Double Castle Combe Formula Ford 1600 champion Adam Higgins reckons his newly-acquired Firman RFR17 has ‘more potential’ than his old Van Diemen JL12 machine.
Higgins took delivery of his own RFR17, to join the example owned by his father and four-time Castle Combe champion Bob, just three weeks ago and entered last weekend’s round of the single-circuit series late on Friday evening.
Having shaken the Firman down on Thursday, Higgins decided to enter the car alongside his dad in a fact-finding mission.
The weekend started badly as he failed to set a qualifying time due to an oil pump falling off in the early stages of the session, meaning he had to start from the back in both races.
He managed to fight his way up from his 18th to ninth in the first race, before improving to sixth in the second encounter, hitting his target of posting a sub-1m12s lap.
Higgins explained the differences between the Firman and his previous steed, a Van Diemen JL12 that he sold a few years ago.
“It has the potential to be quicker, and is easier to make go quicker than the Van Diemen was, but at the same time it’s easier to overdrive.
“It’s got a lot of traction, so if you go sideways you lose a lot of time. Take Quarry for example, if you get a little oversteer correction on exit you can easily lose around a second, so in one sense its unforgiving but in another it isn’t as you can race it so well, as you can place it so well on the track.
“This is the first time in it for me, I did a couple sessions on Thursday with it just to make sure it was working OK, I haven’t quite been able to get it into the 1m11’s yet so that’s the next goal.
“In the first race I managed a 12-flat on the final lap, I took a whole half-second off my time as I had a word with myself to calm down and drive the car more smoothly, and it worked.
Higgins also revealed that he suffered from a lack of a first gear in race one, which meant he was unable to get a decent start.
“We had the wrong first gear in the race, basically we didn’t have one, and second was like a first so I had to give it 7000 revs at the start and dump the clutch.
“It was like starting in third gear, which meant I lost ground to everyone else off the start.”