UCLan Racing’s Tom Brown has said he would like to complete a full Heritage Formula Ford 1600 championship season in 2020 after his successful part-time campaign this year.
Brown last weekend in the Donington Park season-closer competed in his third Zig Zag Lighting Heritage Formula Ford championship round of the six this year. This followed his appearance at Oulton Park in June as well as in the second of the season’s three visits to Donington just over a week ago.
He topped the qualifying times in all three of his Heritage appearances this season as well as claimed two race victories. His results were enough to take third place in the final drivers’ standings, despite only completing half the season.
“I’d be up for trying a full season; I’ve only done Oulton and the two last rounds at Donington this year,” Brown told FF1600website.
“We’re still third in the championship, so obviously that’s a good achievement but to do a full year would be good.”
Brown took a win and a close second place in his first Heritage appearance of the year at Oulton, having two fine contests with Ollie White who went on to win the inaugural 2019 Heritage championship.
Brown then beat White to pole in Donington’s penultimate round on the Grand Prix layout, but – having finished second to White in race one – struggled with electronic problems with his Van Diemen RF91 and was forced to miss the second encounter as a result, putting a question mark over his entry in the season finale.
Things went south in a sodden final race of the season however, Brown aquaplaning at Old Hairpin on the opening lap and taking a short trip to the gravel trap – dropping to eighth as a result.
He managed to fight back to third by the chequered flag – 20 seconds behind victor Porter – with what he described as an “aggressive” drive, despite battling to see through significant spray.
He was hopeful of achieving the race-win double from the meeting after making a great start to race two after the safety car pulled in after just one of its scheduled two pace laps to begin the race in the wet conditions, allowing Brown to get a significant jump on the chasing pack.
“In the assembly area we were told we would have two green flag laps and then a safety car start, so it was down to me to control the race start once we got underway,” Brown explained to FF1600website following the race.
“However the safety car turned his lights off after only one lap so this caught everyone out, I looked in my mirror and people were still weaving around. I noticed they’d gone out, so I dropped back a little bit and got a great start.
“I had one or two seconds on everyone crossing the line and because it was wet I was doing the normal wet lines and had a full wet set-up, so there was loads of grip through Redgate and Craner Curves.
“I got down to Old Hairpin and was expecting the same, I could see a bit of standing water but didn’t know just how bad it was and as soon as I hit the brakes the front of the car just lifted and aquaplaned.
“I didn’t stop or turn at all so I went straight on into the gravel. I got it into second gear and managed to get out, but I dropped to eighth as a result and focussed on making my way back up.
“I knew I had to get quite aggressive with my overtakes and make up ground quickly as the leaders would pull away because they didn’t have spray and could see much further ahead than I could.
“I’m happy to finish third, it was a good recovery drive but obviously I’d have preferred to run away with the win.”
Brown added that he is also looking to potentially bolster his programme next year with appearances in Classic Formula Ford including in mainland Europe.
“I’m also doing Classic Formula Ford in my RF79 Van Diemen, and then maybe a few abroad as I did Zandvoort this year, so it’d be good to head back there, and maybe Spa I’d love to give that a go.”