top of page

QFFC Round 3 Report: Morgan Park, 14-16 June 2024

The Queensland Formula Ford Championship headed to Morgan Park Raceway on June 14th to start a three-day weekend in fantastic conditions, if a little chilly in the mornings. It would prove to be a return to an all-Kent Formula Ford 1600 affair with the local Duratec cars competing in the standalone Australian Formula Ford Series races.

AJ Gealy (#4) leads his first FF1600 race ahead of Tim Hamilton (#87), Wes Young (#9) and Jeremy Mattea (#3)

---------- Friday Practice ----------

Four sessions of practice on Friday were far from uneventful. Jordon Behrendorff was an early scratching as his Greg Fahey Motorsport Van Diemen RF98 developed technical issues during the day that could not be repaired or replaced at the track. Meanwhile Michael Gillespie had his Mygale catch fire in the engine compartment, and while the most visually significant damage was to the fibreglass bodywork, some electrical and some fuel related components were caught up in the mess and so the car was consigned to the trailer for the remainder of the event with a rear half refresh now on the schedule.

---------- Race 1 ----------

Starting early Saturday afternoon, lights out saw Hamilton lead Dicinoski with the pair pulling away from the pack for a time before Hamilton then pulled away from Dicinoski through the second half of the race. Meanwhile Wes Young was in fourth pressuring AJ Gealy, and Jeremy Mattea was adrift of the pair but was effectively trying to catch up on having missed most of practice and qualifying with his own Friday dramas and was even trying to bed brake pads in on the formation lap - he was that far on the back foot.

As the laps counted down Young was past Gealy, as Mattea joined in the action. Eventually it would be Jeremy Mattea through them all to come third, while Wes Young was home fourth and AJ Gealy fifth.

---------- Race 2 ----------

Action started from the word go, with Dicinoski challenging from the outside of the front row. As the field approached Turn 1 there had already been spinning Sports Cars from the pack ahead, and despite there being a gap held between groups at the start of the race, the stranded Radical would still play a roll. Dicinoski came out in the lead from Hamilton, who was fending off Wes Young who had made a path around the outside of Jeremy Mattea.

Next up for the pack was reaching the real tail end Sports Car, while the recovering Radical of the opening corner melee was also chasing them down. Everyone arrived at Turns 1 and 2 at the same time… By this stage it was Mattea picking cars off and had made it around the outside of Hamilton for second. Not long after Hamilton returned to P2 and was back on Dicinoski's tail; both had made a better run dodging Sports Cars which left Mattea fending off the charging Young and Gealy.

A missed shift by Dicinoski would see his lead, and his speed, disappear. Not only did Hamilton regain the lead spot, the Mattea led group also came through. By the end of the race Hamilton was a clear winner, but Young was through for second, Mattea battled Dicinoski to the line for third, and Gealy came home fifth.

---------- Overnight ----------

Saturday night finished with some celebrations as Wes Young had achieved his goal for the weekend by a clear margin and broken the 24-second barrier with a time of 1:23.8200 while fellow hard charger Jeremy Mattea had completed two races after a disastrous lead in and Matt Dicinoski finished his first race day in Formula Fords having lead a race.

---------- Race 3 ----------

AJ Gealy was on a mission and moved rapidly into second behind Hamilton. By the second lap the pack had caught a pair of Radical Sports Cars from the group ahead who had both spun and rejoined and were trying to get tyres switched back on, this jumbled the pack and had Young into second.

Next time they arrived at Gumtree Corner it was Wes Young lunging up the inside and passing Hamilton for the lead. It was a fantastic sight but short lived, the wily Hamilton would have him back the following lap in a drag race down the main straight and into Turn 1.

Gealy then applied pressure on Young, with Jeremy Mattea and Matt Dicinoski hanging on just behind.

As the race rolled along Young missed a gear shift and dropped spots back to fourth, with Mattea and Gealy being gifted second and third.

At the finish it was Hamilton over Gealy, Mattea, Young and Dicinoski.

---------- Race 4 ----------

Gealy was once again determined and passed Hamilton around the outside from the start and proceeded to make life difficult for Hamilton to find a way around, but during the race trouble appeared and the engine started breaking down at full throttle meaning the young AJ would sink to fourth by the finish and have to wait a little longer for a breakthrough win.

Young and Mattea were locked in a race long battle and at the finish it was resolved in favour of Young, but not without Mattea throwing everything at it, both revelling in the experience. Race 4 would finish with Hamilton, Young and then Mattea in the top spots.

---------- The Wrap ----------

Sunday saw Wes Young lowering his PB again over his Saturday efforts with a 1:23.7980 and Jeremy Mattea added to the PBs on Sunday morning with his own new best of 1:22.7960

The position of leader of the race was like a revolving door all weekend with Dicinoski, Young, Gealy and Hamilton all taking turns.

Ultimately it was Hamilton once again who came away with a round win, followed by Young and Mattea scoring equal points for the weekend! But the trophies are only a small part of the weekend, there was a lot of action, plenty of stories, lots of good and bad luck but importantly the Formula Ford family was there to lend a hand to each other or have a good old chat in the quiet times.

---------- Next up ----------

QFFC rolls back into Queensland Raceway on August 9th to 11th for Round 4.

Entries are already open on the QR website, same procedure as our last visit there for Round 2.

To round out the year we will have the dual QFFC Round 5 and Australian Formula Ford 1600 Nationals at Morgan Park on November 8th to 10th, and if the racing on the weekend by the Australian Formula Ford Series is anything to go by we are in for a ding-dong battle for the AFF1600NATS crown at the end of the year! Can’t pass at Morgan Park? Someone forgot to give the Formula Ford drivers the memo!

Race Report by Tony Chapman


Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
bottom of page