2nd-3rd August 2014 - Croft
Another Double Win for Dean Forward at Croft
Just as he had a year earlier, Yorkshireman Dean Forward was unstoppable as the Historic Formula 3 Championship featured a double-header at the fifth annual Croft Nostalgia Weekend (2/3 August).
Exactly fifty years after Croft hosted its first race meeting, the HSCC was back at the North Yorkshire track to deliver some memorable race action as drivers like Graham Birrell, who competed half a century earlier, visited Croft to join in the celebrations. “This is actually the first time I have been back to Croft since 1971, and it’s still a terrific circuit,” said Birrell.
Benn Simms was a welcome addition to the field in his rare Elfin 600 and showed that the car has great potential by setting pole position on Saturday morning on a damp track. Next up in the 16-car field was Jim Blockley (Brabham BT21B), while Paul Waine had the De Sanctis going very well in third. Rounding out the top six qualifiers were James Timms (Brabham BT21B), Simon Armer (March 703) and Forward in his Tecno. That made five models in the top six and with Vesey, Belgica and Lotus all represented, it was a wonderfully varied grid.
Forward quickly fought his way through from sixth on the grid to triumph in the weekend’s first race on Saturday afternoon, although his task was aided by early dramas for pole-sitter Simms, who had to start from the pit-lane following clutch woes on the debut for his newly-restored Elfin.
Simms duly scythed his way through the field to head the chase of Forward, but a misfire towards the end forced Simms to ease off, which was good news for Forward as the Tecno was now suffering with overheating issues. Waine finished third in his De Sanctis from Armer, while Keith Messer (Vesey) just got to the line ahead of Blockley as six different manufacturers filled the top six spots.
Forward had no worries on Sunday as he repeated his double Croft success from a year before with a handy margin over Armer’s March 703. Forward was able to ease away at around a second a lap as Messer came through to complete the podium from Blockley and Timms.