SA DRIVER WINS UK FORMULA FORD TITLE Jayde Kruger from Edenvale in Gauteng has become the first South African since 1977 to win the F1 cradle-class. Image: Jakob Ebrey Photography
LONDON, England - South African Jayde Kruger is now officially the British Formula Ford champion - an appeal by rival Harrison Scott after a race meeting at Brands Hatch in October has been rejected.
That makes Kruger the first South African to clinch the British Formula Ford title since Trevor van Rooyen in 1977.
Kruger finished eighth in the 30th and final race of the 2014 championship season, which consisted of 10 rounds of three races each, the first way back in March. He finished fourth in Saturday’s (Oct 11) Round 28 which was won by title rival, British driver Harrison Scott, but came back to win Round 29 on Sunday (Oct 12) morning which Scott did not finish after the two of them tangled during the race. Scott retired.
'HAPPY AND CELEBRATING'
Here's how Wheels24 reported that story back then:
Scott instituted a protest which was not upheld by the stewards but the team has lodged an appeal - hence the 'provisional' nature of the championship claim.
Round 30 finished late on Sunday afternoon, with Scott the winner, but Kruger, by virtue of a 22-point advantage at the start, could afford to finish no lower than 11th; he was eighth, enough to clinch the title. He said later: "We’re happy and we’ll be celebrating, but we know an appeal is pending and we’ll have to deal with that when the time comes.
"I’m confident that the outcome will support the stewards' decision.”
Kruger came into the championship mid-way through 2013 and was soon competitive. He credits his multiple race-winning form of 2014 to his switch to JTR: “It was a good move - I think we made the best choice.
"We’ve had only one mechanical DNF, the other was when I crashed. Aside from that everything with the car has been pretty faultless… I gained a lot of knowledge in 2013 about how everything works, and that’s been invaluable.”
'NO PLANS FOR HOME'
Kruger hopes his championship success will lead to greater things in motorsport, but possibly not in single-seaters: “I’d like to be racing something with a roof over my head, sports cars perhaps. Rather than carry on chasing a single-seater dream, I want to make a living racing cars, and the best route to that is in GTs.
"I have no plans to return to South Africa: when motorsport is what you live for, you have to be in the UK where the opportunities are.”
Kruger’s final tally for the season was 13 wins from 30 races, an impressive achievement.
Since Van Rooyen's days Formula Ford has retained its status as arguably one of the most important breeding grounds for international motorsport super-stardom, whether in single-seaters or sports cars. Jayde Kruger joins Jordan Pepper and Kelvin van der Linde in bringing home silverware from the international motorsport stage in 2014.
1 Jayde Kruger (SA) 717
2 Harrison Scott (ENG) 711
3 Ashley Sutton (ENG) 567
4 Juan Rosso (ARG) 561