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
Following up last year’s landmark edition of the event is another strong grid once again consisting of exciting young drivers from Britain, North America and now Brazil too, as well as the return of past winners whose racing CVs make them worth the ticket price alone.
#12 Drew Cameron ENGLAND Van Diemen RF99
2022: 8th in Historic FF2000
Cameron has waited a long time to have a go at the Festival. He karted in the early 1990s, then in the 2000s embarked on a sportscar career before spending the past five years in FF2000.
He made his FF1600 debut in a Champion of Brands race last month, but only lasted three corners before rolling his car. Undeterred, he’s back.
His father’s best friend designed the Vector TF94 that swept the FFord scene in 1994, and Cameron spent most of his FFord career being run by FF1600 stalwart Colin Gigner, who started off with Gerrit van Kouwen in 1984 and then later ran Vectors before moving into FF2000, until he sadly died earlier this year.
This weekend he actually has a Van Diemen built in 2005 “with all the RF99 bits bonded to it”, and he said it was very strong in the dry but struggled on old tyres in the wet. Over the winter the chassis will likely be updated to become a Medina.
#45 Rory Smith ENGLAND/AUSTRALIA Medina Sport JL18
2022: 10th in BRSCC National FF1600, currently 6th in United FFord Festival form: 2020 winner
Smith only did three of the seven BRSCC National FF1600 rounds this year, explaining his championship position, but in those he never finished lower than sixth.
The target is to add a second Festival win, and by Formula Scout’s stopwatch he was among the quickest in his final session on Thursday when there was half wet-half dry conditions that will likely inflict much of the race weekend.
His recent Brands form has also been strong, with two National podiums and winning the two most recent CoB races.
#89 Jamie Sharp ENGLAND Medina Sport JL17
2022: 4th in National FF1600 FFF: 2021 winner
“Just go and enjoy it,” is the approach the reigning winner takes into Saturday. “I feel good, I’ve been putting the prep in since [the National FF1600 finale at] Donington. I feel comfortable, I want to see how we do in the dry as well. But so far quite happy with our performance as a team.”
The rainy weather could cause drama, which Sharp is well aware of.
“I’m expecting safety cars, I hope not red flags. There’s no doubt going to be safety cars if it’s wet, just expecting what we usually expect in these sort of rounds: a lot of mess. But I’m ready for it.”
#147 Molly Dodd ENGLAND Medina Sport JL19
2022: 44th in Historic FF2000
Dodd started car racing in 2018, doing Junior Saloon Cars and Ginetta Junior for a few years. In 2021 she switched to single-seaters in Historic FF2000 and consistent results meant she finished fourth in the championship.
She contested the 2022 season opener, at Brands Hatch, and was set to move into FF1600 but “external issues” stopped that from happening. A Festival deal was still able to be organised though, and to warm up for it Dodd did the latest CoB event.
#164 Megan Gilkes CANADA Medina Sport BH22
2022: 6th in GB4, 12th in Toyo Tires F1600, 15th in National FF1600 FFF: 20th in 2020
The W Series race-winner had had a busy year, starting off by moving from Kevin Mills Racing to B-M Racing for her second season in National FF1600.
But Gilkes then switched focus to the new GB4 series, and won two races in the Formula 4 championship to come sixth in the standings. She also picked up a win and two podiums from a single appearance in Canada’s Ontario-based Toyo Tires F1600 series. She’s in the newest Medina, so rivals will watch closely.
B-M had a real to run Jack Wolfenden too this weekend, but unfortunately he couldn’t make it down to the event.
#17 Peter Lucas AUSTRALIA Van Diemen RF99
FFF: 2019 semi-finalist
#24 Jonathan Barnes ENGLAND Van Diemen RF90
2022: Currently 6th in Super Classic FF1600 B, currently 11th in United FFord FFF: Progression Race in 2021
The 2021 Heritage FFord champion knows this age of machinery well, so should be in contention to be one of the top drivers racing in pre-’99 cars.
