Young Americans shine in Formula Ford Festival
Team USA Scholarship drivers Oliver Askew and Kyle Kirkwood impressed during a thrilling Formula Ford Festival Final this afternoon, while fellow American Chase Owen finished sixth in another Cliff Dempsey Racing Ray.
Askew and Kirkwood lined up fourth and 16th for the Final after finishing second and eighth respectively in the Semi Final race. Askew made a good start to move into third place at the first corner, only to fall to fourth when race leader Scott Malvern bottled up the pack and Luke Williams passed Askew. In trying to regain third, Askew dropped another position when he lost momentum on the exit and was promptly passed by two cars on the Cooper Straight, including Malvern’s teammate Chris Middlehurst.
However, Askew charged back into third until picking up a puncture when forced over a curb while fighting for second place.
“Fantastic weekend up until about halfway through the Final,” said Askew. “I had a puncture and had to pull off the track unfortunately, but the car was unbelievable.
“Cliff Dempsey nailed the tire pressures and the setup. It was unreal. I had more grip than anyone around me. I was super-fast and had speed for at least second.”
Kirkwood, meanwhile, was embroiled in a fraught battle in the midst of the 30-car field. He lost a place in the early stages before finding his feet and making a series of strong passes, especially under braking for Clearways, before finally crossing the finish line in seventh.
“Overall the race was good,” said Kirkwood. “I just had to pick people off left and right. After a couple of laps it almost seemed like you had to get the car in front of you comfortable with you in their mirrors and then make a move on them when they left the door open.”
The pair will return to action for the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone on November 5/6.
2016 BRSCC Avon Tires British FF1600 champion Niall Murray won the Festival.
Askew, Kirkwood win Team USA Scholarships
Team USA drivers Askew, Kirkwood excel at Silverstone