011 & ’12 Kent winner
This year’s Martin Donnelly Trophy winner works hand-in-hand with David to get the most out of their Van Diemens and Ivor has shown he can be absolutely rapid around Brands. Either of them could be fighting for a top 10 spot this weekend.
#14 Richard Mendoza ENGLAND Mygale EM 18
2021: no racing
Mendoza did the Festival in 1996 in the car that Marc Sawer is driving this year, and he has a well-developed Mygale to race with in 2021. He’s driven the car in Champion of Brands many times before, so has the experience to shine.
#79 Chris Knox SCOTLAND Van Diemen RF79
2021: no racing
The two-time JWC champion in Mini GB Challenge, who also drives high-downforce single-seaters at times as a precision driver, is racing the car his father Alex raced in Scottish FFord in 1979. Knox found the car online not too long ago while on a break from the Fast & Furious franchise’s live tour, purchased it from New Zealand and had it shipped to Britain as a surprise 65th birthday present for Alex. It wasn’t put back in anger though until testing, where some mechanical gremlins had to be ironed out.
#51 Robbie Allen IRELAND Van Diemen RF06
2021: 10th in NI FF1600
Team Fox Racing
#54 Lewis Fox ENGLAND Van Diemen RF92
2021: no racing
Team Fox is operating in LDR’s awning, and that’s because the RF92 that has been brought along is actually the very chassis, in the same livery, that Magnussen drove to Festival victory in 1992. It’s had some skirmishes in the years since, but will great to see it back on track at Brands. It’s also a team with some exciting future plans…
#69 Oliver Chapman ENGLAND Lola T200
2021: 7th in Classic FFord B, 9th in SC FF1600 C, 27th in Classic FFord A, 32nd in Historic FFord FFF: 2019 semi-finalist
#72 Marc Sawer ENGLAND Van Diemen RF91
2021: no racing FFF: 2020 semi-finalist
#81 Philip Harris NORTHERN IRELAND Mondiale M89T
2021: 12th in NI FF1600, 8th in MDT
#83 Jason Down ENGLAND Getem Mygale GD515
FFF: 10th in 2012
Down has done well over 100 FF1600 races and has taken the development of his Mygales in a different direction with the Getem team. It’s a car that could feature at the very front, but in some capacity depends how quick the driver is in it.
Hugh Ried Racing
#89 Brandon McCaughan NORTHERN IRELAND Mondiale M89S
2021: 4th in NI FF1600
The 17-year-old FF1600 rookie has done a decent job in Northern Ireland this year racing for the leading Mondiale-running team across the Irish Sea, and he actually has very little motorsport experience. He skipped karting and went straight into junior rallycross in Fords, which has really helped getting used to the sideways driving style of these cars – particularly in the wet. A dark horse to make the final despite the age of his car.
#93 Drew Stewart NORTHERN IRELAND Van Diemen RF00
2021: 16th in NI FF1600, 19th in National FF1600
Snetterton Speed Shop
#103 Roberto Moreno BRAZIL Van Diemen RF80
FFF: 1980 winner
Moreno now works as a driver coach for TJ Speed in Formula Regional Americas, guiding Kyffin Simpson onto his incredible winning run this year, and has returned to the Festival after Snetterton Speed Shop boss Jonathan Lewis – formerly team boss of the factory Van Diemen team and then Comtec – proposed that he race in the same car he won the Festival in 41 years earlier and in the same ‘Canada Club’ livery in the Walter Hayes. He couldn’t do that weekend, but a quarantine exemption from Motorsport UK meant he could do the Festival instead, and the former F1 and IndyCar racer is absolutely pumped to be back on track with his same mechanic and with Van Diemen founder Ralph Firman present. A special moment for all, and through testing he built up confidence in the car after many, many years out of the driving seat.