#53 William Lowing AUSTRALIA Ray GR08
2022: Currently 1st in NSW FF1600
Young Lowing has starred in the FF1600 class of the New South Wales FFord championship in Australia, and the Ray GR08 is a great car to learn Brands in on his first trip to England.
#82 Ben Cox ENGLAND Ray GR10
2022: Currently 25th in United FFord
Currently doing an Enhanced Diploma in Sporting Excellence at Loughbourough College, Cox is hoping to race in National FF1600 in 2023. The former karter has been gaining mileage at Brands Hatch in United FFord
#141 Neil Richardson AUSTRALIA Van Diemen RF89
Richardson raced in Australian F2 in the 1980s, then became a FFord regular for the Australian FFord for two decades. He’s raced in the national and state championships, placed highly in contests for classic FF1600 cars over the last decade too, and usually races each year in the special Phillip Island event. Think of this as his northern hemisphere equivalent.
#179 Leanne McShane ENGLAND Van Diemen RF88
FFF: Last Chance Race in 2021
#16 Chris Middlehurst ENGLAND Van Diemen LA10
2022: no racing FFF: 3rd in 2016
He has had the pace to win the Festival at almost every attempt, but never got the job done. Middlehurst won the Club FFord title a decade ago in a car he put more and more time into with Team Dolan as the years rolled by.
However that Van Diemen LA10, which won the 2021 National FF1600 title, was one of several to be almost entirely lost in the fire that hit Dolan’s factory this June. It meant Middlehurst has not raced this year, but his car was retreivable in some capacity.
“This is an LA10, it is the same chassis frame exactly [as last year], just that everything else had gone because the chassis was being repaired somewhere. It had been stripped ready for a full rebuild, so I had to buy another car as a donor car and then build it up.
“Basically it’s like a brand new build. It does feel good out of the box, so positive about the weekend.”
#48 Gabe Tesch USA Van Diemen LA10
2022: 13th in National FF1600, currently 24th in United FFord
American teenager Tesch has had a remarkable story leading him to racing, having had a grade three cancerous brain tumour removed when he was aged 11. He underwent a 48-day radiation treatment cycle, followed by 48 weeks of aggressive chemotherapy that left him tube-fed for some time and contributed to early onset kidney failure
The physical recovery from that took a further year, at which point he began karting. By 2019 he was competing on a national level, and a year later was runner-up in the Californian ROK Championship on 100cc Senior karts.
A fruitful 2021 included his first single-seater mileage with the Lucas Oil School of Racing, and this year he came across to England to race in National FF1600.
#77 Matt Cowley ENGLAND Van Diemen RF92
2022: 7th in British GT4 FFF: 3rd in 2019 & ’20
Normally seen fighting near the front in a more modern vehicle, Cowley also suffered from the Dolan fire and so is entered in a newly purchased Heritage car this weekend.
It’s been five years since he was last in this type of car, but during testing he’s been saying “it feels really good” and that “in the rain definitely we’re one of the quickest out there” due to the nimbleness of the older car’ shorter wheelbases.
The rain will remain this weekend, so could he spring some kind of surprise in a 30-year-old model?
#88 Morgan Quinn IRELAND Van Diemen RF99
2022: 7th in National FF1600, currently 2nd in United FFord FFF: 9th in 2020
Brands Hatch is one of Quinn’s strongest tracks, and he is level on points with the leader in the United FFord championship at the moment. His National campaign started strongly but did begin to tail off, and he will be looking to not only get a top result this weekend but set up his car for the United finale at the same track.
#99 Jordan Kelly IRELAND Van Diemen JL16
2022: 3rd in Formula Vee Ireland
Possibly the tallest driver racing this weekend, Kelly has three years of Irish Formula Vee experience but pre-event testing marked his first ever time sat in a FFord car.
“Not too bad, probably fairly close, not quite there yet but closer than I expected,” was how he described his pace after the first two days, and he’s now thinking of buying a FF1600 car for 2023.
