A nearly month-long adventure for this year’s Team USA Scholarship winners, Colin Mullan and Jake Craig, is drawing to a close. The talented young Californians – Mullan, 16, hails from Danville in the Bay Area and Craig, 21, from Mission Viejo, south of Los Angeles – have already contested two race weekends, at Donington Park and Brands Hatch, displaying plenty of speed in both events aboard their Cliff Dempsey Racing-tended Ray Formula Ford cars.
They have also spent some time sightseeing in London and enjoyed educational visits to Ilmor Engineering, the McLaren Technical Centre, Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, powerhouse junior-formula team Carlin, multiple Formula 3 and British Touring Car Championship-winning team West Surrey Racing and MINI Plant Cowley.
This weekend, after three more promising days of testing at Silverstone, Mullan and Craig will contest the 18th annual Walter Hayes Trophy, named in honor of one of the founding fathers (in 1967) of Formula Ford. Cliff Dempsey Racing has won the event six times, with Cliff’s son, Peter, taking top honors in 2006, 2007 and 2010, and Team USA drivers Conor Daly, Connor De Phillippi and Tristan Nunez triumphant in 2008, 2009 and 2012, respectively.
“Our days of testing at Silverstone for the Walter Hayes Trophy have been very productive,” said Mullan. “Silverstone is a very different track to drive than Brands Hatch, and the racing should be too. The long straights make for more passing opportunities, especially with the slipstream being a huge factor. We’ve had some great running in wet and dry conditions, so regardless of how the weather turns out, we’ll be very well prepared.”
“I’ve really enjoyed driving the Silverstone circuit,” added Craig, who last week celebrated his 21st birthday. “It’s much different than Brands Hatch being that it’s faster and has longer straights. Testing went very well in both dry and wet conditions. I feel confident going into qualifying in the morning. The Cliff Dempsey Racing Team has been hard at work perfecting the set up for tomorrow. My goal this weekend is to get a podium finish; I think that would be tremendous!”
Over 100 drivers representing at least a dozen nations are entered for what has evolved into the world’s premier Formula Ford event, with the entry split initially into six Heat races. Craig, No.21, will contest Heat Five, with qualifying tomorrow (Saturday, November 3) slated for 10:40 a.m., followed by an eight-lap race at 2:50 p.m., while Mullan’s No.22 car has been assigned to Heat Six with qualifying at 11:20 a.m. and the race scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m. Times are subject to change, with the program sometimes running ahead of schedule. Live timing for all sessions can be found at https://livetiming.getraceresults.com/mst.