Joaquin Folch becomes 2012 FIA Historic Formula One Champion

Filed under: Classic News,Racing |
Joaquin FolchAfter a lengthy summer break, HFO decamped to warmer climes for Rounds 8 & 9 of the 2012 season. Continuing the theme of the season so far, a number of entries dropped out in the week leading up to the event resulting in a very disappointing 6 cars taking the track for practice. I could try and do the PR thing and talk up the positive aspects of the weekend but with just a few notable exceptions, many historic motorsport series are struggling to maintain grids and HFO is no exception. Much thought needed for 2013! Free practice on Friday was notable for an uncharacteristic spin by Joaquin Folch in the beautiful Brabham BT49 which was thought to be caused by fuel starvation through the high speed corners casuing the engine to cut momentarily. By Saturday qualifying, Fredy Kumshick’s team had clearly fixed the problem as Folch claimed pole with Richard Eyre (Williams) and Peter Meyrick (March) behind. As race 1 got underway, both Folch and Philippe Bonny had poor starts. It looked like Richard Eyre would get the jump on Folch at the first corner but with pole giving him the inside line, Folch managed to hold Eyre off and then pulled out a lead which was never challenged. Further back, Bonny also recovered quickly only to drop back again on lap 4. Peter Meyrick was about to given a taste of the luck he was to experience all weekend when the Cosworth engine in the March threw a con rod just as he crossed the line at the end of lap 5. More bad luck was to come in Sunday’s Group C race which Peter was also contesting. The race now settled down and finished with Folch first, followed by Eyre and Terry Sayles in the Osella. To avoid a timetable clash with the Group C race on Sunday, the second HFO race was scheduled as the last race of the day but this precluded Folch from taking part. However, following some mental arithmetic, it was confirmed the popular Spanish driver who has been an HFO regular for many years had secured the 2012 Championship as his points tally put him beyond any challengers. With Folch no longer a factor, Richard Eyre enjoyed a comfortable run to take race 2. Poor Philippe Bonny was looking certain to take a step on the podium when he could be heard searching for a gear at the chicane. He came past the pits obviously in a lower gear than normal and circulated slowly for a couple of laps before deciding to call it a day with an unknown gear selection problem. HFO now heads to the last race of 2012 at the fabulous Jerez circuit. With the overall Championship and all class winners now decided, there will be something of a party atmosphere at Jerez where a (thankfully) larger grid is expected.Tags: