Joey Foster would like to race the 2017 BRSCC Avon Tyres National FF1600 championship-winning Firman again after switching to the car for the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy.
The machine is owned by ’17 National champion Luke Williams and it was given to Don Hardman Racing’s Foster to compete in at the two end-of-season classic events. Foster drove a Ray GR08 in the National championship this year, finishing fourth in the standings with two wins.
At Brands Hatch’s Festival he failed to finish the final after contact with Team USA scholar Jake Craig, and his best result stood as third in his heat. He matched that at the WHT, and briefly led the final before slipping down to fourth.
Foster’s inexperience of the Firman was a drawback as he struggled to find an ideal set-up at Silverstone, particularly in the final day’s changeable weather conditions.
“[The result] showed that the car’s got pace. That’s the most frustrating thing,” Foster admitted. “It would be great to drive it again.
“It’s all to be negotiated and we’ll see what happens. But I’d love to have some more running in it. It will all be worked out over the next couple of months.”
An adjustment between qualifying and the heat made the car worse, and for the damp semi-final Foster chose a set-up with high tyre pressures that was stronger at the beginning of the race as he underestimated the extent that the track would dry.
With more rain before the final the set-up choice became even more difficult, especially with the longer wheelbase car being more responsive to adjustments and more prone to understeer.
Foster’s “educated guess” on set-up helped him take the lead when eventual winner Michael Moyers ran wide early on, but it was short-lived as Moyers re-took the lead a lap later. The Firman’s handling then declined as the race went on.
“It was really good to start with but the balance went a little bit mid-race,” Foster said of his Firman in the final.
With Williams reluctant to make a FF1600 return it is unlikely the Firman will end up back in his hands on track, which may leave the way clear for Foster to compete in the car in the ’19 season