Racing News

Castro and Estherson give Team USA a double podium at Formula Ford Festival Finals

The 50th Formula Ford Festival ended this afternoon in a sensational style, with Team USA scholarship drivers Max Esterson and Andre Castro in second and third place behind British Jamie Sharp in the thrilling 20-lap Grand Final. Finished in the place. Josef Newgarden won the Kent Final in the color of the Team USA Scholarship in 2008, with Brett Smurtz and Neil Alberico finishing third in 2009 and 2011, respectively, but two Team USA drivers on the podium. This was the first time I had won.

Estherson (shown with Scott Dixon in the upper right) provided one of the drive for the event by climbing from 13th on the grid to 3rd on the checkered flag. Castro started in 8th place and then finished hard with Esterson’s tail. Both drivers later benefited when Scottish Neil McCrennan was disqualified for overtaking under the Yellow Flag in an enthusiastic final race.

This is Rodempy Racing’s second runner-up so far. Ireland’s winner Jonathan Brown finished second last year, with Team USA Scholarship Representative Bryce Aaron in fifth.

Similar to yesterday’s heat race, the whimsical weather in Britain affected and heavy rains in the morning delayed the start of the two semifinals by 30 minutes. Ironically, after a short period of significant improvement in conditions, just as the 28 starters of the day’s opening race went on a two-lap sighting lap before forming on the starting grid. The rain came back with revenge.

Castro lined up on the 6th grid in Ray GR19’s first semifinal. He lost his position on the opening lap and was involved in a fierce battle with Jonathan Brown, who settled when Castro jumped in the past on the final lap of Clearways, the final corner, after an early suspension of the safety car. It is now a trademark inside line pass.

Irish Neil Murray (Vandymen), who won the Formula Ford Festival in 2013 and 2016, brilliantly defeated McClenan (Spectrum), with Sharp (Medina Sports) finishing third.

Estherson lined up in the pole position of the 2nd Semifinal, also held in very wet conditions. It soon became apparent that the race would be a challenge for young New Yorkers as they lost their place to run towards the first corner, Paddock Hill Bend, due to poor traction. He returned to 7th place on the first five laps, fought fiercely at the end of the 14-lap race, ahead of his teammates at Rhodempsey Racing and the winner of the 2010 Formula Ford Festival (and the 2021 British GT Champion). I maintained that position. Dennis Lind from Denmark.

The race was won by another former festival winner, veteran Englishman Joey Foster (Ferman).

Foster and Murray were officially in the front row of the Grand Finals sponsored by Clapham North. By that time, the truck was almost completely dry. The action was hot and heavy from the beginning, and Oliver White (Medina) and Tom Mills (Spectrum) were also part of the main quartet covered in inches. Meanwhile, Estherson moved quickly and was in the top 10 by the end of the second lap. The unfortunate wheel crash between Murray and White at the exit of the daunting Paddock Hillbend, with Mills involved, saw both drivers crash out of the fight. The safety car was scrambled while the course was cleared, and shortly after reopening, Foster made a mistake when sliding down the road on the clearway. After that, 11 snakes fought for the top in the remaining 10 laps.

Estherson soared to third place at the half-distance mark, making a series of great passes. He was temporarily demoted by Chris Middlehurst (Van Diemen) and then regained his position with five laps remaining. Esterson remained glued to the two leaders, and Castro fought in fifth place over Irish Jordan Dempsey on lap 15. Middlehurst was still following them. With one lap remaining, the top six cars were covered in less than a second. But in the end, the delighted Sharp held up to clear the checkered flag within a tenth of a second from McCrennan. Esterson, Castro, Dempsey, Middlehurst, Northern Irishman Ivor McCullough, another former festival winner, and recovering Foster, Browne, and Lind completed the top ten, all just over two seconds behind.

“I’m thrilled to be on the podium at the festival, especially after starting on the 13th,” Esterson said. “I bowed down and made some wild moves to the Clearways and Paddock. Thank you for your support this weekend and hope to reach the top step at Silverstone next week. ! “

“We can’t put into words what it means to win the podium at the first Formula Ford Festival,” Castro added. “We worked on speed all week and scored spots every time it was time for a race. We continued to climb from the grid slots with each race, finishing 12th at some point and then working hard in the finals. Max. It’s incredible to be on the podium with me because he also had a great drive. Next week’s Walter Hayes should be exciting and I can’t wait. Make this experience a success. Thanks to everyone at Low Dempsey Racing and all of Team USA’s partners. “

“What a wonderful weekend,” said Jeremy Shaw, founder of the Team USA Scholarship. “The race was fierce and it was very cool to see stars like Scott Dixon, who won the NTT IndyCar Series six times, and former F1 drivers Jonathan Palmer and Bruno Giacomelli attending the post-race celebrations. Everyone agreed that the quality of the competition was absolutely excellent. It really was. Also, former F1 and longtime Corvette factory driver Jan Magnussen has such fun at another Rodempsey Racing Ray. It was also fun to spend time and see him finish in a strong 11th place in the final. He is already planning his return in 2022! “

The two Team USA scholarship drivers will be lined up with several other opportunities earlier this week before they begin preparing for the next weekend’s Walter Hayes Trophy event in Silverstone on Wednesday. Castro and Estherson give Team USA a double podium at Formula Ford Festival Finals

Back to top button