MOTOR RACING: Vintage racer Richard roars into new era

Richard Ellingworth pilots his Historic Formula Junior single-seater to third place at Silverstone.
Richard Ellingworth pilots his Historic Formula Junior single-seater to third place at Silverstone.
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VINTAGE racing car enthusiast Richard Ellingworth just missed out on winning the Historic Formula 3 500cc Championship – despite not taking part in the final three races.

Richard lost the championship by just two seconds after a countback on time in all the races after he tied on points.

But Richard had a good excuse for missing the final three races – he no longer had the car. He has sold his early 1950s F3 Kieft and moved on to Formula Juniors, which replaced the 500cc motorcycle-engined F3 Formula in 1958 and carried on as the stepping stone to F1 until 1963.

Richard said: “I’ve changed cars now. I was offered a price I couldn’t refuse for my F3 Kieft and always wanted to move up and compete in Fornula Juniors as the competition is a lot more fierce, and there are loads more races, especially around Europe.”

Richard took part in his first Formula Juniors race at the Silverstone Classic last month, racing in the Formula Junior Historic Racing series. It was the last race of the 14-round championship.

Having only recently purchased the 1959 Gemini Mk 2 single-seater, it was Richard’s first time out in the car.

Despite struggling with old tyres and getting to grips with how to drive the 1100cc front-engined car, Richard did well to finish third overall from the 32-car grid. The race had been stopped earlier on when a competitor’s car dumped oil on the track.

Richard said: “I spun off at high speed and was lucky not to have any serious damage.”

Richard said he was looking forward to racing again next season in his Gemini, which he will be completely rebuilding over the winter months.