Andrew Schofield

Andrew Schofield leads through turn 1

Andrew Schofield (Investchem Reynard) didn’t let the cold and wet conditions at Phakisa worry him when he took his maiden Formula Ford victory at the fifth round of the 2014 championship earlier today.

The rain was falling steadily during the early morning qualifying session when Andrew and father Ian (Investchem Mygale) made it a Schofield front row, father beating son by less than two tenths of a second. Matthys Strydom (Sage / Suzuki Bramley Talon) headed up the second row of the grid just over half a second behind the younger Schofield with Matt Nash (Van Diemen RF) alongside him.

The third row of the grid was made up by regular national series competitors Dean Venter (Swift) and Graham Hepburn (Suburban Body Shop Ray) with rest of the 16 car grid behind them.

When the cars came out for the first race conditions were probably at their worst, with water flowing across the circuit in places. The drivers didn’t let that deter them and when the lights went out the race was on. Ian Schofield got a face full of water through his slightly open visor just after the start, blinding him for a few moments. This dropped him down to sixth place behind Ben van der Westhuizen (Pioneer Plastics / Delta Rubber Royale). With his father out of the way Andrew led the way from Strydom, Hepburn and Nash. The leading quartet opened a gap over the chasing pack and by the time Ian Schofield got past van der Westhuizen they were too far in front for him to have any realistic chance of reeling them in. Given the conditions, he settled for a safe fifth place and four more championship points.

In the leading group Hepburn worked his way up to second and set about catching Scofield but the slippery conditions caught him out and he dropped back to third again. He again got past Strydom but the flag came out before he could challenge Scofield so he had to settle for second. Strydom filled the final podium position with Nash in fourth. Jeff Gable (Taylon Motorsport Van Diemen), Alex Gillespie and David Jermy filled the rest of the points paying positions.

The rain had stopped by the start of the second race but the race itself did not last long. On the second lap Ian Scofield, who had made a brilliant start from fifth on the grid, led the field into turn four. He found some oil that had been dropped by one of the other competitors and his car snapped sideways. While most of the field managed to avoid him, Jeff gable had nowhere to go and T-boned the stranded Mygale, destroying most of its front end.

The safety car came out, but with Schofield’s car stuck right on the racing line, the officials decided to abandon the race.

This gave Andrew Schofield the overall victory and moved him up to fourth place in the championship. Ian Schofield still leads the championship log from Strydom and Hepburn.

The next round of the championship takes place at Zwartkops on 11 October 2014.