New champion Andrew Horne (Xena Chemicals / Budd Power Royale) and 2014 champion Graham Hepburn (Suburban Body Shop Ray) shared the race wins at the final round of the 2015 Investchem Formula Ford Championship held at Red Star Raceway on Saturday, 28 November 2015.

Horne, who wrapped up the 2015 championship at the previous round at Phakisa in October, made the best of a qualifying session where a number of drivers were still getting to grips with a circuit that was new to them. His time of 2:09.311 was 0.435 quicker than Hepburn. Ian Schofield (Investchem Mygale) was just under a tenth of a second further back in third with Matthys Strydom (Sage ERP Africa Talon) another half second behind. Joe Nash (Swift) just edged David Jermy (Matt Nash Motorsport Van Diemen) to head the third row of the grid with Dean Venter (Turnfab Engineering / Manitou Mygale) and Ben van der Westhuizen (Pioneer Plastics / Delta Rubber Royale) rounding out the top eight.

Hepburn reacted quickest when the lights went out to signal the start of the first heat and, for the first part of the race, he led a five-car convoy that slowly pulled away from the rest of the field. Horne was just behind Hepburn closely followed by Schofield, Strydom and Venter. Horne managed to get past Hepburn and the pair slowly opened up a gap over the remainder of the field. After eight hard-fought laps Horne took the flag just over six tenths of a second ahead of Hepburn with Schofield 1.3 seconds further back. Strydom and Venter were fourth and fifth respectively.

Behind the leading quintet Joe Nash, Allen Meyer (Van Diemen), and Matt Nash were fighting it out for the remaining points paying positions, eventually finishing in that order.

At the start of race two Horne’s Royale lost power as the lights went out leaving him stuck on the grid as the rest of the field managed to make their way safely past, although there were a couple of near misses. He did eventually manage to get going but by that time the entire field, and the medical car, had passed him. At the front of the field Hepburn led from Strydom and Schofield with Joe Nash, Venter and van der Westhuizen filling the rest of the top six positions. Strydom moved to the front and the leading trio pulled away from the rest of the pack. Strydom managed to remain ahead of Hepburn until the flag but was denied the win as he was penalized 30 seconds for a jump start. This dropped him down to seventh.

Strydom’s indiscretion gave the win to Hepburn with Schofield in second. Venter got the better of Joe Nash with a couple of laps to go when Nash ran slightly wide coming onto the long straight. Venter hung on to take the final podium position. Horne showed why he is the 2015 champion. He fought his way through from the back of the grid to fifth, setting the fastest lap of the weekend on the way. Meyer came home in sixth with Matt Nash again claiming the final championship point by finishing eighth.

Hepburn’s second and first places gave him overall victory on the day with Schofield and Horne in second and third.

With Horne already having the 2015 title in the bag, the focus of attention in the championship was on the battle for second. Schofield’s third and second places on the day were enough to secure the runner’s up spot with Hepburn moving ahead to Strydom to take third. Jermy had an outing at Red Star that he would prefer to forget, mechanical problems side lining him in both races. This allowed Venter to move up to fifth on the log with Jermy dropping to sixth.

The 2016 Investchem Formula Ford Championship is scheduled to get underway on 12 March when the drivers will resume battle at Red Star Raceway.