Festival News Walter Hayes Trophy

Festival winner Josh Smith moving on from FF1600 for 2019

Formula Ford Festival winner Josh Smith will not return to FF1600 racing next season, intending instead to race in another series.

The 18-year-old won this year’s Festival with Oldfield Motorsport after a dramatic last-lap battle with Niall Murray and Ollie White, and was also a winner in the BRSCC Avon Tyres National FF1600 Championship. In the Walter Hayes Trophy he made it to the final, and revealed to FF1600website that it may be his last FF1600 appearance for a while.

“[I’ll] be moving on into another series,” he said. “Nothing’s confirmed yet, but we’ll see.”

Having started his car racing career in British Formula 4 in 2016, Smith has spent the last two years in FF1600, and won the BRSCC Northern title last year.

Smith topped qualifying for his heat in the WHT, but started third due to track limits abuse penalty. An error while changing gear in the race then restricted him to fourth, and he started 11th for the second semi-final. He started the final in ninth, and he had climbed to second place before a mistake at Brooklands and then a race-ending spin at Copse after struggling to find a brake bias compromise and locking his rear wheels.

“Obviously not the result I came here for but I gave it my everything,” Smith said.

“We were a bit down on engine power, I think the engine just got a bit tired and lost its edge, so I was losing down the straights.

“While I was out there [in the final] I was struggling with my brake bias. It was either locking the fronts or it was locking the rears, I couldn’t find a happy medium.”

Smith added that in the WHT final he sought to repeat his ‘win or bust’ approach that brought him Festival victory, but it didn’t work out at Silverstone.

“At the end of the day I started 11th, got to second, gave it my everything, it just didn’t quite happen. In my view at events like this if you’re second place you’re first loser aren’t you? Nobody remembers second place, your name doesn’t go on any trophy or in any record books, so water under the bridge.

“But at the end of the day I still won the Festival didn’t I? So [I’m] still happy.”

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