Formula Scout has gone through the Walter Hayes Trophy 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 chilly Silverstone
Following straight on from the action and entry-packed Formula Ford Festival, FF1600’s second end-of-year classic takes place on Silverstone’s National layout and also close to 100 cars in attendance.
There is a Le Mans 24 Hours class winner, and winners frm British Touring Car Championship race-winners, Formula Regional and Formula 3 who are taking part in a event where older drivers and machinery can shine.
Unlike last weekend’s Festival, tyre use is unlimited and the big story going into Saturday is after a driver’s briefing that track limits at Copse is going to be imposed. Drivers were free to run wide in testing, and some made it their default line, so it’s anticipated it could impacy. the order from the three days of pre-event testing.
Here is a full rundown of every driver and car competing…
#1 Ollie White ENGLAND Medina Sport JL17
2021: CCRC FF1600 champion, two-time Champion of Brands, FFord Festival finalist WHT: 1st in 2020
The defending winner says he was only gaining a tenth of a second with a tow in testing, far less than others were claiming, and his best lap was 1m01.5s. Under Formula Scout’s own pitwall stopwatch calculations, White was on average a little slower but consistently at that pace. Few with traffic were able to stay in the mid-1m01.5s for long.
However in qualifying he didn’t hook it together, so he will have to get his elbows out if he wants to win again.
#15 Garath Buckingham WALES Van Diemen RF89
2021: 9th in Super Classic B FF1600
Buckingham made his motorsport debut earlier this year in the Super Classic clases of the BRSCC Northern FF1600 championship at Anglesey, and he was winning straight away. Could he be a surprise among the pre-’90 runners?
#43 Kieran Attwood ENGLAND Ray GR07
2021: 10th in Castle Combe FF1600 WHT: LCR in 2020
#59 Chris Acton ENGLAND Ray GR08
2021: 7th in CCRC FF1600, FFF semi-finalist WHT: 25th in 2010
#65 Jack Wolfenden ENGLAND Firman RFR17
2021: BRSCC Northern FF1600 champion, 16th in National FF1600, FFF finalist WHT: 2017 finalist
The Firman is a car that is all about set-up if you want to get it in the winning window, and Wolfenden is one of those drivers who knows how to do it. Whether he has the ultimate pace to be fighting White this weekend is another matter, but he’s bound to score a strong result.
#79 Leanne McShane ENGLAND Van Diemen RF88
2021: 5th in SC FF1600 B
Kevin Mills Racing
#23 Nathan Ward ENGLAND Swift SC92
2021: 4th in CCRC FF1600 WHT: 18th in 2010
Despite driving an older car, don’t rule out Ward being up there with the rest of the KMR contingent in the races. The slipstream in races can be so powerful when there’s a queue of cars that he could be towed into higher positions and quite easily make the final. His testing pace from our calculations was pretty good without a tow too.
#25 Michael Moyers ENGLAND Spectrum 011C
2021: FFF finalist WHT: 2017 & ’18 winner
The smooth driving style of Moyers lends itself to this event very nicely, even in cold weather where you need to build heat into the tyres. This is because so many of the corners are loaded that the rubber gets worked hard anyway and it’s nailing the corner entries that’s all-important. Moyers is also one of the most hungry drivers when it comes to ending on a high with the WHT, and as that will be his final scheduled appearance in the FF1600 classic he will be going all out to win.
#49 Megan Gilkes CANADA Spectrum 011C
2021: 10th in National FF1600, FFF semi-finalist
Gilkes used her oldest tyres in testing, but as soon as she put on a new set in qualifying the gap she had to her team-mates during the week immediately disappeared and she qualified on the front row for her heat. The Festival didn’t quite go to plan but the pace was there too, so the key to this weekend will be keeping it clean when wheel-to-wheel and letting her compact driving style – avoiding the kerbs more than most – do the rest of the work.
#64 Nick Gilkes CANADA Spectrum 011C
2021: Toyo Tires F1600 champion, Formula Tour 1600 champion, FFF semi-finalist
Like Megan, the Festival weekend ended with a clash. There was loads of positives though and that continued into WHT pre-event testing. KMR knows how to set the Spectrums up to be rapid at Silverstone so he’s dark horse to make the top 10 in the final if everything goes to plan before then.
