The weird and wonderful thing about national racing this week

An unusual combination: Focus estate and Escort Mk1

The British Racing and Sports Car Club’s Modified Fords series cater to an eclectic group of machinery bearing the blue oval. From classic Anglias and Mk1 Escorts to four-wheel drive Sierra Cosworths and Escort WRCs, through spaceframe specials and more modern Fiestas.

Wayne Crabtree debuted his Mk1 Escort, complete with a Tim Swadkin-tuned 2.3-litre Duratec engine, at Brands Hatch last weekend. Resplendent in the iconic Gulf livery, he uses a shell imported from Australia. Manufacturing was handled by Neil Sanderson, and the car was auctioned off by British GT racer Greg Caton’s G-Cat company. Brake problems and gearbox failure meant that Crabtree was unable to finish either race.

REPORT: Best of the action from Croft, Donington Park and Brands Hatch

The Focus heritage of former Time Attack competitor AJ Howe provided a stark contrast. Howe’s former road car now has an upgraded ST180 EcoBoost engine delivering 320bhp to the front wheels. After qualifying midway down the grid, Howe moved up to seventh place in Sunday’s final race.

An E-vent-ful Victory: Christopher Keir’s Troubled Clio

Photo by: Steve Jones

It’s the last thing you need when trying to win for the first time. Christopher Keir found himself in the lead of the second Renault Clio Sport Championship meeting at Croft last weekend and, although he successfully fended off defending champion Jack Dwane, it was far from an easy win.

“The right side air vent came off the dash and got caught under the pedals. I spent a lap trying to get it out by hand and managed to hang it over my shoulder, only the left one did the same. !” Keir explained.

“Luckily I managed to grab that one too and throw it in the trunk with the other one. They spent the rest of the race rattling behind me.”

Unknown Environment: Mike Simpson in Fun Cup

Photo by: James Roberts

Ginetta development driver Mike Simpson swapped his usual GT and prototype machinery for something quite different last weekend when he made his Fun Cup Endurance debut at Oulton Park. He shared the Kaizen Motorsport car with Ginetta Academy driver Ravi Ramyead and Riley Phillips, finishing fourth.

“There was a seat open for the race and Ravi offered it to me,” Simpson said. “It was great fun, nice people and very close racing – it was a proper endurance race and I would definitely do it again.”

History maker: Cian Carey’s lap record

Photo by: Michael Chester

The resurfacing of a large part of the Mondello Park National Circuit is part of a series of upgrades to the Irish venue for 2022. The increased grip meant lap records would be under threat at the opening of Irish Championship Circuit Racing and, with cold conditions but clear. , the timekeepers kept busy last weekend.

In particular, Cian Carey’s Dallara F317 took the outright record, eclipsing Nigel Greensall’s mark of 50,220, set in 1997 in a Formula 1 Tyrrell. Carey left the mark at 49.275s, but thought a 48s in better condition might have been possible.

On the other hand, Paul Parr dominated in Supercars and beat Johnny Whelan’s time in 2005 by two tenths of a second, setting the mark at 59.069s. Stephen Traub set his best Irish Touring Car mark of 2021 on his way to a double victory in his Honda Integra, while Michael Cullen broke his Stryker lap record twice, leaving him tantalizingly close to the magic minute in 60.353s.

Unwelcome Parental Intervention of the Week: Dave and Jack Gadd

Photo by: Gary Hawkins

There are many father and son pairs in national motorsports and some of them are very successful. But things don’t always go according to plan, like in Ford Modified’s third race at Brands Hatch.

Jack Gadd’s Mk1 Escort RSR seemed to have the upper hand over Malcolm Harding’s Mk2 model in the closing stages. That was until Gadd took his father Dave’s Mk1 for a spin on the final lap. He hesitated to make the move, allowing Harding to jump out and leave Gadd Jr wondering what he could have been.

Photos of the week:

Broddy Orr's Fiesta Hits The Curbs Too Much At Knockhill

Broddy Orr’s Fiesta Hits The Curbs Too Much At Knockhill

Photo by: Jim Moir

David Porter climbs into Bob Higgins' Macon during United Formula Ford at Donington Park

David Porter climbs into Bob Higgins’ Macon during United Formula Ford at Donington Park

Photo by: Steve Hindle

Wayne Shackleford is wrong in Hot Hatch at Croft

Wayne Shackleford is wrong in Hot Hatch at Croft

Photo by: Steve Jones