#555 Niall Murray IRELAND Van Diemen BD22
2021: NC in National FF1600 FFF: 2016 winner, 2013 Kent class winner
The Van Diemen RF99 that Murray campaigned for so many years is another fire victim, and by last year it had been developed so much it became the BD21.
Those changes, plus more planned for this year, have been applied to a car that Murray has borrowed from a friend who had not raced it for several years. Originally an RF00, it’s now in ‘BD22’-spec (but he won’t reveal where the key changes have been made), and Murray was immediately on the pace when he drove it in the National finale. As always, a likely victory contender.
#20 William Ferguson USA Ray GR17
2022: 2nd in Toyo Tires F1600
Ferguson has more experience in slicks-and-wings, but for 2022 he took up stick-shift and heel-and-toe in a F1600 car after two years of success in F4 Western on home soil.
He was just short of winning the 2022 Toyo Tires F1600 title, but on the plus side he won the Team USA Scholarship and was competitive in a Castle Combe FF1600 cameo to prepare for the Festival.
#21 Elliott Budzinski USA Ray GR18
2022: 24th in F1600 Championship Series
Budzinski made his car racing debut in the SCCA June Sprints at Road America this June and won the Formula F class by finishing third overall. He followed that up with fifth overall in race two.
After that he made an appearance in F1600 Championship Series the next month at Autobahn Country Club and had a remarkable weekend in which he won his first race and finished second in the next two.
He has continued to improve, and did well in his Combe outing with his fellow Team USA scholars.
#22 Thomas Schrage USA Ray GR18
2022: F1600CS champion
Of the three Team USA youngsters, Schrage may be the most likely to fight for Festival glory. He is American champion of F1600 (the often Honda-powered equivalent to FF1600), and has sometimes been utterly dominant in the series.
He beat the title contenders to take pole at Combe earlier this month, then fought incredibly hard with them to end the day with a second and a third and a lot of turned heads in the paddock.
#32 Shawn Rashid USA Ray GR18
2022: 5th in National FF1600
Rashid has developed massively as a driver this year, having done a full National campaign with Ammonite after making formative car racing steps in 2021.
He started the season as a midfielder, but by the end was fighting for wins and claimed his first success at Brands. His United FFord form has been less strong, but he’s still improving all the time.
#42 Max Esterson USA Ray GR18
2022: 7th in GB3 FFF: 2nd in 2021
Jan Magnussen was Esterson’s team-mate last year and sang his praises, and the former Esports star went on to finish second after runner-up Neil Maclennan was excluded. He then won the Walter Hayes Trophy shortly after as a Team USA scholar, and this year jumped into slicks-and-wings in GB3 and won there too.
He showed strongly in qualifying and in racecraft at last year’s Festival, and after a sixth place and a second surely comes a first.
Kevin Mills Racing
#31 Jordan Dempsey IRELAND Spectrum 011C
2022: National FF1600 champion, currently 6th in United FFord FFF: 4th in 2021
He’s a Chinese F4 champion, a Northern Irish FF1600 champion, a dominant WHT winner and now finally BRSCC National FF1600 champion too.
Dempsey looked at graduating into sportscars for 2022 but it didn’t happen, and instead reuniting with KMR resulted in a long-desired National crown.
He wasn’t always the top driver in the series, but rarely had bad results, and now the Festival remains the unticked box he needs to fill. The 22-year-old will want to end his racing year in style.
#92 Michael Eastwell ENGLAND Spectrum 011C
2022: NC in National FF1600 FFF: 4th in 2019
Eastwell was a FF1600 regular a few years ago with KMR, performing strongly at Combe, advancing to the National championship and then becoming a frontrunner wherever he went.
He is a five-time Champion of Brands, with only Ollie White holding more wins, a Northern FF1600 race-winner and was runner-up to the dominant Murray in the 2018 National season. Eastwell won more in 2019, then relocated to Australia to become an award-winning photographer. Now he’s back, and he did the National FF1600 finale to get back into things.