#121 Tom Mills ENGLAND Spectrum 011C
2021: 4th in National FF1600, 28th in CCRC FF1600, FFF finalist
Kevin Mills’s 16-year-old son was really the star of the Festival, and had he not been wiped out by an out-of-control Niall Murray in the final he would have been a victory contender. That crash meant there was some wheel alignment work to be done in WHT testing, with the corner weights offering a bad balance through the first day-and-a-half, but he’s got the car to his liking since and has been one of those avoiding the Copse exit kerbs. The result? Pole for his heat and a real chance of taking the overall victory this weekend.
#5 Jonny McMullan NORTHERN IRELAND Van Diemen LA10
2021: no racing WHT: 5th in 2011
McMullan won the Northern Irish FF1600 title over a decade ago, then claimed the BRSCC National FF1600 title in 2015. He hasn’t raced since 2016 though, so this is a big return for the Northern Irishman.
Picking a Van Diemen LA10 to make his comeback in is a sound choice as it’s car that’s easy to come to grips with (and is of course what he won in six years ago) and has the pace to contend for top positions.
#8 Nigel Dolan ENGLAND Van Diemen JL012K
2021: 2nd in BRSCC Northern FF1600 WHT: 2010 semi-finalist
#117 Tom McArthur ENGLAND Medina Sport JL17
2021: 2nd in Historic FFord WHT: 10th in 2018
McArthur has been driving a Titan Mk4 usually this year, but he’s more than comfortable in modern machinery with B-M.
#45 Rory Smith ENGLAND/AUSTRALIA Medina Sport JL18
2021: 6th in BRSCC National FF1600, FFF semi-finalist WHT form: 11th in 2018
The unravelling of his Festival defence last weekend was a shame to see as he had the pace to win, and it’s been the same this weekend. He looked fast in testing, but used all of the road and more at Copse on many laps, and claimed pole for his heat with actual ease. In fact, Smith was so relaxed he went straight to sleep in his car after getting pole.
#115 David McArthur ENGLAND Medina Sport BH19
2021: 3rd in BRSCC Northern FF1600 WHT form: 13th in 2015
McArthur heads down south for another attack on the WHT and quite likely another run to the final if he avoids trouble. Given he has decent mileage behind him this year, matching his best result from 2015 wouldn’t be a bad target.
#129 James Hadfield ENGLAND Van Diemen RF03
2021: 5th in BRSCC Northern FF1600, 25th in CCRC FF1600
Simon Hadfield’s son has spent most of his racing career in historics, but two years ago he jumped into modern FF1600 machinery for the first time and has been getting ever faster in those cars since. He could reach the final on Sunday.
#42 Chris Middlehurst ENGLAND Van Diemen LA10
2021: National FF1600 champion, 5th in FFF WHT: 5th in 2014, ’17 & ’18
Middlehurst was very coy about his laptimes in testing, but he was happy with what he had done. Team Dolan doesn’t look like it’s the fastest this weekend, so he may need more individual magic than usual. He has of course won at this circuit in a Formula 1 car, so has a lot of experience to draw on to make sure his team is fighting for the win.
#34 Ben Cochran SCOTLAND Van Diemen RF09
2021: Champion of Snetterton FF1600, 10th in Northern FF1600, 13th in National FF1600, FFF semi-finalist
The rookie’s learning curve continues, and the Festival was one of his most impressive showings to date. Having a reduced line-up of three cars may make Cochran’s job a little harder in pulling knowledge from his team-mates, but the two he does have are absolutely rapid.
#77 Matt Cowley ENGLAND Van Diemen JL15
2021: 2nd in British GT4, FFF finalist WHT: 2nd in 2018
Formula Scout’s calculations put Cowley on par with White and Max Esterson in testing, and like Middlehurst he didn’t want to give away too many secrets from the pre-event running. He’s absolutely on it though, so expect him to breeze through to the final and then come alive when there’s a sniff at the overall win.
Low Dempsey Racing
#22 Max Esterson USA Ray GR18
2021: 3rd in National FF1600, Champion of Snetterton, 2nd in FFF WHT: 14th in 2020
The Team USA scholar finished second in the Festival after Neil Maclennan’s disqualification, and in the dry looks incredibly fast. This week he’s actually been testing in GB3 cars as well as FF1600, but that doesn’t seem to have put him off and he’s one of the favourites to win based on testing pace.
