David Jermy (Jacquet Racing van Diemen) and Dean Venter (Desco SA / Manitou Swift) shared the wins at the second round of the 2017 Investchem Formula Ford championship after qualifying on the front row of the grid at Red Star Raceway on Saturday, 3 June.
Almost three months after the opening round at Zwartkops, the drivers returned to the track for round 2. Venter, who led the championship after the opening round had to play second fiddle to Jermy in qualifying, ending the session just over four tenths slower than the black van Diemen. Behind the leading duo things were very tight. Defending champion Andrew Horne (Xena Chemicals / Budd Power van Diemen) was next up closely followed by Duncan Vos (Ecurie Zoo Swift) and Jonathan Nash (Matt Nash Motorsport Swift). From Venter in second to Nash in fifth there was just 0.087”. James Reeves (Ray) completed the third row with Paul Schultz (P&P Flosspick Mygale) and Paul Gerber (Pablo Clark Ray) rounded out the top eight.
Jermy grabbed the lead from pole When the lights went out at the start of the first race. He was closely followed by Venter, Horne, Vos and Nash. The five of them started pulling away from the rest of the field. A lap or so later, the leading group split into two with Jermy, Venter and Horne pulling away from Vos and Nash who were fighting over fourth place. Behind the leading two groups Gerber was in sixth, with Schultz behind him followed by a fast closing Jeff Gable (Jacquet Racing van Diemen) who was making his way through from the back of the field after he didn’t set a time in qualifying.
With a couple of laps to go Nash had a spin at the bottom end of the circuit. While he was able to re-join without losing a position, his challenge for fourth was over. On the penultimate lap, Venter made his move and got past Jermy but just half a lap later Jermy regained the lead. They continued nose-to-tail and crossed the line with Jermy in front by half a car length. Horne took the final podium position. Vos finished in fourth with Nash in fifth. Gable eventually made his way up to sixth ahead of Schultz and Gerber.
In race two it was again Jermy and Venter at the head of the field but a spin by Jermy coupled with avoiding action by Venter dropped both of them down the field. Their mishap handed Vos the lead with Horne on his gearbox. Venter was down in third with Gable and Nash rounding out the top five after two laps. A couple of laps later both Horne and Venter got past Vos and started pulling away from the rest. Vos, Gable and Nash were fighting for third while Jermy made his way back towards the front.
With just over a lap to go Horne’s motor lost power and he couldn’t stop Venter moving into the lead, a position he held until the flag. Horne managed to nurse his ailing car over the line in second with Gable grabbing third just ahead of Vos and Nash. Jermy, despite a cockpit covered in hot oil after the sensor pipe ruptured, managed to recover to sixth ahead of Schultz and Reeves.
Venter took the overall win for the day ahead of Horne second and Vos.
Venter has extended his lead in the championship race to nine points over Horne with Jermy a further two points back in third.
The Investchem Formula Ford Kent championship’s next outing is at Phakisa Freeway on 28 July