Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

Formula Ford Festival: McCullough’s pace clinches final

Ivor McCullough proved that his victory in the Northern Ireland Formula Ford Championship was no fluke when he dominated the final of the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch yesterday.

Driving his regular Van Diemen RF00, the Ballymena man was among the fastest throughout the two day event, and even though he was beaten in his semi-final by Canadian Xavier Coupal, he was right on the pace when the final started, sweeping past Coupal and Englishman Neil Alberico in the opening laps to take a lead he was never to relinquish.

His job was made easier when Coupal and Alberico tangled, and while Alberico recovered to take third place behind Scotland’s Kenneth Thirlwall, the Canadian was out on the spot.

Behind the podium trio, Martin Donnelly Trophy winner Noel Robinson, from Portadown, finished a solid fourth ahead of Templepatrick’s Jonathan McMullan and Dubliner Noel Dunne.

Former Northern Irish Champion John Ferguson might also have been in contention, but a closing lap tangle left him stranded in a gravel trap.

Former festival winner Neville Smyth had a bad weekend on his return to racing after a year-long lay off. An adventure during Saturday’s heats left him down the field for his semi-final and another tangle saw him stranded with a flat tyre after just one lap.

Interest now switches to the final Formula Ford ‘Classic’, the Walter Hayes Trophy meeting at Silverstone on November 6, where McCullough will be hoping to repeat his festival form.

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