#21 Andre Castro USA Ray GR15
2021: 25th in USF2000, 35th in F1600 Championship Series, 3rd in FFF
The second of LDR’s Team USA scholars and completing its line-up as British GT champion Dennis Lind couldn’t find the budget to race this weekend. Castro has been quick to adapt in his FF1600 stint in the UK and undoubtedly he will be stronger here than he was at the Festival now he has more experience. He finished third there, so the only way is up…
#69 Ian Gough ENGLAND Van Diemen JL13
2021: 20th in FFF WHT: 9th in 2006
Gough has always looked stronger at Silverstone than Brands Hatch, and while he was two or so tenths off the ultimate pace in testing he definitely has the time to dial the car in to be at the very front once racing gets underway. He’s also got brother Stuart’s WHT experience to pull from.
#73 Lucas Romanek ENGLAND Van Diemen JL13
2021: 7th in National FF1600, FFF semi-finalist
The rookie switched from KMR to Oldfield mid-season and has been constantly learning under the eye of 2018 Festival winner Josh Smith. In testing he’s looked his most potent yet, and will be in podium contention in his heat and probably semi-final too. Anything less than the final would probably be a dissapointment for a driver who is on the up.
Don Hardman Racing
#36 Rick Morris ENGLAND Royale RP29
2021: 2nd in Classic FFord A, 4th in SC FF1600, FFF semi-finalist WHT: 24th in 2018
There were a few set-up quandries in testing to get the Royale right for Silverstone, but Morris is as fast as ever and will be aiming for the Carl Hamer Trophy. Reaching the overall final would be great to see too.
#277 Joey Foster ENGLAND Firman RFR21
2021: 4th in Northern FF1600, 7th in FFF, 9th in National FF1600 WHT: 2003, ’04 & ’05 winner
Foster is always a victory contender here, but he skipped the final pre-event test session as he was happy with his set-up and then was only third fastest in qualifying for his heat. We know he can come from the very back of the grid to win here, but he can’t afford to be complacent if he wants a record fourth WHT win.
John’s Racing Team
#35 John Svensson BELGIUM Ray GR17K
2021: 100th in French Historic Circuits Championship WHT: 10th in 2015
The former Formula Chrysler Euroseries racer is finally able to travel to the United Kingdom and race, having been wanting to throughout the pandemic. He’s a dark horse to reach the final and get himself amongst the big names of FF1600.
Graham Brunton Racing
#92 Logan Hannah SCOTLAND Ray GR21
2021: 9th in Scottish FFord, 19th in FFF WHT: 20th in 2020
This could be Hannah’s last FF1600 appearance if a sponsor takes her to the next level of single-seaters in 2022, but GBR wants to hold on to her because she is growing into a consistently high-performing driver for the team. The Scottish team hasn’t always had the luck at the WHT, but often has the pace and Hannah will likely be in the lead group of all her races.
#53 Derek Palmer Jr SCOTLAND Ray GR15
2021: 8th in Scottish FFord, 17th in FFF
The ex-BTCC driver has got the hang of FF1600 and he’s getting faster with each session. The final is in his eyesight.
#58 Michael Gray SCOTLAND Ray GR10
2021: 3rd in Scottish FFord, FFF semi-finalist WHT: 2012 semi-finalist
Gray stunned when he had to charge from the back of the grid in the Festival, so even if his single-lap pace isn’t enough to break into the final ease this weekend he should have the racecraft to do it anyway.
#40 Daniel Mavlyutov RUSSIA Van Diemen RF99
2021: LCR in FFF
This is just the second weekend of motor racing for the Russian, who is targeting Formula 4 United Arab Emirates in 2022.
#771 James Clarke ENGLAND Van Diemen RF99
WHT: 29th in 2018
#94 Jordan Harrison ENGLAND Reynard 89FF
2021: Classic FFord A champion, 3rd in SCC FF1600
#71 Sam Street ENGLAND Swift SC92F
2021: 14th in CCRC FF1600, FFF semi-finalist WHT: Progression race in 2016
#82 Luke Cooper ENGLAND Swift SC20
2021: 2nd in CCRC FF1600, 13th in FFF, 15th in National FF1600 WHT: 6th in 2018
Cooper is normlly awfully unlucky at this track, but is also very, very fast. Quite luckily that will continue in 2021.