#113 Simon Pruce ENGLAND Reynard 89FF
2021: CoB FF1600 FFF: 2020 semi-finalist
#115 Adam Fathers ENGLAND Ray GR16
2021: CoB FF1600 FFF: 2019 & ’20 semi-finalist
2019 FFord Festival winner Jonathan Browne is with a new team, Vamos Racing, but he's looked dialled in during testing when it was wet and the @GB3Championship racer could be a victory contender 🔊 pic.twitter.com/GIy8TFlHIf
— Formula Scout 1600 (@ff1600website) October 30, 2021
#122 Jonathan Browne IRELAND Ray GR18
2021: 19th in GB3 FFF: 2019 winner
Browne won the 2019 Festival for Cliff Dempsey Racing before the team was sold on to Andy Low and became LDR, and he tried to defend his crown last year with the new outfit. This year he stepped up to GB3 in fine style but didn’t have a berth in the LDR line-up so has called on Cliff – who was instrumental in really getting Browne into shape and turning him into a winning force in FF1600 – to run his car with his wife Michelle. The name ‘Vamos Racing’ has been chosen because it’s Spanish for ‘Let’s go!’ and it was rather jokingly explained that Spain is where the Dempseys would like to retire to in the future!
#133 Richard Higgins ENGLAND Van Diemen RF88
2021: 9th in CCRC FF1600
#134 Scott Rawlinson WALES Van Diemen RF85
2021: 39th in Historic FFord
#5 Matt Rivett ENGLAND Van Diemen RF91
2021: 1x CoB FF1600 FFF: 20th in 2019
Running his own car with his dad from the TM Racing awning, Rivett has done a lot of Champion of Brands with success over the years and is running with ‘Racing for Britain’ stickers in 2021.
It’s a revival of the driver support scheme that helped the likes of Martin Brundle and Johnny Herbert. It’s the friends of the late Peter Rogers that have put together the Racing for Britain deal after Rivett won the Peter Rogers Trophy at Brands. Rogers came third in the 1986 Festival.
#7 Terry Walkingshaw NORTHERN IRELAND Van Diemen RF03
2021: 18th in NI FF1600, 23rd in National FF1600
#18 Alan Davidson NORTHERN IRELAND Mondiale M89
2021: 2nd in NI FF1600, 3rd in MDT
#34 Jack Kemp ENGLAND Ray GR07
2021: CoB FF1600
#40 Dane Rene Larsen NORWAY Van Diemen RF95
FFF: 2019 semi-finalist
#47 Darwin Smith IRELAND Van Diemen RF90
2021: 17th in NI FF1600 FFF: 7th in 2003
#50 Stephen Mawhinney NORTHERN IRELAND Crossle 32F
FFF: 7th in 2003
#60 Matt Hayes ENGLAND Jamun M97K
FFF: 4th in 2008 Zetec class
#63 Matthew Sturmer ENGLAND Macon MR8
2021: 34th in Historic FFord
#87 Ian Jeary ENGLAND Dulon LD9
2021: 10th in Classic FFord B FFF: 2020 semi-finalist
#90 Henry Campbell NORTHERN IRELAND Reynard 89FF
2021: 7th in MDT, 11th in NI FF1600 FFF: 27th in 2020
#91 James Hagan NORTHERN IRELAND Reynard 88FF
FFF: 18th in 2010 Kent class
#99 Ryan Campbell NORTHERN IRELAND Reynard 89FF
2021: 7th in NI FF1600 FFF: 19th in 2018
#101 Andrew Blair NORTHERN IRELAND Reynard 87FF
FFF: 2019 semi-finalist
#111 James Gowens ENGLAND Jamun T25
FFF: 17th in 2012 Kent class
#127 Shaun Macklin ENGLAND Reynard 87FF
2021: 12th in CCRC FF1600
#140 Laurie Hughes SCOTLAND Van Diemen RF78
2021: 21st in Classic FFord A FFF: 2019 & ’20 semi-finalist
In the original Formula E, which has evolved into Classic FFord over the past 30 years, Hughes drove this car.
#145 Brindley Kinch GREAT BRITAIN Ray GR09
2021: 33rd in CCRC FF1600, CoB FF1600
Kinch has done Champion of Brands this year, but has primarily spent his time in Rotax Senior karts in Britan and Belgium.
#147 Richard Earl SCOTLAND Van Diemen RF85
2021: 29th in CCRC FF1600
#164 John Whitbourn ENGLAND Ray GR10/19K
2021: CoB FF1600 FFF: 3rd in 2009 & ’12 Zetec class
#177 Philip Attwood ENGLAND Crossle 32F
2021: 14th in Classic FFord A FFF: 2019 & ’20 semi-finalist
#247 Ben Hadfield ENGLAND Van Diemen RF78
2021: SC FF1600 C champion, 9th in Classic FFord A