One-Litre F3 Historic Racing Association


Historic Formula 3 Championship 2023 Provisional Points [pdf]


31st December 2014 - Season Review

Historic F3 Championship final points and Season Review

2014 was our second season as a full Championship, and started with an appearance at the Donington Historic Festival. The level of entries for this meeting was disappointing, and we had to open the entry to Formula Juniors to make it financially viable. Qualifying deprived us of David Methley and Stuart Tizzard, but it was Ian Bankhurst in his Alexis Mk8 that took pole from Steve Seaman (Brabham BT21)and Simon Armer (March (703). Seaman took the lead in to Redgate and maintained it, despite a hard fought battle with Ian Bankhurst who eventually dropped out with distributor problems, leaving Simon Armer to take a distant second from Leif Bosson (Brabham BT28). Dean Forward who had retired his Tecno from Saturday’s race, but he took over his father Ian’s Brabham BT21 to dominate Sunday’s race from Seaman, Jim Blockley, Brabham BT21 and Armer in fourth.

Silverstone was initially billed as a double header (1 X HF3, 1 X CRC) but for various reasons the HF3 race was run concurrently with the Classic Racing Car race. Unsurprisingly the entry was decimated, none of the anticipated European entries making the trip for what was now only one race, and UK competitors who prefer to race only with HF3s voted with their feet; with only 17 cars it was some 12 cars below what had been anticipated. With Silverstone in brilliant spring sunshine, Steve Smith took the HF3 pole by a second from CRC convert Mike Scott, Brabham BT28, with Seaman third. As was to be expected, all the HF3’s were swamped by the Twin cam CRC cars off the grid, but Smith had a comfortable lead in the HF3 race, and after a few laps came through to his rightful overall race position. However, Seaman was in a five car battle from which he eventually escaped, catching and briefly passing Smith for the lead on the last lap, but Smith eventually took a hard fought win. The battle for third was eventually resolved in favour of Armer from Blockley, Stuart Tizzard (Chevron B15C) and Scott.

The ‘Justin Haler Trophy’ races at Cadwell Park took place under glorious sunshine; a pleasant change from the more usual Cadwell Park precipitation. Once again, the entry of 17 was disappointing, and was further reduced when Dean Forward suffered a recurrence of his Donington Park problem. Practice was dominated by David Methley (Merlyn Mk 14A) ahead of Ian Bankhurst, Pete Thompson, Jim Blockley and Leif Bosson. Methley dominated the first race with Blockley taking second from Bosson; with Robert Thorpe back in the family March 703 taking an excellent fourth place. Methley continued his winning ways in Race 2, from Ian Bankhurst, who had resolved his first race problems, followed by Peter Thompson, Brabham BT21, and the ever present Jim Blockley.

Early season Championship leader Steve Seaman, was side-lined after an incident in a race at Snetterton, which left his Brabham badly damaged, meaning that a 23 car entry gathered on a damp morning at Brands Hatch for the SuperPrix. Methley continued as he had left off at Cadwell Park, and demonstrated his superb car control to take pole by some 2.6 seconds from Francois Derossi (Chevron B17), followed by Armer and Blockley. It was no surprise, as Methley pulled out a 40 second lead on his way to a deserved victory from Thompson; Steve Smith had a storming drive through the field after a poor qualifying, to finish in an excellent third place, from Armer and Scott. The unfortunate Derossi was forced to retire as consequence of an incident in the Classic Racing Car qualifying.

Dean Forward, with his Tecno now sorted, returned at Croft and took two wins; however he did not have it all his own way. Qualifying saw debutant Ben Simms in Stuart Rolt’s Elfin take pole position by almost two seconds from Jim Blockley, and Paul Waine (De Sanctis) with Forward in an uncharacteristic 6th. A disappearing clutch meant a pit lane start for Simms, but a fighting drive saw him finishing second just six seconds behind Forward who had soon worked his way to the front. Paul Waine, just 12 month after his wheel shedding Croft debut with the DeSanctis, took an excellent third, with Armer third and Keith Messer, just pipping Blockley to fourth place in the faithful Vesey. Unfortunately Simms failed to start the second race denying the spectators what should have been a good battle with Forward, Dean won with ease from Armer and Messer with Blockley, slowed by an annoying misfire, taking fourth.

The Gold Cup meeting at Oulton Park had the added attraction of an Association Hog Roast, funded by the HSCC, and ably organised by Steve Wilkinson, which was attended by nearly 100 people on the Saturday evening. Twenty five cars presented themselves for the damp qualifying session which found Simms in dominant form, almost three seconds clear of Derossi, Armer and Bankhurst. Simms was briefly led by Derossi, but soon established a comfortable lead which he held to the finish. Behind him things were not so comfortable, the battle for second raging between Derossi, Thompson, Armer and Bankhurst with positions changing constantly. Messer in the Vesey was making progress from his poor starting position, and tagged on to the back of this battle on the penultimate lap, just as Thompson had a grassy moment at Old Hall; the finishing order was Simms, Bankhurst, Derossi, Armer, Messer and a recovering Thompson.

As we all set off for the final race at Dijon the Historic Formula 3 Championship was still open to three drivers. With Steve Seaman’s enforced absence, Jim Blockley’s very consistent finishing and reliability, saw him leading from Simon Armer and Leif Bosson, and with only the two races at Dijon left, the Championship had to go to one of these.

The added attraction of the Nations Cup always seems to help the grid at Dijon and so it was that 28 cars arrived. Qualifying saw a fight for pole with Louis Maulini (Merlyn Mk 10) just beating Thierry Gallo (Tecno) who was followed by Simon Armer, a very good effort from his first visit to the superb and challenging circuit. A quick spin on the first race by leader Derossi mixed the field up considerably with Jon Waggitt, Brabham BT18, leading over the line on the first lap. However the order was slowly restored with Gallo winning from, Maulini with Armer third, Smith fourth followed by the recovering Derossi.

Unfortunately the weather turned overnight, and further deteriorated through Sunday; more torrential rain resulted in racing being halted for an hour or so before being resumed under yellow flags and behind a course car. With conditions not looking to improve, a meeting of drivers was called, and a decision not to race was taken. Simon Armer, who was then only 7 point behind Jim Blockley, voted to race, but magnanimously supported the decision of all the other drivers’. So literally the Championship finished on a bit of a damp note, with Jim Blockley the 2014 Champion. The nations Cup being declared on the result of the only race went to France (Francois Derossi, Maurice Slotine and Thierry Gallo) by one point from GB ‘A’ (Simon Armer, Jim Blockley and Steve Smith) with Switzerland ( Christoph Widmer, Louis Maulini and Dick Van Amsterdam) third.

The second Historic F3 Championship went to Jim Blockley, his Brabham hobbled through much of the season with a high end miss-fire. He demonstrated that with some very constant finishing and a ‘never give up attitude’ from both himself and his support team, ‘Avit’ motorsport, Championships are possible. Simon Armer with some excellent drives took second.

2014 has again seen some superb grids, with fantastic racing from some very talented drivers, and some beautiful new cars to add to the wonderful HF3 scene at the circuits. Whilst only a handful of our 48 starters may have received a mention, without their support none of the superb racing we have seen could have occurred, and we would like to pass on our personal thanks for all their efforts, and wish all of you a fantastic 2015.

Last but not least, many thanks to Andrew Thorpe’s company, ‘The Cubicle Centre’ for their support.

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

2014 Champion Jim Blockley