The 13th and 14th April saw the opening rounds of the Heritage Parts Centre Formula Vee Championship at Brands Hatch, in Kent. Andy went along to meet the drivers and check out all the pitlane and circuit action.
Vee for Victory
As a quick recap for those at the back. Formula Vee is a single seater race series which relies on 1300cc single port engines to power them, a Beetle gearbox to change cogs, and a Beetle front axle to cope with the curbs and corners. Power wise they can produce upwards of 100bhp and get clocked at over 100mph on the straight! It’s a race series we really love and naturally felt a connection with – so when the opportunity came, we signed up as title sponsors.
The cars are categorised into Class A and Class B. From what we can gather it comes down to the suspension – the B class cars can only run steel bodied shocks, a maximum of 2 per axle, and they must be attached to the trailing arms to preventing ‘in board’ mounting. The idea is to keep the cost a little lower, and offer more competitive racing for the older chassis cars. That’s not to say a B class car can’t win the outright race, as they have before.
With the regulations so tight, and excitement high for the start of the season, the run to the first corner in race 1 saw a pretty major incident… sadly with the ‘open wheeled’ nature of these cars, when they touch things tend to go wrong. The good news was no one was hurt – the bad news, a couple of cars were sidelined for the restart and didn’t make it to race 2 on Sunday either. It wasn’t just the Vee racers affected by incidents either – we spotted a Mk2 Golf race car on a trailer looking rather sorry for itself. Sadly race 2 on Sunday also saw a pair of red flags for the Vee’s, which due to regulations moved the restart until the end of the day. Fortunately this ran untill the flag, although wasn’t without incident.
Standing on the top step after the restart on Saturday was Ian Jordan, with Daniel Hands 2nd and Graham Gant 3rd. Claiming the silverware for class B was Ross Price ahead of Phil Waterhouse and Vaughn Jones. On day 2 it was Graham Gant who took the outright victory from Ian Jordan and Danny Hands. Ross Price pipped Vaughan Jones to 2nd in class B, with Bill Garner claiming a well-deserved 1st and scooping the Heritage Driver of the Day award, following a hasty engine rebuild on Saturday night.
One of the great things about club motorsport is being able to walk up close to all the race cars, regardless of whether they are in the open paddock, or in the pit garages. This weekend didn’t just host our favourite single seat Formula either, also on the bill was the Royal Purple Hot Hatch championship (featuring a number of Mk2 Golfs) a couple of races with some Porsche’s and a handful of other series’ run by the 750mc each offering fantastic racing throughout the field.
You go to a circuit to watch the racing, right?! There was plenty of that, and as an extra surprise, we bumped into Paul Foreman in his Mk2 Golf GTI race car. We supplied him many parts during his rebuild, including a complete ‘non -sunroof’ roof skin direct from VW Classic Parts in Germany! His car was running well too – Paul picked up a pair of 1st places in his races on Saturday and finished in the top ten in a ‘two-man’ 45-minute endurance race on Sunday, against some much quicker machinery.
See it yourself
The next round of the championship comes from Mallory Park in Leicestershire on Sunday 5th May. Stay tuned to our Social Media for a chance to win some tickets.