This event was organized by the Vintage Racing Club of B.C. (VRCBC) to celebrate 45 years of Formula Ford racing in B.C. It was open to all Formula Fords from vintage to the modern day cars. While not a round in the CACC Championship, it is a stand alone event that is billed as a weekend to enjoy all the exotic vintage cars that show up and have some low-key fun racing.
Following a dry morning practice/warm up session the overcast skies darkened and the clouds became more threatening. Sure enough by the time qualifying rolled around, in the early afternoon, the rain was falling and the race track was thoroughly soaked. Craig Archer in his Swift DB-1 set the fastest time during the session slipping and sliding his way to a lap of 1:23.784. Next fastest was Alan McColl in his Tiga FF77 at 1:23.924 followed by Keith Robinson in his Van Diemen RF79 at 1:28.370, 4th quickest was Doug Floer in his Van Diemen RF81 at 1:29.378, 5th was Bradley Miller in his Crossle 35F at 1:30.851. He was followed by: new comer Alan Baker in his Van Diemen RF89 at 1:32.116. James Crittenden, from Calgary Alberta, in a Lotus 51B at 1:37.390, Alan Cruickshank in a Legrand MK 21 at 1:38.738. Doug Lorraine from Three Hills, Alberta was next in his Lola 540 at 1:53.734. Two drivers did not qualify, Frank Winterlik from Kelowna in his Van Diemen RF82 and Felim Power in his Van Diemen RF81. Unfortunately for Frank he had a major engine issue and he was forced to withdraw from the event. We hope to see him again later in the season.
Come race time the rain had stopped and the track had dried out with the exception of a few puddles around the course. At the drop of the green flag Alan McColl got the jump on pole sitter Craig Archer and lead the field into Turn #1. It was a lead he wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the race. In the early part of the race Craig pushed Alan hard for the lead hoping he would make a driving error, but that never occurred and he was never able to get by Alan. As the race wore on, Alan was able to gradually pull away from Craig and he managed to create a gap between himself and Craig’s car. With the draft between the cars broken Craig was no longer able to close on Alan and had to settle for 2nd place at the checkered flag.Further back in the field Doug Floer and Keith Robinson were set to have a nice long battle for 3rd place but on lap #4 Doug’s car rolled to a stop with a broken gear in the transmission. With Doug out of the race Keith had a comfortable lead over the new 4th place driver Jim Crittenden and he was able to maintain his lead over Jim to the checkered flag. Having started at the back of the Formula Ford grid Felim Power had worked his way up to 5th place by the end of the race. He was followed by Doug Lorraine, Brad Miller, Alan Cruickshank and Alan Baker.
For Sunday’s race there was no qualifying session as the grid positions were taken from the finishing order in Saturday’s race. That placed Alan McColl on the pole followed by Craig Archer, Keith Robinson, Jim Crittenden, Felim Power, Doug Lorraine, Brad Miller, Alan Cruickshank, Alan Baker and Doug Floer.
Unfortunately the weather on Sunday refused to cooperate and the day turned out to be the wettest of the weekend. The field set off in very rainy conditions, at the drop of the green flag it was Alan McColl leading Craig Archer and the rest of the group into Turn #1. Unfortunately both Brad Miller and Keith Robinson were not able to start the race. Doug Floer on the other hand had repaired his gearbox overnight and once the race started he made a demon start from the back of the grid to move up the order. He had a strong run finishing in 3rd place. Alan Cruickshank also was making a determined move towards the front half of the field as his car was working well the in the very wet conditions. He passed Doug Lorraine, Jim Crittenden and Felim Power in quick succession to work his way into 4th place. Another driver on the move was Alan Baker as he climbed his way up the field to finish in 5th place. Despite the less than ideal driving conditions everyone kept their cars on the track and finished the race in one piece.
At the checkered flag the finishing order was Alan McColl in 1st place, Craig Archer in 2nd, in 3rd was Doug Floer. They were followed by Alan Cruickshank in 4th place, Alan Baker in 5th, Felim Power in 6th, Doug Lorraine in 7th and Jim Crittenden in 8th place. Unfortunately for Jim he found his vintage spec Dunlop tires just did not work very well with amount of rain we had and according to him his car lacked grip in every corner and it was a handful to drive in the race.
After the race the Vintage Racing Club of B.C. awarded the “Westwood Trophy” to Alan McColl as the winner of the their 2013 Invitational Formula Ford Race. He was also awarded the Jager Safety Equipment Award for his winning efforts. The top finishing modern Formula Ford was Craig Archer in his Swift DB-1. The top Club Formula Ford was Alan McColl in this Tiga FF77. The top Vintage Formula Ford was Calgary’s Jim Crittenden in his Lotus 51B. In a separate vintage exhibition race Keith Robinson in his Van Diemen RF79 was awarded the Pete Lovely Memorial Award as the driver judged to have turned in the most commendable performance in that particular race.
Formula Ford B.C would like to thank the Vintage Racing Club of B.C. and the BCHMR organizing committee for inviting us to come and be part of their race weekend. We would also like thank all the corner marshals, race officials and volunteers who make an event like possible.