Formula 1600 driver Ben Hurst of Oakville, Ontario returned to the track for one final race this past weekend before ending his season and heading off to study at the University of Manchester. He contested the Toyo Tires Formula 1600 Ontario-based series finale which ran as a part of the BEMC Indian Summer trophy races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
As a result of his preparations for school Hurst missed the Friday test day starting his race weekend with only a ten-minute practice session before qualifying. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is a track Hurst is familiar with and he did not struggle at all after missing the test day, qualifying the car in P3.
“It was okay,” Hurst said of qualifying. “It was my second time in the car this weekend but overall it went really well once I got used to the car again.”
Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and resulted in a wet race 1 taking place later in the afternoon on Saturday.
“Saturday’s race was a bit uneventful even though it was in the rain,” Hurst remarked. “I just wanted to bring it home third and ready to start a hopefully dry race on Sunday from the front row.”
Hurst finished race one in 5th overall and 3rd in the A-Class.
Sunday brought two more races for Hurst and thankfully dry track conditions.
Race 2 took place just before lunch on Sunday and saw Hurst start beside his Brian Graham Racing teammate, Roman De Angelis, on the front row and battle hard with B-Class winner, Graham Lobban, to take P2 in the A-Class and 2nd overall.
“I started on the front row for the first time,” Hurst commented. “I had an okay start but it got exciting in my battle with some of the B-Class drivers and I came home second overall.”
The excitement continued for Hurst in Race 3 as he and B-Class winner, Graham Lobban, traded overall podium spots, with Hurst finishing 3rd overall and P2 in the A-Class. The show these drivers put on during Race 3 was perhaps some of the best racing to take to the track all weekend, as they raced within inches of each other trading positions at every corner.
“Probably the best race of the season for me,” Hurst said. “Definitely had the most fun racing wheel to wheel with the B-Class race winner,”
Hurst concluded the Toyo Tires F1600 Series Championship in 4th place only 8 points behind the 3rdplaced driver. He now heads to England to study sports management at the University of Manchester. On his plans for his off-season Hurst said;
“Training hard and hopefully getting some racing done while I’m at school in England. I’m also considering going down to the US for some racing when I have a break from school but nothing is concrete yet,”
Hurst wishes to thank his mechanic, Paul; his team, Brian Graham Racing especially Brian and Kelly for all their hard work and hospitality this season. He’d also like to thank Piper Race cars for a great season of racing.
Hurst is the Toyo Tires Formula 1600 Championship Rookie of the Year from 2015, BARC’s Best New Driver 2015 and a Team Canada Scholarship 2016 nominee. He is proud to represent JRP and Total Balance fitness.