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3rd-5th May 2014 - Donington Park

Seaman and Forward Share the Wins

Steve Seaman and Dean Forward left Donington Park with the big rewards as they took one win apiece in the opening rounds of the Historic Formula 3 Championship.

A slot on the high-profile race programme at the prestigious Donington Historic Festival marked another big step forward in the development of Historic Formula 3 and a fine grid of 25 cars arrived for a pair of races.

In qualifying on Saturday morning it was Ian Bankhurst (Alexis HF802) who set the pace, lapping more than a second clear of Seaman (Brabham BT21) and Simon Armer (March 703). However languishing at the very foot of the times sheets after qualifying dramas were David Methley (Merlyn Mk14A) and Stuart Tizzard (Chevron B15C). Sadly, neither front-runner would be able to start the races.

Instead, the opening race went to Seaman, who won a hard-but-fair battle with polesitter Bankhurst. The Brabham BT21 driver made a classic inside passing move at Redgate on lap two, but then had to resist enormous return pressure for several laps, particularly down through the Craner Curves.

Paul Waine (De Sanctis 69) harried the leading pair early on, but worsening clutch and brake problems eventually caused him to spin, first at Redgate and then at McLean’s. On lap ten the pace told on Bankhurst’s Alexis and he lost revs before retiring to the pits. This left Seaman with a substantial lead over Armer’s March. “I had a general plan to stay with Ian in the opening laps,” said Seaman after the race. “I knew he was fast through the Craner Curves, so I pushed as hard as possible through there.”

Swiss racer Urs Muller battled his invitation class Formula Junior Lotus 20/22 into third. He improved steadily as the race went on, overhauling Leif Bosson’s Brabham BT28 and then fending off Bosson’s last-gasp challenge. Julian Maynard (Chevron B17) and Klaus Bergs (Brabham BT28) rounded out the top six.

Forward bounced back from pre-race problems to dominate Sunday’s race. His own Tecno had gone sick but installed in father Ian’s Brabham BT21 he went from the back of the grid to the lead in just four laps. After that, he pulled away to win by 15 seconds from Seaman, with Jim Blockley’s Brabham BT21 third.

“I just kept passing people and then looked for the chequered flag,” said Forward after another impressive performance. Seaman’s second place came after another scrap with Bankhurst, which lasted until the Alexis expired on lap seven. Blockley bagged the final podium position by a whisker from Armer, with Muller fifth and Waine an encouraging sixth and narrowly ahead of Chris Holland (Brabham BT21), Maynard and Bosson.

Ian Harden

Please note on the attached results sheets. The following errors: -

David Methley did not take part in Qualifying

In Race 2 The winning car was driven by Dean Forward not Ian Forward

Other photos by Mike Hedger, Robb & Mike Faloon.

View Results and Timings (as a PDF document) [PDF]