British Formula Ford.
Argentine Eric Lichtenstein took a hat-trick of victories over the weekend at a very weather bashed Snetterton, ahead of Antti Buri who took second place in all three races. Torrential rain for most of the Saturday meant the first race of the weekend started late. Buri started on pole with Lichtenstein in second, but the lead he managed to pull out during the first lap were lost as the safety car came out. Two cars had tangled at the Montreal hairpin, and due to the soaking the ground had been subject too, removing them were causing issues. The safety car was out for 4 laps, and so there were only 2 racing laps left when it came back in.
Lichtenstein managed to take the lead into Nelson corner, but then ran wide at Murrays to let Buri through into the lead at the start of the final lap. Unfortunately for Buri, he made the same mistake next time around, and Lichtenstein made the most of it, and crossed the line 4/10ths ahead at the flag. Julio Moreno took the final step of the podium.
Race two took place in much drier conditions on Sunday morning. Buri started from Pole, with the Argentine alongside on the front row. Buri lead for the first lap, but Lichtenstein pulled alongside going into lap two, the pair fought for a few corners but Lichtenstein made it stick going into the tight Agostini corner – and pulled away from there to win by over 2 seconds.
The pair are the class of the current field, with third place man Cavan Corcoran finishing a further 6 seconds back, only six tenths ahead of Moreno, who couldn’t quite manage to get a second podium on the bounce.
For race three, the rain was back with a vengeance. Again, it was Buri and Lichtenstein at the front, who were fighting for the lead into turn one, Buri snatching it from the Argentinian pole sitter. The two pulled away from the field until lap three, when Lichtenstein made his move to take the lead. The timing of this was exceedingly fortuitous as the safety car was sent out while a stopped car was removed from the track.
The safety car came in after just one lap, but the conditions proved too much as there was a multi car incident, culminating in Cavan Corcoran’s car rolling. The race was immediately red-flagged, and the result was based on the lap before the safety car came out, just after the move Lichtenstein made to take the lead. Brit Jake Cook was classified in third place, ahead of countryman Alex Drabble.
Ginetta GT5 Challenge
It was doubtful whether race 1 was actually going to go ahead on the Saturday evening, due to the rain affected timetable. However, the race did go ahead and 7 laps were run, enough time for Mike Robinson, who took the lead on the first lap, to pull out a lead of over 7 seconds to win from Sean Huyton and Gary Simms. Huyton had a spin on the first lap but tirelessly worked to get back into contention and the two were fighting for the entire final lap, with Huyton taking second place by just three tenths of a second.
Ryan Ratcliffe started from pole position in race 2 and was no doubt hoping for his second win of the season. Huyton and Robinsion, however, had other ideas and both of them took Ratcliffe by the end of lap one.
With the track still wet from earlier rain there were a few spinners on the opening laps, including Robinson on the third lap – he would recover well to finish in fifth spot – and this promoted Ratcliffe to second place for a time. Unfortunately for him, engine issues at the end of the race would cost him pace and he would be caught at taken by Gary Simms. Ratcliffe managed to hang on to third place, finishing just six tenths ahead of Brad Bailey.
Once Robinson had spun, Huyton wasn’t really challenged, and finished over three seconds ahead.
The third round, which was due to take place later on Sunday afternoon, was cancelled due to the weather affected timetable.
Words: Alex Ings / Image gallery: Alex Ings