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Jonathan Browne wins 48th Formula Ford Festival

Sunday, October 27 2019

Jonathan Browne won the 48th Formula Ford Festival on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, following a commanding performance in the final this afternoon (Sunday) and victories in both his heat and semi-final earlier in the weekend. 

Prior to this weekend, Browne who was piloting a Cliff Dempsey Racing prepared Ray had only won one Formula Ford 1600 race, but that all changed with a sublime weekend-long performance at the knockout-style single-seater event. 

The Irishman's exploits were enough to put him on pole position for the final, and heh seized the initiative from the off by leading away from his compatriot Niall Murray as the deciding race got underway.

Before either man could make a break however, the safety car was deployed follwing separate incidents involving Alan Davidson and Jonathan Woolridge who were both left stationary on the circuit.

The final resumed on the fifth lap, and Browne set about building a strong advantage straight away as two-time Festival winner Murray came under intense pressure from Matt Cowley in an all Van Diemen battle.

Murray was afforded a break in the pressure just a couple of laps later though as Chris Middlehurst made a bif for the podium by passing Cowley at Clearways. This allowed Murray to drive his own race and begin hunting Browne down. Despite edging the gap down slightly by the midway point of the race, Murray was unable to catch Browne, who pulled clear towards the end to claim a resounding victory.

Behind the leading two, who drove off into a race of their own, the main battle was for third place. Middlehurst's possession of a podium position lasted just two laps as Cowley and Michael Eastwell both passed him on the Brabham Straight, and it was Cowley that held on in the end to secure the last step on the rostrum.

Eastwell ultimately took fourth just behind Cowley as another two-time Festival winner in Joey Foster charged to fifth from ninth on the grid. After his early moves, Middlehurst ended up just eighth as Ross Martin and Luke Cooper joined Foster in passing him, but he was able to just pip Team USA Scholarship racer Scott Huffaker. Josh Green completed the top ten. 

48th Formula Ford Festival Grand Final Result
1, J Browne, Ray GR19, 20 laps
2, N Murray, Van Diemen BD20, +2.687s
3, M Cowley, Van Diemen JL13, +6.517s
4, M Eastwell, Spectrum 011C, +6.715s
5, J Foster, Firman 2018, +7.903s
6, R Martin, Van Diemen RF99, +10.205s
7, L Cooper, Swift SC16, +10.867s
8, C Middlehurst, Van Diemen RF01, +11.042s
9, S Huffaker, Ray GR18, +11.054s
10, J Green, Ray GR19, +18.100s

Click here for full results.