Well it seemed like this season would never start. But in just over one weeks time, all the dramas of track resurfacings and messy calendars will be forgotten when the Formula Ford 1600s roll out onto Queensland Raceway on May 6 and 7.
Heading our list of contenders for this year’s Kent title will be former front running Formula Vee racer, and more recently Duratec National competitor, Tim Hamilton. Tim has refurbished his Spectrum 010 with a brand new Dunstan engine and can’t wait to get amongst the FF 1600 action he saw from the sidelines last season. He will be mount a campaign on both the Qld and National Kent series.
Jon Mills another former Duratec and also F3 racer, and past Qld Formula Ford 1600 series winner, will also be piloting a Spectrum 010. Jon has been away from the scene for a few years and is keen for some action. He will be the first to admit that it might take him a couple of races to retrieve his old form, but then again it might not.
2010 champion, Jon Mills has purchased Chris Purvis' neat Spectrum 010 to tackle this year's series.
Another former Qld Formula Ford 1600 series winner, Dylan Fahey, will also be back for another shot at the title. Winner in 2015 with a conservative but reliable attack, he knew pretty early last year that such a plan would not pay dividends a second time, and upped the ante as his season progressed. Teething problems with his new Van Diemen did not help his campaign in what was one of the toughest seasons in memory. Dylan is sure to come out fighting hard from the get go this season.
Dylan Fahey will be looking to round up a second QLD Formula Ford Series win.
One of the favourites for this year’s title will be last year’s rookie of the year: Karla Curtis. She has a very experienced crew and her RF91 is a good car. Inexperience cost her in the first part of last year, but she did show that she has the speed. Expect her to be able to use that speed with more confidence and precision this season. Tony Chapman, runner up last year, will be another in contention for the title. He has plenty of experience and he got fitter and faster all through last season. He can be at the front this year.
Karla Curtis will be looking to improve upon her rookie of the year title from last year.
Good news is that Bob Power will be returning after his car destroying, and body cracking crash last year. Bob’s experience level is in another league to the experienced racers that I have already mentioned. If he shows his usual form he will be a serious title challenger. Remember he scored a fastest lap and second place for the round at last year’s QLD National round. He also has one of the best in business preparing his car.
Gary Goulding, and Paul Milevskiy are looking be in the mix this year. Both know that they have a bit more to learn, but both are quietly determined to do so. I expect them to surprise, as the season progresses. With consistency either of these guys could put together a good haul of points by seasons end.
The FFA National round at Queensland Raceway in July will be combining with our round two and should be an absolute highlight for the QLD series regulars. We will see the return of last year's QLD Formula Ford Series winner, the very fast Mitch Maddren, and also that of James Corbett the winner of that event last season. Add to that rumours of a strong four car contingent from Sydney’s Anglo Australian team, winners of the NSW Kent title for the last decade.
Mitch has recently been down South rattling their cage. Add twenty of Australia’s best Duratecs and we're looking forward to a cracker of a race meeting.
Hopefully James and Mitch might make a few more state rounds as the season progresses. Add to them racers like Dave Boulton, Sam Sewell, Ryan Campbell and Bevan Carrick who will drop in when work and life permits. We are bound to see some very even competition, and I predict a close points battle for the title.
See you all at Queensland Raceway on May 6 and 7.
Ryan Campbell will surely make an appearance this year.
Many thanks to Trapnell Creations and Steve Johns Photography for donating the fantastic action photos accompanying this race report. Be sure to catch up with Pete and Steve throughout the season to grab some stunning images of yourself in action!