Lewis Finishes Fifth at Brands Hatch

Written by Team USA. Posted in Team USA News

Published on October 24, 1992 with No Comments

Oct 24, 1992
Fawkham, England (October 24, 1992) – Ashton Lewis, 20, from Chesapeake, Va., finished a strong fifth in today’s qualifying heat race for the Duckhams Formula Ford Festival & World Cup at Brands Hatch.
Lewis, one of two winners of this year’s Valvoline Team USA Scholarship, was driving a Primus Racing/John Village Automotive Van Diemen RF92 as part of a three-strong American team ranged against 22 other nations.

Lewis started sixth and moved up one place on the opening lap, then held that position in the face of a strong challenge from experienced Scottish racer Louis di Resta and young Spaniard David Bosch.

“That was great fun,” said Lewis. “I was driving a defensive race, which wasn’t the fastest way, but I figured I had to do that to keep them behind me.”

The two other members of Valvoline Team USA were both out of luck. Tony Ave also moved up promisingly in his heat race, taking over fourth place on the opening lap before inadvertently making contact with British driver John Oxborrow, who was striving to make amends for a poor start.

“It was real unfortunate,” said Ave. “I tried to give him room to race but he slid up into my front wheel. From that point on I was just a passenger. His car rode up over my front wheel, then I was hit from behind by another car.”

Several other adversaries were involved in the incident and the race was stopped. No drivers were hurt, although Ave’s car was unable to continue due to damaged suspension.

The third member of the team, Geoff Boss, was unable to make up for the disadvantage of having to start from the back of the grid.. Boss had qualified fourth fastest, only to find his car did not meet the minimum weight limit. Boss worked his way up from 21st to 15th, one position shy of qualifying for the next round of competition.

More than 170 drivers took part in today’s eight heat races. The action will continue tomorrow with four Quarter-Final races, two Semi-Finals and the a 20-lap Grand Final to determine this year’s Formula Ford Festival champion.

A fourth American driver, Brian Cunningham, grandson of 1950s sports car racer Brigs Cunningham, finished a strong fourth in his heat race in a factory-entered Swift SC92F. Cunningham will start his Quarter-Final from row four of the grid.

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