Paul Schultz

Paul Schultz

The opening round of the Historic Formula Ford championship took place in front of a large crowd at at Midvaal Raceway in Meyerton on Saturday 15 March.

Qualifying belonged to Ian Schofield in the Investchem Mygale who was over half a second quicker than Paul Schultz in the Knotsberry Foods Van Diemen. Row two saw Ian Hebblethwaite (Van Diemen RF80) edge out Adreas Petrou (Investchem/Reynard) as Sean Hepburn (Suburban Panel Shop/Ray 90) and impressive Formula Ford debutant Andrew Schofield (Superior Pilot Services/Reynard) completed the top six. Schofield’s pole lap was 1 minute 11.439 seconds, a tad slower than the norm, but heavy rains leading up to the race meant the surface was fairly ‘green’ i.e. there was much rubber down which makes it grippy.

A dragging clutch saw Schofield creep forward before the start lights went out and although he drove superbly to win on the road, Schultz knew there was no need to try push him and cruised round in second place knowing that a penalty should be imposed. So, although Schofield took the flag, the win went to Schultz.

There was a good scrap for third on the road and Hepburn pulled away to grab what became second as Hebblethwaite, driving the Van Diemen raced by top Formula One Mechanic Alister Gibson in the 80s, was delighted with third place after a consistent drive. Next up was Petrou with Schofield demoted to fifth as Paul Gerber was sixth in his pull-rod equipped Pablo Clark Racing Ray 83F.  

Race two started with Schultz on pole and Schofield back in fifth. Schofield judged the start well, but it was Schultz who led the field at the end of opening lap. However, Schofield was already up to second and then leading by the end of the second tour. The long straight at Midvaal lends itself to Formula Ford racing where clever use of a slipstream makes up for the Ford Kent engine’s relatively small power output of between 60-65kW. “I got a few good tows down the straight and I was able to keep in front as we went into turn six,” explained Schofield after bagging the win by what turned out to be a comfortable margin.

Schultz seemed to lack a bit in the power department and Hepburn passed him at ¾ distance but it was only temporary. At the end Schultz was runner-up ahead of Gerber with Hepburn holding off Petrou and Hebblethwaite who crossed the line nose-to-tail.

The Classic Formula Ford honours went to Hebblethwaite from the versatile Ben van der Westhuizen in a Royale RP24.

Round two of the Midas Historic Tour takes place on 12th April at Zwartkops.