Dean Venter (Turnfab Engineering / Manitou Swift) did everything he could at Red Star on Saturday, 19 November, taking pole position, both race wins and setting the fastest lap time of the day, but it wasn’t enough to deny Andrew Horne (Xena Chemicals / Budd Power Royale RP31) the 2016 Investchem Formula Ford Kent title.
Venter knew he had an almost impossible task to take the championship from Horne as he needed just a single point on the day to take the crown but Venter showed he was going to make the defending champion work to retain his title. He claimed pole position by almost a second from Ian Schofield (Investchem Mygale) with David Jermy (Matt Nash Motorsport Van Diemen) in third. Jermy was found to be underweight at the post session check and was sent to the back of the grid.
This moved Jonathan Nash (Matt Nash Motorsport Swift) into third on the grid with Andrew Horne, in a Reynard borrowed from Ian Schofield after his car’s diff gave way during Friday practice, in fourth place. Matthys Strydom (Suzuki Bramley Talon) and Dalan Holton (Debella Finance Van Diemen) filled the third row of the grid with Allen Meyer (Van Diemen) and Steve Venter (Turnfab Engineering / Manitou Swift) rounding out the top eight.
Venter got a great start in the first race and was never headed on his way to a comfortable win. Schofield had some attention from Nash in the early stages of the race but was able to pull away and, although he was unable to close the gap on Venter up front, had an untroubled run to second.
Nash and Horne then got involved in a great battle for third which eventually went the way of Horne. Jermy worked his way from the back of the grid to take fifth with Strydom just managing to stay in front of Meyer to take sixth. Holton rounded out the top eight.
Race 2 was another easy win for Venter. Schofield dealt with Horne’s early challenges to go on to another comfortable second place leaving Horne and Jermy to fight for the final podium position. As it turned out neither of them claimed it. The clutch in Horne’s borrowed car failed at the start of the penultimate lap leaving him stranded on the side of the road and Jermy spun into retirement just a few metres later.
This gave Nash a bonus podium finish, his first of the season. Strydom crossed the line in fourth but was adjudged to have passed Holton under yellow flags with saw him demoted to sixth. Strydom’s misdemeanour resulted in Meyer and Holton being awarded fourth and fifth respectively. James Reeves brought his Ray home in seventh with Ryan Budd (Budd Power DAW) in eighth.
Venter’s two wins gave him overall victory on the day with Schofield in second and Nash third.
Speaking after the event Horne said, “This was the toughest of my three titles. It has been hard work all season and I had to fight for every point. I would like to thank Ian Schofield for the loan of the car today. Without that I probably wouldn’t be standing here as champion.”
Final championship standings (subject to MSA ratification)
- Andrew Horne 116
- Dean Venter 110
- Ian Schofield 88
- David Jermy 73
- Jeff Gable 46
- Dalan Holton 40
- Allen Meyer 38
- Andy Schofield 35