John Svensson turned up at Kirkstown for the most recent BRSCC Avon Tyres National FF1600 round in a new set of colours – a red-and-white Ray from Cliff Dempsey Racing’s fleet.
Now championship leader in the National Clubman class, Svensson arrived in Northern Ireland with an aim to surpass Team Dolan’s absent title contender Adam Quartermaine for the points lead.
But facing a long trek to Northern Ireland from Belgium with his Van Diemen RF99, Svensson instead called on front-running National FF1600 teams to make his Kirkistown debut.
“The distance from my workshop to here is so big and with the two ferries, it would take me too long [to get here],” explained Svensson.
“I sent a message to a few teams, and Cliff sent me a good proposal. So now I’m in a Ray for the weekend.
“I only saw the car [for the first time] on Thursday evening, did some testing and that’s it. Just enjoy racing!”
Two-time Belgian Formula Ford champion Svensson’s decision to come to Anglesey was aimed squarely at a bid to win the National Clubman title.
With the rest of the Clubman field at Kirkistown made up of non-points-scoring Dawson WAM Northern Irish FF1600 drivers, Svensson picked up a maximum score of 104 points, putting him in prime position for a first FF1600 title in the United Kingdom.
“After Croft, I could see I could make something [in the championship],” said Svensson.
“I did not go to Brands [in July] because I had other work to do and then after that, I saw I am only 11 points behind Adam, so I am trying to have a go.
“When I started racing back in 1994 in Formula Ford, if I could have won a British title, it’s so important when you’re young. So I say now, ‘OK, I’m old, but I will try to have one!’”
Svensson will be back in his regular Van Diemen for the final two meetings of the season at Silverstone and Brands Hatch, though he was complimentary of the Ray chassis fielded by CDR.
“It’s a little bit easier on the kerbs. The car allows you to make a little bit more mistakes than the Van Diemen, so it’s easier to drive and it’s really fun to drive.”