In the last fortnight, a contingent of Australian Formula Ford competitors flew over to the UK to compete in the famed "Formula Ford Festival" at Brands Hatch and hugely popular "Walter Hayes Trophy" at Silverstone.
While the Australian Historic Formula Ford field was celebrating the 50th-anniversary of the category at Sandown Raceway, Historic Formula Ford regular Richard Davison joined UK-based Aussie Peter Lucas for the 2019 Formula Ford Festival.
This was a bucket list event for Davison, who had previously visited Brands Hatch with sons Alex and Will in the early 2000s.
Lucas has recently purchased the Yellow Reynard FF88 that was raced by Craig Lowndes during the beginning of his motor racing career and is planning on racing it in Australia in 2020. Lucas has also competed in a series of Heritage Formula Ford events this year in a Van Diemen RF88.
The Australian flag was also carried by UK-born Rory Smith, who still holds a strong connection with his Australian heritage, an Aussie flag is painted on his helmet. Another noteworthy performance was by an Australian manufacturer, four Spectrum chassis were competitively driven at the FF Festival by Michael MacPherson, Jordan Dempsey, Michael Eastwell and Kiwi talent Callum Crawley.
Unfortunately, Lucas crashed during Semi-Final 2 and the RF88 that he was steering couldn't be repaired in time for the Historic Final. Richard Davison, though, finished a comfortable 4th in the Historic Final.
Smith and the Spectrum contingent didn't enjoy much more luck, with only Eastwell, Smith and MacPherson finishing the Grand Final in 4th, 17th and 21st position respectively.
The Walter Hayes Trophy, held last weekend around the 2.6km-long Silverstone National Circuit, saw the Aussie contingent expand to four drivers in the Pre-'93 class.
There were six Australian-built Spectrums, with Michael Moyers, Roger Orgee, Jordan Dempsey, Peter Gillespie, Michael Eastwell and Michael MacPherson.
Kevin Mills Racing, the factory Spectrum team in the UK, arrived at Silverstone as the team to beat, having previously claimed four Walter Hayes Trophies, including both 2017 and 2018 with Michael Moyers. The Spectrum team didn't disappoint and brought home the fifth Walter Hayes Trophy for the Melbourne-based manufacturer, this time with Jordan Dempsey behind the wheel of a Spectrum 011c. Dempsey was absolutely unbeatable during the weekend, claiming pole position for his heat and winning every single race until the Grand Final on Sunday afternoon, where he also collected the fastest lap of the race.
Moyers finished second in another Spectrum, forced to charge back through the 80+ car field after a crash in Heat 2 nearly derailed his chances of a start in this year's Grand Final.
Eastwell, Smith and Temple also fought their way into the Grand Final, finishing 6th, 10th and 14th respectively.
In the Pre-'93 class, Peter Lucas' car was repaired in time after his incident at Brands Hatch, while Johnny Greig and Phil Oakes got on a plane almost immediately after a race event at Sandown Raceway to compete in the Walter Hayes Trophy for the first time. Richard Davison also joined the group for his third Walter Hayes Trophy to date - he had previously competed in 2015 and 2017 with brother Chris Davison.
Peter Lucas, Richard Davison and Johnny Greig battled the wet, wild and frosty conditions to land a spot in the Semi-Finals, holding their own against newer cars with local drivers.
Both Peter Lucas and Richard Davison looked good for a top-ten finish in the Janet Cesar Memorial Trophy for Pre-'93 cars Final, until Davison had a tangle with another competitor at Copse corner, resulting in an early end to his race. Peter Lucas crossed the line in 5th position, while Johnny Greig and Phil Oakes finished 15th and 20th respectively.
Overall, Australia represented strongly in what is known as "the biggest Formula Ford event" on the planet (Walter Hayes Trophy).
Huge congratulations to Spectrum Racing Cars on their international success, and to all of the Aussies who flew the flag for Australian Formula Ford.