The scene is set for a terrific battle for honours in round five of the South African Formula Ford Championship as the Vodacom Power Tour moves to Zwartkops on the outskirts of Pretoria this weekend (26 June). Englishman Ian Parsons (Nu-Phalt...
The scene is set for a terrific battle for honours in round five of the South African Formula Ford Championship as the Vodacom Power Tour moves to Zwartkops on the outskirts of Pretoria this weekend (26 June).
Englishman Ian Parsons (Nu-Phalt Van Diemen) leads the series by a scant one point from Robert Wolk (AfintaPart Mygale), while David Veringa (Sabat Batteries Mygale) is just ten points behind the leader.
Parsons has only won one race so far this season, but has been at a slight disadvantage at circuits visited for the first time due to his lack of local knowledge. This was highlighted when he returned to Kyalami for the second time earlier this year and was the fastest man on the track.
Although he has not raced at Zwartkops before he has tested at the circuit extensively, which should help him be up to speed from the word go and stand him in good stead to add to his win tally.
Wolk is the man of the moment, having won more races than any other driver. He skipped the opening round of the series at AA Kyalami, but won both races in the next round at Killarney, and then also scored a double in the last round at Port Elizabeth.
He is fast and will without doubt be in the lead battle.
Reigning Formula Vee Champion Veringa has not managed a win yet this season, but has been ultra-consistent, scoring well in each event even when having problems. He drives the oldest car among the leaders and is looking to upgrade to a later specification car in order to close the performance gap and get amongst the winners. For this weekend, however, he will give it a full go in the equipment at his disposal.
Lesley Reynolds (Airnet Travel Mygale) lies fourth in the championship and has also tasted victory this year. The reigning Northern Regions Formula Ford Kent champion is fast but inconsistent due to the over exuberance of youth, which has cost him dearly in the points standings after a few off-circuit excursions. He is worth watching though, as he has the pace to win more races and Zwartkops could provide the platform for such success.
Reigning World Max Karting Champion, Cristiano Morgado (Buondi Caffe' Mygale), is also due a win. He has been on pole position twice this year, but has been denied victory on both occasions. In the first, he failed to make the grid after an engine failure in warm-up, while in Port Elizabeth he made a poor start and was then involved in a first corner incident that dropped him down the field.
He has recently returned from a successful Formula Ford outing in the UK where he took third place in his first event on foreign soil. That performance should give him confidence to take his first win on local soil.
Martin Robinson (HydroMobile Mygale) is also a former race winner in the category and usually goes very well at Zwartkops; therefore he could also be a threat. He lies sixth in the points chase after some consistent finishes, and wants to improve on that record.
Ex-karter Jennifer Murray (Ford Credit/Team Ford Racing Mygale), Ford's Development driver, is set for a good finish too. She has shown all year that she is quick behind the wheel, and will become a threat in races to come. All she needs is a little good fortune and she could be mixing it with the leaders.
Craig Allan (CRT Van Diemen) has had a troublesome debut since joining the series at the second round, but has also shown via some of his lap times that he can possibly threaten the leaders if he finds consistency and reliability.
Paulo da Cunha (DCM Line Boring Van Diemen), Jayde Kruger (FAG Mygale), Allen Meyer (ETL Mygale) and Donovan Howard (Associated Auto Mygale) are also worth watching as they can all produce good performances on their day.
With four winners in the eight races to date, predicting a victor is no easy task. Fans can be assured however, that they are in for a feast of spectacular racing when the Formula Ford brigade takes to the track.