#187 Jeremy Fairbairn USA Spectrum 011C
2022: 6th in USF Juniors FFF: 2021 finalist
A champion junior karter at home, Fairbairn hasn’t quite had the same highs in single-seaters so far. He raced part-time in United States F4 in 2020, with a best finish of fourth, did the 2021 National FF1600 finale, made the final of the Festival, then finished sixth in USF Juniors this year with one pole and one podium. He’s been helped out by GB4 star Max Marzorati while in the UK, and it will be interesting to see what his FF1600 return amounts to.
#333 Cadu Bonini BRAZIL Spectrum 011C
The protege of IndyCar race-winner Roberto Moreno started his single-seater journey with two FF1600 tests in the UK before turning up to Brands this week, and he is a top karter back at home in Brazil. He’s a total unknown when it comes to making predictions, but he has strong team-mates to learn from as well as his driver coach (who will be racing for a rival).
Don Hardman Racing
#2 Rick Morris ENGLAND Royale RP29
2022: 2nd in Classic FFord FFF: 2nd in 1981 & ’82
The FF1600 veteran, who raced against Moreno and Ayrton Senna in the early 80s, is back once again in the Royale that he regularly competes with in the Classic FF1600 series, where he finished runner-up in the standings this year. He made the the semi-finals at last year’s Festival despite being up against more contempary machinery, so expect the 76-year-old to get his elbows out.
#13 Stuart Kestenbaum ENGLAND Van Diemen RF81
2022: 6th in Classic FFord FFF: 17th in 2020
Another regular competitor in the Classic FF1600 series, Kestenbaum is at the wheel of a Van Diemen RF81, similar to the car which Senna won the RAC FF1600 title with in 1981 in his first season of car racing. It will be his third different car in his last three Festival attempts having driven an RF89 in 2020 and a Royale RP21 last year. He also switches teams from Shaws Motorsport.
#156 Abdul Ahmed INDIA Firman RFR
FFF: 17th in 2021
Having previously raced in British FFord in 2012, Ahmed made a return last year with Don Hardman, who he has a long-term partnership with. Lack of racing this year will mean the test sessions prior to the weekend will be crucial as he looks to get up to speed and repeat his 2021 route to the final.
#277 Joey Foster ENGLAND Firman 2021
2022: NC in National FF1600, currently 20th in United FFord FFF: 2003 & ’17 winner
The two-time winner has not raced as much this year, and has been doing driver coaching with Kush Maini in FIA F3. His only National FF1600 appearance came at last month’s final round at Donington. However, he has done a bit of testing as he and Don Hardman continue to develop the Firman chassis, which he says is quite different from last year. His first running in wet conditions in the updated car only came in this week’s testing. He feels like the car is on the pace so far, and he will undoubtedly be a contender if it is dialled in, having started from pole in last year’s final.
#6 Peter Daly ENGLAND Van Diemen RF88
2022: Currently 2nd in SC FF1600 B FFF: 22nd in 2015, 9th in 1994 Kent class
The BRSCC chairman had a difficult season in terms of results in 2021, but he’s proven he’s capable on mixing it against more modern machinery on his day. He is still in contention the Class B title in Northern & Super Classic FF1600 this year with one round remaining. Winner of the Historic race at the Festival in 2020, Daly will aim to try and make the final in the main event. There’s been a few hefty offs and repairs this year in the Super Classic series, but he always bounces back.
Daly’s SC FF1600 title challenge was also disrupted by weekends clashing with his race direction duties in GT World Challenge Europe and Asia.
#7 Jonathan Nash Van Diemen RF88
Nash has raced in South African F1600 in the past, coming second in the championship in 2019, and his car is a barn find that has been lovingly restored and prepared by Shaw.
