BRANDS HATCH, England, Sept. 16 - Californian Patrick Long finished third at Brands Hatch last weekend, one place behind his championship rival Robert Dahlgren of Sweden. Dahlgren now leads Long by two points in the Slick 50 British Formula Ford...
BRANDS HATCH, England, Sept. 16 - Californian Patrick Long finished third at Brands Hatch last weekend, one place behind his championship rival Robert Dahlgren of Sweden. Dahlgren now leads Long by two points in the Slick 50 British Formula Ford Championship, with the deciding round set for Silverstone in two weeks. Dahlgren leads Long 256 to 254.
But there's more to the story than finishing positions and points. In post-race scrutineering, Dahlgren's Van Diemen was disqualified for an illegal gearbox -- meaning Long had secured the championship. The race stewards, however, reversed the ruling and reinstated Dahlgren.
Long started his works Van Diemen third on the grid. He was second quick in Qualifying Group A, with a lap of 47.664 sesconds around the tight Brands Hatch Indy configuration. Long's teammate, Richard Goransson clocked a 47.227, while Dahlgren had fast time in Group B, 47.749
At the green, Long slotted behind Goransson and Dahlgren; the trio quickly broke away from the field. Long's strategy was to help the leading group pull away then move past Dahlgren towards the end of the race. Unfortunately, a red-flag incident on Lap 8 brought out the safety car for two laps; yet another problem summoned the safety car on Lap 15, thereby halting the race eight laps early. Results were based on Lap 14: Goransson, Dahlgren, Long.
"In the beginning I was just biding my time," Long explained, "I was confident I could have moved past Dahlgren. The post-race scene was an emotional roller coaster. First, they told me I had won the championship (after they Dahlgren's DQ), then they changed their mind. Not sure really what happened, but I have to let it go and focus on Silverstone. I was quick there in the season opener, so I'm looking forward to winning the championship on the track."
Patrick Long's historic quest to become the first American to win the British Formula Ford title continues September 28-29 at Silverstone. For more information on Patrick Long, visit his website at: www.patricklong.com. And to follow the Slick 50 British Formula Ford Championship, log on to www.powertour.co.uk. ###
Brands Hatch - Round 12
1 Richard Goransson 2 Robert Dahlgren 3 Patrick Long 4 Robin Rudholm 5 Adam Carroll
Championship Standings (Points are awarded to the top- 15 finishers at each round as follows: 30-27-25-22-20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2-1. Pole position = 1 point. Fastest lap = 1 point.)
1 Robert Dahlgren, SWE 256 2 Patrick Long, USA 2543 Richard Goransson, SWE 223 4 Alan Van der Merwe, RSA 200 5 Robert Bell, ENG 173