Heritage MSVR News

Mystery problem sidelines Tom Brown in second Donington Heritage race

Tom Brown was “not sure” on the car issues which prevented him from starting the second Zig Zag Lighting Ltd Heritage Formula Ford race at Donington Park last weekend.

Brown was making his first Heritage Formula Ford appearance since a strong outing at Oulton Park in June, where he won the first race from pole position.

He again looked on form at Donington Park – his first time out with the UCLan team in his Van Diemen – qualifying on pole position half a second clear of championship leader Oliver White in a wet session.

White hit back in race one, taking the lead on the second lap before securing a relatively comfortable win despite worsening weather conditions, with Brown finishing second.

“We felt pretty strong,” Brown told FF1600website. “We made some changes to the set-up on the car and thought we had it pretty nailed. We thought we would be able to beat Ollie [White] but obviously not.

Any hopes of Brown taking the fight to White in race two were dashed before the start, as his car cut out on the way to the grid. As White cruised to another race victory and the Heritage title, Brown spent most of the race in the pits, with the team trying to identify the issue.

“Driving to the assembly area the car choked up a bit,” said Brown afterwards.

“I revved it, it cleared, it seemed fine. And then we were coming round onto the grid, as I exited the hairpin it cut out again. I came into the pitlane but I only just managed to get in, the car was coughing and spluttering.

“The team had a look at it and thought they’d fixed it. I went down the pitlane just to go out and do a few laps to see if it was sorted for [the Heritage Formula Ford round at Donington] next weekend and it cut out at the pit exit so had to push it back.” 

Brown was unsure of the cause of the problem, but was hopeful that changing the electrics would to enable him to run the car at Donington Park this weekend in the Heritage Formula Ford season finale.

“We started it up in the paddock in parc fermé and drove it back and it was fine so, not sure what the problem is. I think we will just change all the electrics on the car for next weekend and hopefully that cures it.”

Despite the issue, Brown was happy with his first weekend with UCLan, and is planning further outings with the team this year, including at the Walter Hayes Trophy in November.

“It’s the first weekend with UCLan team, it seemed to work well,” Brown continued. “I get on with the guys well so, we’ll hopefully carry the momentum from today forwards into next weekend and then into the Walter Hayes Trophy and hopefully have a strong event there.”

At the time of writing, Brown is not on the published entry list for Donington Park this weekend. If he does appear as a late entrant Brown will start as one of the favourites for victory, with newly-crowned Heritage champion Oliver White a likely absentee.

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