Results > 6th-7th August 2016 - Croft

Armer Marches to two wins

Historic Formula 3 Championship Croft,

6/7 August 2016

Armer piercing

Simon Armer was the toast of Yorkshire with a double victory in rounds seven and eight of the HSCC Historic Formula 3 Championship at Croft over the weekend (6/7 August).

The pair of wins for Armerís March 703 has extended his lead in the championship with four races still to run as the season concludes with double-headers at Zandvoort (2-4 September) and Donington Park (1/2 October).

A good grid, featuring cars from eight manufacturers, gathered at the challenging North Yorkshire track for the annual Nostalgia Festival, which is now the biggest classic racing festival for the north of England.

In Saturdayís qualifying session, regular Formula Junior racer Jonathon Hughes set the mark in the ex-David Methley Merlyn Mk14A. As expected, Hughes set a strong pace on his first proper run in the category and took pole in 1m31.366s, a little over a second clear of Armer.

Peter Thompson (Brabham BT21) was right with Armer while Marcus Mussa was an impressive fourth in his Tecno. Paul Waine was fifth fastest in his rare De Sanctis as Jim Blockley rounded out the top six in his Chevron B17. Unfortunately, an off in qualifying whilst chasing an improved time rendered Thompson a non-starter for the races.

In the opening race, Blockley was an early retirement with engine issues and it was Hughes who edged clear of Armer at the head of the race. Unfortunately the Merlyn was forced into retirement with engine problems mid-race after building a 10-second lead and so Armer was able to move ahead and take a clear win.

Into a fine second, from seventh on the grid, came reigning champion Leif Bosson (Brabham BT28) with the drive of the race, while Mussa just got the better of Waine in a battle for third to make it two commuters on the podium. Waine had to recover from a slow start as he was being directed backwards by officials when the lights changed. Mark Linstone and Steve Seaman both retired their Brabham BT21s mid-race, while Keith Messer (Vesey) came up well from the tail of the grid to take fifth place as Chris Holland (Brabham BT21) beat Barry Sewell (Lotus 41) to complete the top six.

A slightly depleted grid lined up for Sundayís race but it was still a superb spectacle as the 1-litre cars brought back memories of July 1970 and the most important 1-litre Formula 3 race in the Croft story. The Guards International Trophy featured a round of both the Shell Super Oil British Formula 3 Championship and the Forward Trust Formula 3 Championship and, from an entry of more than 50 cars, Carlos Pace (Jim Russell Racing) won the final in his Lotus 59.

The second race completed an exemplary double for Armer and the fact that Hughes didnít take the start made life easier for the championship leader. Mussa and Bosson again made it a very European podium, though this time Monaco was ahead of Sweden as Mussa raced his Tecno to second place.

With his Chevron fixed for race two, Jim Blockley charged from the back of the grid to fourth place but fuel starvation slowed him on the final lap and the Chevron was nearly caught by Sewell, while Holland rounded out the top six.

However, the big winner was Armer who extended his championship lead to more than 50 points with four races to run. Next up are the high profile races at the Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix on the spectacular Dutch track in early September.

Paul Lawrence

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