The start to the 2013 racing season provided us with a couple of intense battles between Rick Payne and Alan McColl. It was a very entertaining beginning to what will hopefully be a great season long battle for the CACC Formula Ford Championship.
In Saturday morning’s qualifying session for Race #1 Rick Payne , driving a Crossle 45F belonging to Alan Long, grabbed the pole position for the Formula Ford group with a lap time of 1:25.733 on a very wet track. This was a pretty impressive time considering the next quickest driver was Alan McColl, in his Tiga FF77, with a time of 1:29.603. Following these 2 drivers came Brad Miller in his Crossle 35F at 1:37.538 and Keith Robinson in his Van Diemen RF79 at 1:39.027. These 4 were followed by newcomer Fed Wong in his Crossle 45F at 1:57.690.
The Saturday afternoon race started on a wet track with all the cars on rain tires. Unfortunately weather conditions being what they were the race track never did dry out and the on again off again rain showers made sure no dry line developed during race. At the drop of the green flag Rick Payne made a demon start to lead the field in Turn #1 but by the time they came around to complete the 1st lap it was Alan McColl who crossed the timing strip in the lead of the race. It didn’t take Rick long to return to the lead as he drafted past Alan going down the front straight away and passed him under braking for Turn #1. The very next lap around a pace car was sent out to bring the field under control to allow the corner marshals to clear an accident that left a car stopped in a precarious position close to the track. After several laps behind the pace car the race was restarted on Lap #6 with Alan McColl again passing Rick Payne for the lead. Then on Lap #7 Rick suffered a partial spin in Turn #9 as he tried to close the gap to Alan’s Tiga. This provided the break Alan needed to extend his lead and ruin any chance that Rick had of using the draft to close up on Alan’s car. With time now his enemy, Rick simply ran out of laps and was unable to close the gap to Alan before the chequered flag came out and he had to settle for 2nd place. The fastest lap times for both drivers were very close with Alan turning a slightly quicker time at 1:20.574 and Rick turning a lap of 1:20.705.
Further back in the field Brad Miller and Keith Robinson had their own battle for the 3rd and 4th places. Brad had held 3rd place for much of the race but with 4 laps to go a hard charging Keith Robinson finally caught and passed Brad to take over the 3rd position. With that move the finishing order of the race was set, in 1st was Alan McColl, 2nd was Rick Payne, 3rd was Keith Robinson, 4th was Brad Miller. Following Brad home was Fed Wong in his 1st race in a Formula Ford. He did a good job just to keep his car on the track and finish the race in rather trying conditions.
For Sunday the skies cleared , the sun came out and the lap times tumbled in both the morning practice and mid-morning qualifying sessions. The grid for the afternoon race saw Rick Payne, in a Crossle 45F, back on the pole position for the Formula Ford group with a fastest lap of 1:12.366. Next to him was Alan McColl, in his Tiga 77F, at 1:12.624 followed by Keith Robinson, in his Van Diemen RF79, at 1:15.987. Then came Craig Archer in a Swift DB-1 at 1:16.534, then Brad Miller in his Crossle 35F at 1:18.962 and Fed Wong in his Crossle 45F at 1:25.436.
Once again at the start of the race Rick Payne got the jump on the field and lead them into Turn #1. The surprise move of the race was Keith Robinson getting past Alan McColl on that first lap, but it was not to last as Alan past both Keith and Rick the next lap round. For the next 12 laps there ensued a classic Formula Ford battle as both Alan and Rick ran nose to tail, at times with only inches separating their cars. Rick kept the pressure up as he looked for a way past Alan, just needing the smallest of driving errors to find his way around the green Tiga. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as Rick’s race came to a premature end with only 2 laps remaining when an oil line fitting on the oil pump came loose and sprayed oil all over the back of the car and the race track. It was a disappointing way to end the race for both him and the spectators who no doubt were looking forward to a thrilling last couple of laps. Rick was able to take some consolation in that he turned the fastest lap of the race at 1:11.885 just .005th of a second off of the Formula Ford lap record at Mission Raceway.
Following his stellar start to the race Keith Robinson was able to hold onto to his 3rd place qualifying position but he was coming under increasing pressure from Craig Archer. Then on Lap #5 Craig made his pass and took over 3rd place. As fortune would have it his 3rd place turned into a 2nd place finish when Rick Payne was forced to retire from the race. This also promoted Keith back into 3rd place and he was followed my Brad Miller and Fed Wong in 5th and 6th places respectively.
With the first 2 races of the new season now in the books Alan McColl leads the CACC Formula Ford Championship with 18 points. He is followed by Rick Payne and Keith Robinson both tied with 9 points each. Next is another tie with Brad Miller and Craig Archer both having 6 points followed by Fed Wong with 3 points.
Our next CACC Championship race will be on the June 8/9/2013 weekend but in between there will the B.C. Historic Motor Races with a Formula Ford Invitational Race to celebrate 45 years of Formula Ford racing in B.C. This will take place on the May 25/26/2012 weekend and we hope to see you there.