#15 Lorna Vickers ENGLAND Van Diemen RF88
2022: Currently 5th in SC FF1600 B FFF: 2020 semi-finalist
#247 Ben Hadfield ENGLAND Van Diemen RF78
2022: 15th in Classic FFord
Graham Brunton Racing
#26 Kevin Foster CANADA Ray GR15
GBR will run the 2022 winners of the Team Canada Scholarship, which had former IndyCar drivers Robert Wickens and James Hinchcliffe as judges. Foster has raced in karts until now, winning a shootout to join F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve and Patrick Lemarie’s Racing School this year and then a scholarship to race in French F4 next season. The 18-year-old had his first taste of single-seaters in 2021 at a US F4 test.
#66 Jake Cowden CANADA Ray GR14
2022: Toyo Tires F1600 champion, 2nd in FTour 1600
Cowden is also a product of karting, and won the Toyo Tires F1600 title as a sophomore in 2022. He also did Quebec’s championship, and wowed with his performances on the Formula 1 support bill in Montreal and also at Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. He is also studying engineering and is a certified ski instructor.
#103 Roberto Moreno BRAZIL Ray GR16
FFF: 1980 winner
The former F1 and IndyCar driver made a shock return to the Festival last year with Snetterton Speed Shop, at wheel of the Van Diemen he steered to victory with at the event 41 years earlier. His weekend didn’t quite to plan after being caught up in a few incidents, preventing him from progressing to the semi-finals. He has made the switch to GBR for this year’s edition, where he will drive a modern Ray machine, which will be capable of powering him into the final if he can get up to speed quickly.
#28 Tom Hawkins ENGLAND Ray GR11
2022: 4th in CCRC FF1600, NC in National FF1600, currently 27th in United FFord FFF: 23rd in 2019 & ’20
The cars at TM Racing say Sprinbridge Motorsport on the side of them, and it is this successful alliance that has grown the team into one of the best in CCRC FF1600. Tom is aiming to match his best Festival result.
#36 Jonathan Miles AUSTRALIA Van Diemen RF89
A multiple-time winner of the Phillip Island Classic FFord event in Australia, Miles usually races a RF89 down under and has been in FF1600 for well over a decade. He has even done the WHT in the past, so there’s a little bit of expectation on him to showcase how competitive his machinery can be despite his unfamiliarity with the track he’ll be racing on this weekend.
#191 Bob Hawkins ENGLAND Ray GR08
2022: 26th in CCRC FF1600 FFF: 2020 semi-finalist
The 65-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 in 2020 after a break of 33 years, has been getting faster ever since and did CCRC and United FFord this year.
#71 Sam Street ENGLAND Swift SC92F
2022: 9th in CCRC FF1600 FFF: Last Chance Race in 2021
The Aston Martin F1 aerodynamics design engineer can only rely on mechanical grip this weekend in a wingless car, but by entering as one of Alan Cooper’s drivers he’ll have ample technical support and maybe a shot at making the final.
#95 Wallace Martins BRAZIL Swift SC20
2022: Formula Delta Brasil
The inaugural Team Brazil scholar already has experience in halo-shod single-seaters, having raced in Formula Delta Brasil. He’s spent most of his time in FVee though, which as an entry-level series has more similarities with FF1600. He’s said he has a lot to learn to get near the pace this weekend, but is thoroughly enjoying himself. His car is also hard to miss as it’s in the colours of the Brazilian flag.
#160 Alan Slater ENGLAND Nike Mk4
2022: 17th in CCRC FF1600 FFF: Progression Race in 2021
#73 Lucas Romanek ENGLAND Van Diemen JL13
2022: 3rd in National FF1600, currently 4th in United FFord, 14th in GB4 FFF: Last Chance Race in 2021
Romanek remained with Oldfield for his second season in FFord this year and scored three wins mid-season en-route to third in the National FF1600 standings. As one of the three highest-placed teenagers he recently took part in a shooutout at Snetterton in a GB4 car and also raced in GB4 at Silverstone, taking victory in the reversed-grid race. A crash in the Last Chance Race at last year’s Festival prevented him from making the final, but he will be aiming to be one of the leading contenders this time.
