Joey Foster will return to BRSCC Avon Tyres National FF1600 at Silverstone this weekend with Don Hardman Racing, a warm-up for an attempt on his fourth Walter Hayes Trophy win.
Foster, also a three-time Formula Ford Festival winner, raced in National FF1600 last year using a Hardman-run Ray GR08 before switching to Luke Williams’ 2017 title-winning Firman RFR16 for the Festival and WHT.
A plan to test the Firman throughout 2019 failed to materialise, meaning Foster will be relying on all of his FF1600 experience this weekend, where he’ll again be racing the RFR16.
“We did one test at Silverstone, which was not really the plan,” Foster told FF1600website.
“We planned to be out a lot more this year, but obviously real life has taken over and I’ve had to knuckle down and try to get some funding together for the few rounds coming up. Not an ideal run of things, but hopefully we can get on the pace pretty quick.
“Despite not being out testing, we’ve been coming up with ideas on how we can make improvements to the car and better our performances from last year – just based on what we learned in those few races.
“I’d like to think we can get out there and be on the pace pretty quick, but once again the FFord field looks a pretty quality grid.”
Additionally, Foster’s many years spent campaigning Ray chassis don’t necessarily translate into an advantage in the Firman.
“Because I’ve been used to the Ray, and over the years my driving style has just become so tuned in to how the Ray operates, that when switching chassis it requires me to get out of that sort of zone and come up with a couple of different ways to drive the car.
“It’s me just getting out of that Ray comfort zone and driving in a slightly different way.
“We proved last year that we can make it work in different conditions, it’s just becoming a bit more familiar with it and really tuning it in to get the optimum performance out of it.”
Foster will take part in Friday’s test day, which he expects to be frantic.
“It’s probably all going to be a bit rushed. I think we’ve got to make a new seat, once again. The first test is at 10am, so we have a busy morning getting everything together.
“[Silverstone’s new surface] will be interesting. Another thing to throw in the mix. I’ll leave the office on Thursday morning with my race head on and try to work it all out.”
Budget depending, Foster may also contest the season-ending National FF1600 round at Brands Hatch to prepare for the Festival, and would love to see some of the drivers he coaches join him for the WHT.