Round eight of the Kent Formula Ford Championship saw PA Motorsport driver Brett Francis take his sixth win of the year in as many races. The Nigel Mansell Race School instructor was never headed in his class around the challenging Brands...
Round eight of the Kent Formula Ford Championship saw PA Motorsport driver Brett Francis take his sixth win of the year in as many races. The Nigel Mansell Race School instructor was never headed in his class around the challenging Brands Hatch Indy circuit, establishing a new lap record despite the hot conditions. Even his more powerful Zetec-engined rivals weren't safe, as he took the challenge to them in qualifying and out-gunned them during the race.
Francis once again put his Kent class rivals in the shade, as he took the class pole position by a half second. When the lights turned green he immediately converted this into lead that would stretch to a dozen seconds over fellow 1600 racer, Christian Akerstrom, before the full course caution flags appeared. This would diminish the gap he had built over Zetec runners Chris Rankin and Matt Hayes, and draw the crowds attention over the final two lap sprint.
The last lap would be a breath-taking affair as Francis and Rankin raced side-by-side through Paddock Hill Bend and Druids, where the Antipodean pulled a brave move under braking to take the advantage into Graham Hill Bend. He held off the two Zetecs right until the line, when both Rankin and Hayes used their power advantage to swamp Francis at the flag. It was close, but Rankin had put his nose in front to be classified 2/100ths of a second in front of Francis, who beat Hayes by a similar margin.
The PA Motorsport driver was frustrated yet pleased after yet another stunning performance: "Although it's not expected for a 1600cc class car to compete against and beat drivers in the 1800cc Zetec category, it's definitely my aim to have as many of them behind me as I can! We've got the balance in the PA Motorsport Swift spot on which gives me the confidence to try hard enough through the turns, although I can't live with them on the straights." Francis went on to praise the efforts of his sponsor, Oasis Environmental Services: "Today was extra special because of the support given by all the Oasis guests cheering for the team - it made me determined to stay in front of the Zetecs for the last few laps. Unfortunately the Caution Flags ruined my chances of beating both of them and Rankin's power advantage just put his nose in front at the line - but it was a good tussle nonetheless." The next round of the Kent Formula Ford Championship is at Lydden Hill on 2nd July.