#89 Brandon McCaughan NORTHERN IRELAND Van Diemen JL13
2022: 4th in Northern Irish FF1600, 8th in National FF1600 FFF: Last Chance Race in 2021
The 18-year-old started his career racing Fords in junior rallycross before moving into FF1600 in Northern Ireland last year. A collision with his now team-mate Romanek put him out in the Last Chance race on his Festival debut with Hugh Ried Racing. He finished eighth overall in National FF1600 this year following a switch to Oldfield and, as third highest teenager, also took part in the GB4 prize shootout. He looking to make the Final as a miminum at this year’s event.
#128 David McCullough NORTHERN IRELAND Van Diemen RF00
2022: NI FF1600 champion, MDT winner FFF: 10th in 2018 & ’21
With three 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 FFord but he is yet to have a headline result in Britain yet. Could this weekend be the one?
#271 Ivor McCullough NORTHERN IRELAND Van Diemen RF00
2022: 5th in NI FF1600, 2nd in MDT FFF: 6th in 2021, 2011 & ’12 Kent winner
Ivor works hand-in-hand with David to get the most out of their Van Diemens, and has shown in the past he can be absolutely rapid around Brands. Either of them could be fighting for a top 10 spot this weekend and to put the spotlight on their home series.
#39 Robbie Parks IRELAND Ray GR14
2022: 9th in NI FF1600, 5th in MDT FFF: Progression Race in 2021, ’14 Kent semi-finalist
Now in their third year in FF1600, Vertical Racing are continuing to improve. Robbie and his dad David missed the first two days of testing, but they could still bring a susprise despite Friday’s running being disrupted frequently by red flags and rain.
#111 David Parks IRELAND Ray GR19
2022: 3rd in NI FF1600, 4th in MDT FFF: Last Chance Race in 2021
Parks has won two Formula Sheane titles and now he’s showing he can fight for wins in FF1600 too with a strong campaign in Northern Ireland this year.
John’s Racing Team
#126 Gilles Cloet BELGIUM Ray GR15K
Cloet only turned 16 a few weeks ago, and his heat on Saturday will be his first race in cars. However he’s spent all of 2022 preparing for this moment. He’s tested FF1600 cars in Belgium and France, driven a Formula 3 car in England as well as prototypes in Italy. It will be intruiging to see if his preparations translate into results in such a high-profile event to debut in.
#196 Pascal Monbaron SWITZERLAND Ray GR19K
2022: 2nd in FFord Racing Zetec class FFF: 15th in 2020
Monbaron drove a Van Diemen RF97 to second place this year in the German-based FFord Racing championship’s Zetec class, which also takes in rounds in France and Belgium. So to hop into the modern Ray will be a different challenge, but he’s raced in the UK so many times over the years and his relationship with the team is so strong that the adaptation in testing was swift and he could be a final contender like in 2020.
#40 Dan Rene Larsen NORWAY Van Diemen RF95
FFF: Last Chance Race in 2019
A fan favourite for those who love to see a Scandinavian on the grid, Larsen has been around FFord racing for over a decade and also raced in the category in Sweden in his youth. His experience will be of great benefit to his younger team-mate.
#155 Christer Otterstrom NORWAY Ray GR17
2022: Norwegian FFord champion, 6th in FNordic
The teenaged singfle-seater rookie and protege of the team has had a great 2021, winning the Norwegian FFord championship at his first attempt and recently also debuting in the Formula Renault 1.6-based Formula Nordic series where he will race next year as isiRacing brings in new investment. Exciting times, and the Festival could be his launchpad as FNordic does face an uncertain future.
Auto Haeckel Motorsport
#41 Gerhard Hauschulte GERMANY Van Diemen RF87
2022: 4th in FFord Racing
Hauschulte campaigned a RF87 on home soil through this year and picked up some good results, coming fourth in the FFord Racing championship, and although Brands is a new track to him he does at least have a car he knows well to race in. The German series does have a lot of wheel-to-wheel action, which helps with an event like this.
