Brands Hatch, England
Francis and PA Motorsport - 1999 Champions!
For the second consecutive year PA Motorsport have won the Overall Kent Formula Ford Championship. Australian Brett Francis secured the main Kent crown in the penultimate round by taking his tenth win this season behind the wheel of the PA Motorsport 1600 Swift. Francis celebrated his championship double, which includes the 1600-engined title, by lowering his own lap record on the famous Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
This result is a turnaround in the fortunes for the reigning champion and team owner, Peter Alexander, who has spent a hectic two weeks repairing the Swift SC93F chassis after some major damage was incurred at the last round.
Qualifying showed the rebuild to be effective, as Francis took pole position with a time well below the lap record. The Sittingbourne-based Queenslander then proceeded to win the race in the same fashion that he has taken the UK series, by dominating with blinding pace and remarkable consistency.
As the lights went green, Francis leapt into the lead and quickly established a gap to put him well in front of the field. He set the new lap record on his first flying lap, and by half distance had a gap of over three seconds. The race driving instructor then cruised to the flag to score his sixth consecutive victory at the Kentish circuit.
Brett was elated after his latest achievement:
"This result demonstrates just how good Peter and the team are at preparing and setting up the cars. Two weeks ago I was climbing from a wreck in a tyre barrier at Lydden, and now we've just won the championship with a car going quicker than I've ever had it. Straight out of the truck it was extremely good, as shown by the qualifying pace. Hopefully we can be just as fast at the Festival."
"I've been very fortunate to drive this car during the season. The car has been unwavering at every round, and Peter always knows how to set it up to suit the conditions. The whole crew have been so efficient that problems haven't had a chance to arise. I'm really looking forward to the Formula Ford Festival now, and I just hope the 1600's have a good field."
Reigning Kent Champion and Team Owner, Peter Alexander, was justifiably proud following the race:
"Brett deserved the title this year. He has driven with fantastic consistency and is the only competitor to win on every circuit that the series went to. The number of pole positions that he has scored must be some sort of record. He has shown tremendous pace, thrilling race craft and steely determination. What more could a team owner ask from a driver?"
"The performance of the whole team has made for a very satisfying season to date, but we all know that it's not over yet. With the Festival approaching we can't afford to look back on what has already been a very successful year. A fat lady is yet to sing!"
The sixteenth and final round of the championship is on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on the 17th of October.
Kent Formula Ford Championship positions after 15 rounds
1. Brett Francis (1600) 163 2. Neale Blunden (Zetec) 139 3. Matt Wood (1600) 122 4. Mark Langfield (Zetec) 111 5. Nick Padmore (Zetec) 104