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Davidson captures Formula Ford title with a round to spare

By Sammy Hamill

Published 29/08/2016

Triumph: Alan Davidson is the new NI Formula Ford champion
Triumph: Alan Davidson is the new NI Formula Ford champion

Alan Davidson is the new Northern Ireland Formula Ford champion after an incident-packed finale at the 500 Club race meeting at Kirkistown.

Winner of the Martin Donnelly Trophy in 2014, Davidson clinched the title in the first of the final two rounds of the series at the Co Down circuit where he scored back-to-back wins in his Mondiale on Saturday.

But the expected shoot-out with Noel Robinson never materialised. Instead the ex-footballer, who had qualified his Van Diemen on pole position, was eliminated after just a couple of laps of race one. Beaten off the line by Davidson, Robinson was duelling over second place with Stephen O'Connor when their two cars collided, sending them both spinning into retirement.

O'Connor was judged the guilty party, incurred six points on his licence and excluded for the remainder of the meeting.

It was of little consolation for Robinson who could only watch as Davidson took the victory which ensured he was champion with a round to spare. They did resume their rivalry in the final race but again Davidson emerged to take the win.

Robinson had better luck in the Boss Ireland rounds, collecting second place points in both races in his Tatuus Renault behind Cain Carey to keep the series alive going into the Leinster Trophy meeting next month. Both of them, however, were beaten in the open category by the MM Honda of veteran Eamonn Matheson.

Meanwhile, Colin Turkington's hopes of challenging for a third British Touring Car title are fading despite a gallant fightback at Rockingham yesterday. Although there are two rounds remaining the Portadown driver, champion in 2009 and '14, remains in sixth place, 48 points behind leader Sam Tordoff. Turkington finished in a strong fourth place in the first of the three races at Rockingham as champion Gordon Sheddon won for Honda but in race two, Turkington and Subaru team-mate Jason Plato were both involved in a first corner melee.

Plato retired but although Turkington was able to continue, damage to his car saw him spin twice and eventually finish 15th. In race three he came from the eighth row of the grid, carving his way through the field to finish a close-up third behind the VW of Aron Smith and Sheddon.

But with just six races left, at Silverstone and Brands Hatch, the leeway is probably too much to make up.

Daniel Harper also had a tough weekend at Rockingham in the Ginetta Junior series. Although he remains fifth in the points table, and is leading rookie, seventh was the best the Dromore High School student could manage in the three races.

There was no luck for Wayne Boyd in the European Le Mans series round at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France. His United Autosports Ligier-Nissan suffered engine failure during practice, forcing him an team-mates Mark Patterson and Matt Bell to sit out qualifying.

A new engine was fitted for the race but they had to start from the back of the grid, eventually finishing 11th in LMP3.

Belfast Telegraph

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