Wayne Poole Racing
#76 James Colborn ENGLAND Van Diemen RF88
2021: 13th in CCRC FF1600
#80 Ben Mitchell ENGLAND Van Diemen JL16
2021: 3rd in CCRC FF1600, 16th in Historic FFord WHT: 9th in 2013
#81 Josh Fisher ENGLAND Van Diemen RF99
WHT: 2nd in 2008, ’16 & ’17
Fisher is still determined as ever to win this event, having been runner-up three times, and he still has the pace to do it. Watch out for him every time he’s on track.
#122 Peter Barrable IRELAND Royale RP26
2021: FF Festival WHT: 7th in 2007
Classic Team Merlyn
#38 Sam Harrison ENGLAND Merlyn Mk20
2021: 2nd in Classic FFord B, 5th in Historic FFord, 6th in SC FF1600 D
#97 James Maitland-Cook ENGLAND Merlyn Mk20A
2021: debut this year
#57 Ian Campbell IRELAND Ray GR08
2021: no racing
#24 Vincent Jay ENGLAND Ray GR21
2021: 23rd in CCRC FF1600, FFF WHT: semi-finalist in 2015
#26 Felix Fisher ENGLAND Ray GR05
2021: 5th in CCRC FF1600 WHT: 3rd in 2009
#177 Peter Hannam ENGLAND Nike Mk6
2021: 11th in Classic FFord B, 32nd in CCRC FF1600
#2 Tom Hawkins ENGLAND Ray GR11
2021: 6th in CCRC FF1600, FFF semi-finalist WHT: 23rd in 2018
#91 Bob Hawkins ENGLAND Ray GR08
2021: 21st in CCRC FF1600
#28 David McCullough NORTHERN IRELAND Van Diemen RF00
2021: 3rd in NI FF1600, 10th in FFF WHT: 16th in 2018
#27 Ivor McCullough NORTHERN IRELAND Van Diemen RF00
2021: MDT winner, 6th in FFF, 8th in NI FF1600 WHT: 2nd in 2010
#4 Joseph Ahrens ENGLAND Van Diemen RF80
2021: 6th in Classic FFord A
#10 Richard Tarling ENGLAND Jamun T2
2021: no racing WHT: 22nd in 2014
Tarling is established in historic racing and his making his racing return after getting long-COVID.
#11 Alex Fores ENGLAND Jamun M92
2021: 23rd in GB3 WHT: 2017 semi-finalist
#3 Neil Broome SCOTLAND Ray GR17K
2021: 2nd in Scottish FFord WHT: 2017 semi-finalist
Team Fox Racing
#154 Lewis Fox ENGLAND Ray GR14
2021: FFF semi-finalist WHT: 21st in 2018
#169 Joe Watts ENGLAND Van Diemen RF92
2021: no racing WHT: 2020 semi-finalist
#7 Mario Sarchet ENGLAND/SPAIN Van Diemen RF91
2021: 11th in SCB FF1600
Sarchet has strong form in BRSCC Northern, and surprisingly this is his first attack at the Hayes with a student team he is loving working with so far.
#243 Jaap Blijleven THE NETHERLANDS Reynard 89FF
WHT: 2017 semi-finalist
#46 Mark McKenna IRELAND Crossle 35F
2021: no racing
#19 Patrick McKenna IRELAND Crossle 35F
2021: no racing
Neil Fowler Motorsport
#41 Paul Unsworth ENGLAND Palliser WDF3
2021: 8th in Classic FFord B
#66 Cameron Jackson ENGLAND Van Diemen RF90
2021: Classic FFord B champion, Historic FFord champion WHT: 2017 finalist
#50 David Porter ENGLAND Van Diemen RF92
WHT: 2015 progression race
#55 Joe Porter ENGLAND Van Diemen RF92
WHT: 19th in 2016
Hugh Ried Racing
#89 Brandon McCaughan NORTHERN IRELAND Mondiale M89S
2021: 4th in NI FF1600, FFF semi-finalist
The 17-year-old FF1600 rookie has done a decent job in Northern Ireland and at the Festival in an older car. Bound to impress again at Silverstone on his first visit.
