Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Brabham leads the way on home Formula Ford Silverstone debut

SAM BRABHAM marked his single-seater and home circuit debut by leading all three Dunlop MSA Formula Ford races at Silverstone

SAM BRABHAM marked his single-seater and home circuit debut by leading all three Dunlop MSA Formula Ford races at Silverstone last weekend.

The 19-year-old Henley racer’s outstanding form delivered third and second place outright podiums and double Scholarship class victory.

At the front of the field from Friday practice, Brabham put in his best qualifying performance of his maiden Formula Ford season, with second on the grid secured for all three rounds at the Northamptonshire circuit.

A blistering start for round 25 ensured Brabham charged into the lead and pulled out a 1.1-second gap within five laps.

Despite struggling with rear brake bias, he continued to keep a charging Juan Rosso at bay until a rear hit at Copse sent Brabham into a spin on lap 14. Brabham swiftly recovered to rejoin in seventh spot, then reign-in and pass James Abbott on the penultimate lap to secure second in class and the fastest Scholarship lap in the process.

Round 26 on Sunday saw Brabham again lead from the line, firstly fending off Harrison Scott before briefly pulling out a 0.8-second gap. But it was Jayde Kruger who took the charge to Brabham to ignite the closest fight of the Formula Ford season.

With Kruger holding the upper hand on fresher tyres, Brabham drove a tremendous race to hold on to the lead until the closing stages when a yo-yo battle from Brooklands through to Luffield saw Kruger emerge out front on lap 19. That fierce fight allowed Harrison Scott to close in while Brabham was clearly struggling for grip, yet the JTR driver managed to counter Scott’s last lap charge to secure third overall by 0.076 seconds and his sixth class victory of the season.

The final race of the weekend saw the third generation driver once again head the field by 2.4 seconds within six laps, but with Scott clearing the fight for second another gripping race unfolded. Although Brabham held fast while struggling with understeer, a run wide at Luffield allowed Scott to claim the place at Copse on lap 18, yet Brabham still managed to fight off a determined Kruger to seal second overall and in class. Speaking after the race, Brabham said: “Silverstone has been my strongest Formula Ford race weekend so far. We had really good pace from Friday practice and leading all three races, and recording the second most led laps all season to Dan [Cammish] is pretty impressive. I got hit off from the lead in race one, which was a shame, and I had a lot of understeer in the last race. Once I got a good gap, I knew I had to maintain it, but I was really struggling with the understeer and Harrison just had too much pace in the end. But we can take a lot away from here, we are improving with every race and I’m sure that win will come soon.

“I can’t wait for the final rounds of the season at Brands Hatch. My dream has always been to win on the Brabham Straight and that’s going to be my goal. If I can do that then I’ll be more than happy.”

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