#47 Klaus-Dieter Haeckel GERMANY Van Diemen RF85
2022: FFord Racing champion FFF: 2017 finalist, 14th in 2012 Kent class
The team boss also raced a RF87 this year, and had an unbeaten campaign from the race he contested. In fact it was enough for him to win the title. However he’s chosen to enter an older RF85 car this weekend, which will reduce his chances of making the final but does provide more enjoyment should he beat the RF87s and even newer cars.
#43 Adam Quartermaine ENGLAND Van Diemen RF19
2022: United FFord FFF: 21st in 2017, 5th in 2009 Kent class
Quartermaine has been racing in FF1600 for 16 years, has a lot of experience with Van Diemen chassis, and most recently appeared in a United FFord round at Brands.
#51 Matt Rivett ENGLAND Van Diemen RF91
2022: Currently 3rd in United FFord FFF: 18th in 2021
Rivett usually races as a privateer, but also sometimes works on his car with his dad under other teams’ awnings. This year he’s actually being run by Engima, and as a five-time Champion of Brands he certainly has the circuit pedigree to make the final and improve on his best Festival result to date.
#50 James Penrose NEW ZEALAND Ray GR19
The 2021 New Zealand FFord and South Island FFord champion is on the grid thanks to the ‘Driver to Europe’ scheme, and is in the car previously raced by Jamie Thorburn with the Scottish team. Penrose is aiming to race in the Toyota Racing Series in a few months’ time, and a strong Festival result could help his sponsor search.
Neil Fowler Motorsport
#139 Cameron Jackson ENGLAND Van Diemen RF90
2022: 11th in Classic FFord, 32nd in Historic FFord, NC in National FF1600 Clubman class
Decked in a Walter Lechner Racing School livery with Mercedes details too, Jackson has one of the most recognisable cars on track this weekend. He topped Autosport’s National Driver Rankings in 2021 with his form in older FF1600 cars, and has proven capable in sportscars too.
#188 Chris Goodwin ENGLAND Van Diemen RF89
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. This year he’s actually come into the event with less racing mileage than usual, but should still be competitive.
Wayne Poole Racing
#222 Peter Barrable IRELAND Royale RP26
2022: 26th in Classic FFord FFF: Progression Race in 2021
An ASK Supercar champion and former Fiesta Zetec racer in Ireland, Barrable is also an experienced FF1600 racer in classic machinery.
#69 Oliver Chapman ENGLAND Lola T200
2022: 10th in Classic FFord & Historic FFord, FFF: 2019 semi-finalist
#172 Marc Sawer ENGLAND Van Diemen RF90
2022: no racing FFF: 2020 semi-finalist
#5 Adam Fathers ENGLAND Ray GR16
2022: Currently 11th in United FFord, CoB FF1600 FFF: 2019 & ’20 semi-finalist, Last Chance Race in ’21
Fathers will be hoping to make the final, having missed out on his last three appearances. He is a regular in the the United FFord and Champion of Brands events, so knows the Indy circuit well.
Hawke Racing Cars
#19 Bob Lambert ENGLAND Hawke DL19
Lambert owns the Hawke company name, and wants to keep it going strong and advertise the past achievements of the manufacturer. In 1976 it locked out the podium, and Lambert himself raced in FF1600 during that time with Hawke. He then moved up to FF200, then was enticed to race for PRS. Since then he’s helped other drivers race and is now back in the cockpit.
#129 Marc Goossens BELGIUM Van Diemen RF80
2022: Currently 19th in EuroNASCAR FFF: 1991 winner
The NASCAR Euro Series regular is another returning Festival winner, and is still active in racing so should be sharp this weekend even though he has not driven a single-seater car since the 2000s. Watch out for his retro livery, and find out more about his drive here.
#72 Steve Kite ENGLAND Swift SC92
A racing instructor and a team more often seen winning in tin-tops, Kite and Misty will be looking to get faster as the weekend goes on this weekend, while also focusing on their touring car efforts at Brands.
