Former champion Ian Schofield (Investchem Mygale) and current champion Andrew Horne (Xena Chemicals / Budd Power Royale RP31) shared the race wins at the opening round of the 2016 Investchem Formula Ford Kent championship held at Red Star Raceway on Saturday, 12 March.
While most of the drivers raced at Red Star at the final event of the 2015 season that event took place in the second half of the year when Red Star runs in a clockwise direction. This time the circuit ran in an anti-clockwise direction, meaning the drivers had to learn what was basically a new track.
The change in direction didn’t seem to worry Schofield and Horne who recorded qualifying times well over a second quicker than they did going round the other way last year. Schofield was the quicker of the two by 0.177 seconds. The ever improving Dean Venter (Turnfab Engineering / Manitou Group Mygale) headed the second row of the 15-car grid with Dalan Holton (Debella Finance van Diemen) alongside him. Paul Schultz (Knottsbury Foods van Diemen) and Jeff Gable (Taylon Motorsport van Diemen) rounded out the top six.
In the first heat the battle was between Schofield and Horne at the head of the field with Venter keeping a watching brief just a little way back waiting to pick up the pieces should the leading duo tangle. They didn’t and that is how they finished, Schofield almost 0.4 seconds ahead of Horne with Venter about a second further back in third. David Jeremy (Matt Nash Motorsport van Diemen) came home in fourth with Gable and Holton, separated by just 0.019 seconds, in fifth and sixth respectively.
In the second race it was again Schofield and Horne in front until Horne tagged Schofield and spun him round after being caught out when Schofield was slightly slower out of one of the circuit’s 13 corners than he had been the previous couple of laps.
Horne was then joined at the head of the field by Jermy and the pair crossed the line with Horne just 0.33 second ahead. Venter came home in a somewhat lonely third place with Holton, Schultz and a recovering Schofield completing the top six.
Once the times of the two heats had been tallied, Horne emerged as the overall winner for the day ahead of Venter and Jermy.