SuperSeries FF1600: Raven Flies High
 April 12, 2016| 
  • Feeder Series
SNETTERTON, England - James Raven, displaying the colours of the Mazda Road To Indy Scholarship on his Cliff Dempsey Racing Ray, recently won the opening two rounds of the Mountney SuperSeries for Formula Ford 1600 on March 28. A former winner of the coveted Formula Ford Festival, Raven demonstrated to other racers on the grid that he will be a force to be reckoned with throughout the James Beckett Motorsport and MotorSport Vision Racing (MSVR) administered SuperSeries season. 

The Mountney SuperSeries is a recognised feeder-series for the $200,000 Mazda Road To Indy Scholarship Shootout, with the leading racer from the series earning a place in the Shootout Finals that will take place in late fall. 

Raven dominated the opening SuperSeries event of the season, which started later than scheduled due to the fact that racers were left waiting in the paddock area as 'Storm Katie' swept heavy rain and high winds across the track located at a former USAAF WWII bomber base. The Ray driver held off the challenge of Jamie Thorburn (Ray), who led early on, and his Cliff Dempsey Racing Texan team-mate, Chase Owen (Ray) to record his first victory of the 2016 season. Former MSV F3 Cup racer, Henry Chart (Van Diemen), took fourth place despite running an engine that was clearly down on power, with Seb Melrose, making a trip from Scotland to finishing fifth in a Graham Brunton Racing-run Ray. Experienced racer Simon Hadfield rounded out the top six placings. 

Andy Charsley, the reigning SuperSeries 'Driver of the Year' was a race retirement, when his number 1 Ray suffered suspension failure while he was dicing with Owen for a top-three position. 

Raven was also able to cross the finish line first in the second race of the day for a 100 percent start to his SuperSeries season assault. This time though, he had to race hard to the chequered flag in true quarter-mile style to defeat Owen by the narrowest of margins. Jamie Thorburn completed a fine weekend on a trip to Snetterton from Scotland, to score his second podium finish of the day in third. Andy Charsley was back on-track for the race, and charged from the rear of the field to score his first result of the season with fourth. Australian, Liam Sullivan, a former Mini saloon car champion, has switched to FF1600 for the 2016 season and was a creditable fifth ahead of Melrose who rounded out the top six. 

“We have witnessed a great start to the 2016 Mountney SuperSeries for Formula Ford 1600,” said James Beckett, the man responsible for many Formula Ford races in Britain including the SuperSeries, Champion of Brands and the end-of-season blue riband Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone. “A quality entry assembled at Snetterton to take part, and it was great to see Formula Fords in action at the track that is one of the categories spiritual homes.

“James Raven has started the season in style, although I am sure we will see many other drivers in a position to challenge for victory as the season progresses,” he continued. “The Mountney SuperSeries continues on May 15 at the home of Formula Ford, Brands Hatch. I can't wait!”
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