Ed Thurston will race for Classic Team Merlyn for the first time at the Walter Hayes Trophy.
The Stamford-based 18-year-old has raced against many Merlyns in his short time in Historic Formula Ford, but has never driven one in competition. His usual car is an Elden Mk8, which he has owned since the age of 13, but this machine suffered catastrophic engine damage at Oulton Park when the crankshaft broke during qualifying.
In addition to his new wheels, he has picked up valuable sponsorship for the event from Good Egg Digital and classic insurance company Footman James.
The Merlyn Mk20, the model that Thurston will race at the weekend, has been the car to beat in the HSCC FF1600 championship for many years and Benn Tilley even won the BARC Luna Logistics Classic FF1600 title driving one this year, against cars 15 years younger.
“This car should give us the best chance of winning the Pre-‘82 final,” said Thurston.
“The boys at Classic Team Merlyn have done a fantastic job of setting the car up perfectly in our limited time testing.”
Entries are still open for the WHT but many of Thurston’s regular HSCC FF1600 rivals will be in newer cars or elsewhere. He will face FF1600 legend Rick Morris in his Royale RP29 and BARC Classic FF1600 frontrunner Mark Armstrong in a Van Diemen. Thurston has never raced against any of the Classic championship drivers before but remains confident.