Tom McArthur, who had been sidelined from Formula Ford 1600 action since last year’s Walter Hayes Trophy, made a triumphant return in the BRSCC Avon Tyres Northern Championship round at Anglesey.
The B-M Racing driver won both races a the Welsh circuit in a Medina JL18, and launched himself straight into eighth place in the Post-’89 standings.
McArthur’s last FF1600 appearance ended in a crash with brother David, and the cost of repairs ruled him out of racing for the first half of this year.
“It was good fun to be back racing, I love driving at Anglesey so it was really enjoyable,” McArthur told FF1600website.
Work commitments have also delayed McArthur’s return, making Anglesey his first available opportunity to race. Although he now has the budget to race for the rest of the year, work will continue to be his priority, meaning his next appearance will likely be the FFord Festival.
McArthur was beaten to pole by 2015 Northern Irish FFord champion Jake Byrne, who was driving a Ray GR13.
“In the first race I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep pace with Jake after the time he found between testing and qualifying, so I knew I had to be at the front before Rocket on lap 1, otherwise he’d have driven away.
“He had a bit of slide at Church, which gave me the run on him and from then on it was just a case of driving within myself, no mistakes and just keeping calm.
“Luckily I pulled a bit of gap with a few laps to go. Jake normally has a very annoying habit of driving better and better as the weekend goes on so again I knew I couldn’t let him get ahead of me because he was blatantly quicker then me in race two.
“He got the drop on me a twice but I was able to get back past straight away both times, then unfortunately he ran wide at Rocket which ruined the fun a bit.
“I did have a crack at fastest lap on my first lap without him behind but made a mistake at Corksrew and thought I better wind it down for the last few laps.”
In the end Byrne beat McArthur to fastest lap, although McArthur did get it in the first race.
The absence of B-M Racing’s usual line-up of Rory Smith and David McArthur means Smith’s Post-’89 championship lead is down to just one point over Alaric Gordon, who was off the pace in both races but still got two fourths in class.
Jack Wolfenden was their closest competitor throughout the weekend in his Pre-’90 class B-M Racing-prepared Reynard 88FF. He was less than a second off pole in qualifying, then started and finished the first race in third.
He was bettered by Reynard 84FF driver Jamie Jardine in the second race, but two overall podiums and a first and second in class means he is up to second in the standings, albeit 55 points behinds Mario Sarchet’s championship leading Reynard 86FF.
Sarchet finished the races fifth and fourth in class, tangling with fellow Pre90 runner Scott Rawlinson late in the first race and losing an overall position to Post89 competitor Paul Walsh.
|1||Post89||Tom McArthur||Medina||17 laps|
|Pole: Byrne, 1:12:552 Fastest lap: McArthur, 1:12.879|
|FL: Byrne, 1:13.380|
|1 Rory Smith 166 2 Gordon 165 3 Nigel Dolan 133 4 David McArthur 101 5 Andrew Thomas 96 6 Matthew Chisholm 82 7 Michael Eastwell 72 8 T McArthur 66 9 Fergus Paton 57 10 Byrne 55|
|1 Sarchet 256 2 Wolfenden 201 3 Bruceie 185 4 Rawlinson 164 5 Young 140 6 Jaap Blijleven 126 7 Wayne Poole 91 8 Hannah 90 9 Ian Ellis 72 10 Steve Nixon 63|