Pole position and taking the chequered flag in both races should have made it a perfect day for Dean Venter (Turnfab Engineering / Manitou Swift) at the fifth round of the 2016 Investchem Formula Ford Kent championship held at Red Star Raceway on Saturday, 6 August 2016. It didn’t quite turn out like that though. A 30 second penalty for a jump start in the first race dropped him down to fourth and handed the win to defending champion Andrew Horne (Xena Chemicals / Budd Power Royale RP31).
Horne has been making a habit of claiming pole position this year but on this occasion he had to settle for second. Venter’s best was 0.344 seconds quicker than the defending champion. Ian Schofield (Investchem Mygale) and David Jermy (Matt Nash Motorsport Van Diemen) filled the second row. Youngster Alex Vos (Ecurie Zoo Swift) was next quickest ahead of Paul Schultz (Knottsberry Foods Mygale) with Joe Nash (Ray) and Jeff Gable (Taylon Motorsport Van Diemen) rounding out the top eight.
In the opening race Venter grabbed the lead from the start and was never challenged on his way to the flag, crossing the line nearly 17 seconds ahead of the rest of the pack. Once the jump start penalty had been applied he ended in fourth place. The real battle of the race was for second on the road.
Horne led this from the start with Ian Schofield and Jermy right behind him. Cold tyres on the opening lap caught him out and he understeered of the circuit allowing Schofield and Jermy through. Horne spent the rest of the race working his way back to the lead of the group which he did on the penultimate lap with a dive up the inside of Schofield at the end of the long straight. Venter’s penalty gave Horne the win with Ian Schofield and Jermy in second and third respectively.
Vos had the best race of his relatively short Formula Ford career, spending most of the race in a titanic struggle with Gable. Both of them had off-track excursions in the final couple of corners but Vos managed to recover quickest to take fifth with Gable a couple of seconds behind in sixth. Dalan Holton (Debella Finance Van Diemen) just missed out on getting past Gable and had to settle for seventh with Steve Venter (Turnfab Engineering / Manitou Swift) in eighth.
Ian Schofield grabbed the early lead in the second race bit it didn’t take Venter long to work his way to the front. He again pulled away from the rest of the pack, going on to win by 11 seconds. The three-way fight between Schofield, Jermy and Horne carried on where they left off in race one. This time Schofield managed to stay in front taking second in the race from Jermy and Horne.
Gable had a somewhat lonely drive to fifth with Andy Schofield leading Vos and Holton over the line.
Overall victory on the day went to Ian Schofield with Horne second and Jermy in third. With just three rounds of the championship left Horne now has a 20-point advantage over Jermy. Venter is just a point further back in third. Ian Schofield is next up with Andy Schofield and Dalan Holton, who both have 30 points, rounding out the top six on the log.
The Investchem Formula Ford Kent competitors will be back on track on 10 September 2016 when the sixth round of the championship takes place at Phakisa Free