Simon Hadfield Motorsport
#48 Benn Tilley ENGLAND Van Diemen RF86
2021: 12th in Gurney Cup
#93 Alex Spooner ENGLAND Hawke DL2B
2021: 12th in Radical SR1 Cup
#95 Ben Stone ENGLAND Titan Mk4
2021: 7th in Radical SR1 Cup
#147 Molly Dodd ENGLAND Merlyn Mk20
2021: 4th in Historic FF2000
Snetterton Speed Shop
#54 Warren Hughes ENGLAND Royale RP26
2021: no racing
Hughes dominated in FF1600 at the start of his career that went up to F3000 and success in sportscars, and he’s returning to his starting place and team manager Jonathan Lewis to relive the old magic.
#103 Kelvin Burt ENGLAND Van Diemen RF80
2021: no racing
The former BTCC ace is taking over the car piloted by Roberto Moreno at the Festival after also being a big FF1600 name back in the day.
Cotswold Blacksmith Motorsport
#55 Luke McShane ENGLAND Crossle 45F
2021: no racing
#51 Adam Fathers ENGLAND Ray GR16
2021: CoB FF1600, FFF semi-finalist WHT: Progression race in 2017
#56 Alex Ames ENGLAND Reynard 89FF
WHT: 5th in 2005
Son of the 1989 British Sprint champion and has been in FF1600 for nearly two decades, Ames knows how to do well in these cars and can be a Janet Cesar Trophy victory contender in the pre-’93 class.
#33 Richard Higgins ENGLAND Van Diemen RF88
2021: 9th in CCRC FF1600, FFF semi-finalist WHT: LCR in 2016
#211 Adam Higgins ENGLAND Firman RFR21
2021: FFF progression race WHT: 20th in 2011
#960 Bob Higgins ENGLAND Macon MR7
2021: 18th in CCRC FF1600 WHT: 13th in 2006
#222 Paul Tucker ENGLAND Swift SC92
2021: 6th in SCA FF1600
#555 James Tucker ENGLAND Van Diemen RF92
2021: 8th in SCA FF1600 WHT: 2010 semi-finalist
#61 Gaius Ghinn ENGLAND Van Diemen RF91
WHT: 22nd in 2010
#111 Simon Jackson ENGLAND Lanan 1604
2021: Heritage FFord WHT: LCR in 2013
Only four Lanans were ever made, and the man who originally designed it is running Jackson in it this weekend after they shook it down in style at a Heritage FFord round. Who knows how quick it can be?
#118 Christopher Perkins ENGLAND Van Diemen RF87
2021: Historic F1
Nigel Grant Motorsport
#143 Callum Grant ENGLAND Van Diemen RF08
2021: 7th in Historic FFord WHT: 15th in 2018
#12 George Ditchfield ENGLAND Elden Mk8
2021: 17th in Classic FFord B, 19th in Historic FFord
#14 Neil Hunt ENGLAND Mondiale M92S
2021: 2nd in SCA FF1600
#18 Ben Tinkler ENGLAND Reynard 89FF
2021: 7th in BRSCC Northern FF1600, 8th in Classic FFord A WHT: 22nd in 2017
#29 Peter Sikstrom SWEDEN Van Diemen RF79
WHT: Progression race in 2013, ’16 & ’17
#31 Robert Wainwright ENGLAND Mondiale M90S
2021: no racing
#32 Richard Aczel ENGLAND Reynard 84FF
WHT: LCR in 2007
#39 Henry Chart ENGLAND Van Diemen RF81
2021: 3rd in Classic FFord A WHT: 2017 semi-finalist
#47 Ian Fernihough ENGLAND Titan Mk6
2021: SCD FF1600 champion, 39th in Historic FFord
#60 Matt Hayes ENGLAND Jamun M97K
2021: FFF progression race
#65 Ed Thurston ENGLAND Merlyn MK20A
2021: 10th in Gurney Cup WHT: 2017 semi-finalist
#72 Ian Schofield SOUTH AFRICA Reynard 89FF
2021: no racing
#74 Darwin Smith IRELAND Van Diemen RF90
2021: 17th in NI FF1600, FFF finalist
#75 Matthew Wrigley ENGLAND Reynard 89FF
2021: 4th in Historic FFord WHT: 2017 Progression race
#247 Ben Hadfield ENGLAND Van Diemen RF78
2021: SC FF1600 C champion, 9th in Classic FFord A