#23 Derek Palmer Jr SCOTLAND Swift SC92
2021: 8th in Scottish FFord
The ex-BTCC driver got the bug for FF1600 last year, racing a modern Ray chassis for GBR in the Scottish championship and the Festival. He has switched to a 1992 Swift for his second Festival attempt and has entered as a privateer, but may still receive some support from GBR.
#11 Ben Miloudi ENGLAND Van Diemen RF01
2022: United FFord
A FVee champion in previous years, Miloudi is putting his chances on a set of new tyres improving his pace for Saturday qualifying. He’s already raced the circuit in a FF1600 car, so it’s all about making tweaks to unlock more performance.
#18 Alan Davidson NORTHERN IRELAND Mondiale M89
2022: 2nd in NI FF1600 FFF: 2021 16th in final
Davidson has showed great speed in FFord machinery, having challenged the McCullough brothers in NI FF1600, and upstaging more modern machinery with a strong run to 16th in the final of the 2021 Festival. He will be aiming to do the same this year.
#34 Jack Kemp ENGLAND Ray GR07
2022: No racing FFF: 2021 Last Chance Race
Kemp won from pole in the Progression Race last year, but missed out on the Final. Remaining in his Ray GR07, he will aim to put that right this time.
#87 Ian Jeary ENGLAND Dulon LD9
2022: 10th in Classic FFord B FFF: 2020 semi-finalist
Jeary is back one again in a Dulon LD9, a car which won the very first Festival back in 1972. Last year he retired in the Progression Race, so will be looking to make amends.
#93 Drew Stewart NORTHERN IRELAND Van Diemen RF00
2022:12th in NI FF1600, NC in National FF1600 FFF: Last Chance Race in 2021
Stewart missed out on the final in the Last Chance Race last year with SC Motorsport, and will again run his 2000-spec Van Diemen this time around. As well as competing in Northern Ireland FF1600, he also made a one-off appearance at the Knockhill round of National FF1600 this year as a guest entrant.
#127 Shaun Macklin ENGLAND Reynard 87FF
2022: 22nd in CCRC FF1600
Macklin returns in the Reynard that he raced at last year’s Festival, where he missed out on the semi-finals with 10th in his progression race. This year he has once again raced in the CCRC FF1600, but did not take part in the second half of the season.
#140 Laurie Hughes SCOTLAND Van Diemen RF78
2022: no racing FFF: 2019 & ’20 semi-finalist, Progression Race in ’21
Hughes is at the wheel of the Van Diemen he raced in the original BRSCC-run Formula E championship (which has evolved into Classic FFord over the past 30 years) in the 1980s. He missed out on the semi-finals against tough opposition last year, but could be in with a chance this time around.
#145 Brindley Kinch ENGLAND Ray GR09
2022: 16th in National FF1600 FFF: 2021 Progession Race
Kinch makes his second Festival appearance, having graduated from karts last year. He will again race the Ray GR09, with some support from Ammonite, and will be looking to try and make the semi-finals for the first time. He has spent this season racing in National FF1600.
#189 Tom Nippers WALES Van Diemen RF01
2022: 11th in National FF1600
The Welsh single-seater rookie decided to attack National FF1600 this year as a privateer, so it has been a big learning season. His results were definitely stronger towards the end of the campaign, so that momentum could continue into this weekend.
#177 Philip Attwood ENGLAND Crossle 32F
2022: no racing FFF: 2019 & ’20 semi-finalist, Progression Race in ’21
A regular at the Festival in his Crossle 32F, Attwood hasn’t raced as much this year, having previously appeared in Classic FF1600. But could have a chance of repeating his 2019 and ’20 form, where he made it to the semi-finals, having missed out last year in a highly competitive field.
#79 Chris Knox SCOTLAND Van Diemen RF79
2022: no racing FFF: 2021 semi-finalist
The two-time JWC Mini GB Challenge champion returns with the 1979 Van Diemen that he made the semi-finals with in 2021, having bought the car from New Zealand. This time he is running as a privateer, having had the support of Enigma Motorsport at last year’s event.