Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain front-runner Dan De Zille produced three tremendous race performances during the season finale at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, 8th/9th October, to wrap-up the campaign sixth in the driver standings.
Qualifying went well for the Jerseyman with the sixth fastest time, just 0.3 seconds shy of pole position, and the first of the weekend’s races on Saturday proved to be classic Formula Ford at its very best with overtaking at almost every corner.
Holding sixth early on, Dan gradually worked his way towards the front and by lap seven he was into second place and challenging JTR team-mate Geoff Uhrhane for the lead. Sandwiched between Uhrhane and Antti Burri, into the final lap Dan still held second but at Stowe he was mugged by Buri and Jeroen Slaghekke – although he did manage to re-take third at Brooklands.
Prior to Sunday’s action though, officials decided to remove Dan from the race one classification after declaring he took third place while yellow flags were being displayed. Disappointed, he was nonetheless phlegmatic: “I passed under yellow flags, I accept that and hold my hands up”, said the 24-year-old, “It’s a shame to lose the podium, it was a good race even though I did make mistakes.”
In race two, Dan and Finnish driver Buri were embroiled in a tremendous fight over fifth. Making a great start, he steered his JTR machine into fourth ahead of Buri and although being bundled back to sixth on lap two, Dan and Buri traded fifth place lap after lap with the Channel Islander taking the flag on lap eight just 0.2 seconds shy in sixth.
The final race of the season delivered another Formula Ford classic, albeit under ever-darkening skies in rural Northamptonshire. Starting in fifth place, Dan climbed as high as third on lap two and after some see-saw action he and Buri again diced wheel-to-wheel. Under massive pressure to the end, Dan held on to fourth brilliantly and missed out on the podium by little more than a second.
“Race two was really hard, I swapped places about 12 times with (Antti) Buri – we’ve been glued together for three years since we started together in Scholarship!”, added Dan, “The last race was up and down but, for me, it’s probably the best race I’ve driven. Just a bit frustrating it was for fourth.”
With the main championship season now concluded, Dan’s attention turns to the most famous Formula Ford event in the world – the Formula Ford Festival which takes place at Brands Hatch in Kent next weekend, 15th/16th October.