Second place behind David Jermy (Beauty Factory van Diemen) in the opening race, followed up by his first win in a Formula Ford Kent car gave Jonathan Nash (Turnfab Engineering Swift) overall victory at the fifth round of the 2018 Investchem Formula Ford Kent championship at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 29 September.
Despite having his preparation for this race disrupted by a bout of meningitis, Horne topped the timesheets all the way through the morning qualifying session claiming pole position by just over three tenths from Jermy with Nash and Alex Vos (Ecurie Zoo Swift) filling the second row of the grid. In a repeat of the last event, defending champion Dean Venter (TEU Southern Africa Swift) had to settle for fifth alongside James Reeves (Ray) on the third row. Graham Hepburn (Suburban Body Shop van Diemen) qualified seventh but would take no further part in the day’s racing as his car ran a bearing during the session. Paul Gerber (Pablo Clark Racing Ray) completed the top eight.
A nudge from behind early on in the opening race damaged the exhaust on Horne’s van Diemen, causing a loss of power. While he was able to hang on to the lead for the first couple of laps, first Jermy and then Nash was able to find a way past. Jermy went on to win the race from Nash and Horne, although the trio was covered by less than half a second at the flag. Behind them, there was another three-way battle with Vos, Gerber and Venter fighting it out. Gerber held the early advantage but an off-track excursion at the turn 2 hairpin allowed Vos through to fourth, a position he held until the end. Gerber had to settle for fifth with Venter in sixth. Reeves and Graham Vos (Ecurie Zoo van Diemen) completed the top eight.
Nash got a better start than the rest of the field from his front-row grid spot in the second race, grabbing the early lead and opening up a slight advantage while the rest of the pack battle behind him. Gerber and Jermy were involved in a great dice for the remaining podium positions but that came to an end when they both tried to occupy the same piece of tar at the top of the hill in turn five. The resulting contact saw Gerber’s race come to an end with the nose of his Ray up against the tyre barriers while Jermy was able to carry on and take second. Horne was able to hold off the attentions of Vos in the early stages, and with Gerber side-lined, took the final podium position. Alex Vos was able to hold off Venter to take fourth with Reeves, Graham Vos and Steve Venter (TEU Southern Africa Swift) rounding out the top eight.
Nash received the trophy for the overall win on the day with Jermy in second and Horne having to settle for third.
Horne’s advantage in the championship standings has now been cut to just eight points win one round remaining. Jermy is the only other driver in a position to challenge for the title, but third place is far from certain. Dean Venter occupies that spot at the moment, 23-points behind Jermy but only six ahead of Nash with Vos a further six behind.
The final round of the 2018 Investchem Formula Ford Kent championship takes place at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 3 November.