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Ex-F1 driver Moreno to return to Formula Ford Festival in modern car

Ex-Formula 1 driver Roberto Moreno will once again return to the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch this weekend, but at the wheel of modern machinery.

Roberto Moreno 007

The 63-year-old Brazilian, who competed at 75 grand prix weekends and scored one podium, raced at the end-of-season FF1600 event in 2021 for its 50th edition.

He drove a Van Diemen RF80 – a similar model of car to the one he used to win the blue-riband event in 1980 – at last year’s meeting, but was knocked out in his heat and the last progression race. This time, he will drive a 2016 Ray run by Graham Brunton Racing.

“Obviously running the Canadian Scholarship cars this year, we’re quite honoured to be doing that – I wouldn’t say he [Moreno] is the icing on the cake but it’s just a really exciting thing,” said team boss Graham Brunton, who will also run Canadians Kevin Foster and Jake Cowden.

“I remember when he spoke at the annual dinner last year, and to hear his struggles first-hand and all these years later hear the passion that he has… Our aim is that he will be in the final.”

Moreno, who will test the car for the first time on Friday, is not the only former winner making a comeback.

Belgian Marc Goossens will also be competing, the 1991 Festival victor at the wheel of an RF80 run by Kejan Engineering.

B-M Racing will field 2021 victor Jamie Sharp and 2020 top dog Rory Smith in Medina Sport JL17 and JL18 respectively, while multiple victors Niall Murray (Van Diemen BD22) and Joey Foster (Firman RFR20) are entered too.

Max Esterson, runner-up in 2021, will also return to FF1600 this weekend

Max Esterson, runner-up in 2021, will also return to FF1600 this weekend

Photo by: Gary Hawkins

Max Esterson, runner-up in 2021, will also return to FF1600 after spending this season in GB3, where he scored one win and finished seventh in the standings.

The American will drive a Ray GR18 with Ammonite Motorsport, the team with which he won last year’s Walter Hayes Trophy.

“I wanted to do it, especially after finishing second last year,” said Esterson, who will also race at the Hayes next month at Silverstone.

“It was pretty weird [going back to FF1600 for a test at Snetterton]. There was just no load on the steering and I’m glad I did the test. It would have been a bit much just to go into the event.”

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