Burning Rubber

Gaffney's making his mark on track - Durham's Sean Gaffney is leading his first major British racing series after just two rounds of the British Formula Ford Championship.

Gaffney's making his mark on track

Durham's Sean Gaffney is leading his first major British racing series after just two rounds of the British Formula Ford Championship.

Having won two out of the four races so far this season, the 20-year-old, pictured, is now adapting to life with a large target on his back, as he sits four points ahead of his nearest rival in the hard-fought Scholarship class of the leading single-seater series.

Supported by Fullspec Solutions and the Gumball 3000 organisers, Gaffney took his first outing in a French Mygale chassis prepared by North London based Remita Racing, at Donington Park two weeks ago as he opened his account in the 2007 championship.

Forced into retirement by an exploding clutch plate in the opening race, Sean more than made up for it in the second when he took his first ever victory at British level.

And not content with that, the youngster went off to Brands Hatch last weekend and took another win as the high-profile series appeared on the prestigious A1GP programme.

After a fantastic victory in race one - where he started from second on the grid, dropped back to fourth then fought through the field to take the top spot - Gaffney was cruelly denied another in race two when he was taken out by guest driver, Craig Bell.

"I was absolutely gutted, I had been hoping for another win because I knew I was in a good position," he told Burning Rubber. "My two championship rivals had both gone out of the race earlier on, and I knew they weren't going to be scoring any points.

"All I needed to do was get a decent finish and pick up the points and I would have extended my lead even further."

With his next race five weeks away at Snetterton in Norfolk, Sean is now working on his fitness training and taking some valuable advice from long-time pal, veteran sportscar driver Warren Hughes.

"Warren's been teaching me how to drive defensively now, which is all quite new to me," he admitted. "I've been used to having to challenge for position, to spend my race time trying to move up the field.

"Now I'm having to learn how to defend. I'm not used to being the guy who's out in front, the one who has everyone else snapping at his heels, so I'm learning how to make my car as wide as possible and keep it in front.

Hobbsy does it

Never let it be said that here at Burning Rubber we like to say "We told you so". . . but in the case of a certain `Bigfoot' Dennis Hobbs, well . . . we told you so!

For far too long we've been waiting to finally report that the sometimes luckless 23-year-old from Barnard Castle had won his first British level motorcycle race, and just hours after going to press last week, where we bigged him up once again, the lanky rider finally did it.

As we said last week, Hobbsy has looked a class above the rest of the field so far in this year's Maxxis British Supersport Championship, and was denied wins in the first two races through no fault of his own.

But he turned it around in style last Sunday when he took his Padgett's Honda CBR600 to what looked an easy win at Silverstone, and the sheer volume of applause he received as he climbed onto the top step of the podium showed just how many other people agreed that this win was more than deserved.

"It was pretty easy you know, I have to say it wasn't a hard race for me," Hobbsy grinned. "I had the whole package working perfectly this weekend, from Friday's first practice I knew it felt right and I am just so grateful to everyone involved for making this work for me."

Den is now looking to respond with another win at Oulton Park in Cheshire tomorrow - He may have lost out on points in the first two rounds, but I still believe that this lad is the man who will take the title this year.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer