FFord Festival: Heylen triumphs

Works Van Diemen driver Jan Heylen became the latest addition to the prestigious Formula Ford Festival roll of honour with victory at Brands Hatch. The decisive moment came after five laps of the final as leader and pre-race favourite Westley Barber, one of Heylen's Van Diemen team-mates, went off at Clearways

FFord Festival: Heylen triumphs

Heylen's weekend got off to a flying start as he took victory in his heat ahead of Team JLR star Christian England. He then lost out to Barber in the semi-final, earning a second-row starting position behind pole man Barber and second-placed Ben Clucas. Clucas, the reigning Junior Formula Ford champion, had won the other semi-final after an audacious pass on Richard Goransson at Paddock Hill Bend.

Barber led away in the final, with Clucas and Heylen in hot pursuit, and looked set to dominate the final as he pulled away from his battling pursuers in the first few laps.

However, Clucas, in a year old car, and Heylen were soon back on his tail, and when Barber dropped a wheel on the grass and crashed heavily at Clearways the Belgian seized upon the resulting confusion to leap past Clucas to take the lead.

The red flag was brought out to allow the wreckage from Barber's car to be cleared, as well as the beached car of Tom Kimber-Smith, meaning that the race would be restarted with the grid based on race positions on the lap before the incident.

At the restart, Heylen held on to the lead with England in hot pursuit, and although the Briton harried him for what remained on the race, he was unable to make a move for the lead despite briefly making contact with the leader on the run to Paddock on the final lap.

England finished only one tenth in arrears, but was later relegated to seventh place as a penalty for a jump start. This promoted Formula Ford returnee Goransson to second place, despite having dropped to the lower reaches of the top ten during the first part of the race.

Benelux Formula Ford champion Jaap van Lagen finished third after a solid run through the heats and the semi-finals, taking the flag ahead of Alx Danielsson in the Ray. Clucas faded to finish fifth, ahead of Yuya Sakamoto who staged an impressive charge from 16th on the grid.




Jan Heylen (Van Diemen RF02)
Richard Goransson (Van Diemen RF01), +2.203s
Jaap van Lagen (Mygale SJ020, +3.210s
Alx Danielsson (Ray GRS01), +9.121s
Ben Clucas (Mygale SJ01), +9.540s
Yuya Sakamoto (Van Diemen RF02), +9.779s
Christian England (Van Diemen RF02), +10.129s
Philip Glew (Van Diemen RF01), +11.283s
Jeremy List (Van Diemen RF01), +11.449s
Stuart Hall (Van Diemen RF02), +11.748s

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