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2017 Silverstone Classic media day


With the start of the 2017 Season just around the corner, the Silverstone classic media day was a chance to shake down cars and shake the cobwebs off the driver ahead of the first race!

Michael O’Brien took to the track for the first time in the 2017 season, completing three practice sessions and the Formula Ford Parade photo shoot.

With the first race on April the 8th at Donington Park, it gave the team a good opportunity to evaluate the car and set up from the winter work that had been put in.

Overall, a very good day first day with lots of positives to take forward to the first race next week.

Classic Team Merlyn will field a two car entry for the season opening race at Donington Park.

Formula Junior race winner Cameron Jackson will make his Formula Ford debut in ultra competitive class along side former winner Michael O’Brien.

Both drivers will be looking to claim the race win in among a record 60 + car entry for the event!

Follow our progress with website updates before the event and a full race report to be published in the days after the race.


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Successful start to 2016 season


The Speedsport Historic Racing Team, competing as Classic Team Merlyn in the Historic Formula Ford Championship, got off to a great start at Castle Combe recently.


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Classic Team Merlyn


Mike O’Brien’s Speedsport Historic Formula Ford racing team will now be known as “Classic Team Merlyn” in deference to their successful relationship with Merlyn CRD, and the many race wins that have been achieved by Mike’s team in recent seasons, culminating in Richard Mitchell’s 2015 Championship winning season.
The team will consist of the three Merlyn MK20As which Mike and his team at Silverstone have restored, rebuilt and raced over recent seasons.
The ex Tim Brise multi race winning car will be joined by the Blue Championship winning machine [originally driven in period by Colin Crang] and the most recent addition which is the Green [ex Jim Russell Racing School] car rescued from Belgium at the start of 2014 before undergoing a complete chassis up restoration in conjunction with Merlyn CRD – this car enjoyed a race winning debut driven by Michael O’Brien at Silverstone this September.
Mike O’Brien said : "Racing as Classic Team Merlyn will create a lot of interest in the Merlyn marque, and give our drivers a real team environment when they race with us. We also aim to be able to help other Merlyn drivers with advice and guidance, and we will carry a good stock of spares to all the race meetings.
The intention is to run two cars at all races next season, with the third car appearing at selected events, hopefully with the occasional ‘celebrity’ driver at the wheel to create added interest in the team and the whole HFF championship. We also plan to race at Pau and maybe a couple of other European races in 2016”

Classic Team Merlyn is fully endorsed and supported by Clive Hayward, one of the founders of Merlyn CRD which is still going strong producing spares for all Merlyn models and he believes that the team will be able to provide opportunities for drivers to enjoy racing Merlyn products knowing that they are prepared and set up to the highest possible standards.
Mike O’Brien was Merlyn’s last ‘works’ driver in 1978 when he drove the Merlyn MK31 sponsored by National Girobank – there has always been a friendly relationship since then, and both Mike and Clive Hayward look forward to continued success under the ‘Classic Team Merlyn’ banner.
All three team cars raced at Silverstone for the HSCC Finals meeting on October 17th. and featured an extremely strong driver line up of Richard Mitchell, Mark Draghicesu and FF2000 front runner Benjamin Tusting.
No drivers are yet confirmed for 2016, although racing returnee Mark Shaw is expected to contest at least six meetings after proving very competitive at Croft [6th] and Oulton Park [2nd] this season.
Mike said : “we are already in discussion with a number of drivers for next season, but what is important is that we get the right mix of youth and experience. We are racing for enjoyment as well as success in the HFF series, so want the right drivers that share our philosophy.”


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Mitchell wins Historic Formula Ford Championship


Driving Speedsport's blue Merlyn Mk20, Richard Mitchell claimed the 2015 HSCC Historic Formula Ford Championship with two superbly controlled drives at Brands Hatch.

In his first season of motor racing, and never having driven on the Brands Indy Circuit before, Richard scorched to pole position with a stunning 51.8 sec lap time. He lead the first race for half distance before wisely settling for a very close second place at the end of 23 hot laps.

In race 2 he followed the same pattern, eventually finishing a fine third which established a 27 point margin over his nearest competitor, meaning he cannot be beaten with one race remaining at Silverstone on October 17th.

The other Speedsport Merlyns have been busy too, with our recently restored Green Mk20A scoring two pole position, one win and one second position and two fastest laps at Silverstone International Circuit driven by Michael O'Brien - this was all the more credible as we were racing in the Classic Formula Ford series which caters for pre '84 machinery, so our 1971 Merlyn was up against more modern equipment. American Mark Draghicescu will re-join the team to drive this machine at the final round on October 17th.

Finally Scotsman Mark Shaw made a return to the Speedsport Team having driven for us in the 1990s - Mark showed he had not lost any of his speed by finishing 6th. in both races at Croft and then qualifying second and finishing a close second at Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting. Mark was driving our original ex Tim Brise car.

Drives are available in our Merlyns at the 2015 Walter Hayes Trophy event, and we are also now talking to drivers about joining our team for the 2016 HFF season - we hope to take in some European races, such as Pau and Spa in 2016 as well.


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