Andrew Horne (Xena Chemicals / Budd Power van Diemen) won the opening race and followed it up with a runners-up spot in the second to take overall victory in the third round of the 2018 Investchem Formula Ford Kent championship held at Phakisa Freeway on Saturday, 19 May. Defending champion Dean Venter (TEU Southern Africa Swift), who won the second race, had to settle for second in the overall standings with Alex Vos (Ecurie Zoo Swift) in third.
In the morning qualifying session Horne set the early pace, but shortly before the flag came out both Venter and David Jermy (Lime Chilli Consulting van Diemen) set their fastest times giving them the top two spots, Venter just 0.070” ahead of Jermy. Horne ended the session in third ahead of Vos. Jonathan Nash (Turnfab Engineering Swift) and Jeff Gable (Jacquet Racing van Diemen) occupied fifth and sixth, with James Reeves (Ray) and Steve Venter (TEU Southern Africa Swift) rounding out the top eight.
In the opening race, Dean Venter grabbed the lead from the start with Jermy in his wheel tracks until part of the way around the third lap when Venter found some oil spilt by one of the other competitors. The resulting spin dropped him down the pack and allowed Jermy into the lead, but that didn’t last for long as he also found a patch of oil a lap later. Horne, who was running second at the time, had to take evasive action to avoid contact with Jermy, allowing Vos through into the lead.
Vos then led a four-car train with Horne, Nash and a recovering Venter all covered by less than three-quarters of a second. A couple of laps later, Venter had worked his way to the front of the group and spent the rest of the race fighting with Horne for the win. Horne was in front when it counted, with Venter having to settle for second. Vos hung on to third with Nash dropping back towards the end, but still managing to take fourth place ahead of Jermy. Steve Venter, Reeves and Sean Hepburn (Suburban Body Shop Ray) filled the remainder of the points paying positions.
Horne opened up a lead of almost a second at the start of the second race, but Venter slowly closed that down, the pair of them opening a gap to the chasing pack which was led by Nash with Jermy and Vos in his wheel tracks. Venter caught and passed Horne but could not get away, the pair separated by just over a tenth of a second at the flag, this time with Venter in front. Behind them, Jermy was able to get past Nash and set off after the leaders but the gap was too big to close down before the flag came out. He had to settle for third. Nash took fourth from Vos with Reeves getting the better of Steve Venter. Gable nursed his van Diemen over the line in eighth.
Horne now has a seven-point advantage at the top of the championship standings over Jermy with Dean Venter six points further back in third. Nash is fourth with Vos and Gable rounding out the top six.
The next outing for the Investchem Formula Ford Kent competitors is on 7 July at Midvaal Raceway, where the fourth round of the 2018 championship will take place.
Pictures: Paul Bedford – Action Images