The 2016 Formula Ford championship kicked off on the weekend, at Brand Hatch in Kent. The cars are powered by Ford’s 1.6-Litre EcoBoost engine, similar to that found in the Fiesta ST. However, these engines have been pushed to produce 160ps and have a sequential 6-speed gearbox. Qualifying took place on Saturday 2nd April, with Carlin’s Petru Florescu on pole, followed by British drivers James Pull and Max Fewtrell locking out the top three.
Race 1 was full of action, with Fewtrell passing Pull and getting alongside Florescu at the start, but was forced to the outside round Paddock Hill Bend. This allowed Florescu to build up his lead over the two Brits and looked set to run to victory when disaster struck in the form of a safety car after Ross Martin hit the barriers at Druids. However, he was able to ace the restart and completed the final lap in comfort taking the win. This was good news for Carlin, with all podium positions filled by their drivers.
Race 2 began with a reverse grid with Zane Goddard on pole, followed by Quinn, Martins and Caroline. It was another action packed start as the rain started to fall, the tyres began to lose their temperature leading to cars spinning and running wide. The safety car was seen once again as Frank Bird beached his car on the kerb at Clearways, and the rain started to fall even heavier. The session got back underway for a short while, until the red flag was shown due to the conditions degrading. The race got underway again with all the cars running wet tyres, with Martins leading followed by Caroline and Pull who both soon managed to overtake the struggling Martins. With three laps to go Sennan Fielding took a chance and went up the inside at Paddock Hill Bend, with the top three drivers running three abreast. With the inside line for Druids, Fielding was able to take the lead and went on to win the race, followed by Caroline and Pull.
Next up was Race 3, with Florescu back on pole, followed by Luis Leeds in the Arden and Carlin’s James Pull. Florescu struggled at the start, but managed to retain the lead and went on the take the win, followed closely by Leeds, who was 6 seconds ahead of third place James Pull.
Round 2 will take place on the 16/17th April at Donnington Park, where Carlin will be hoping to continue their good fortune.