Ray Allen, the winner of the first Formula Ford race in 1967, will be celebrated at Brands Hatch on July 13-14 when the pair of HSCC Historic Formula Ford races run for the Ray Allen Trophy.

The trophy will be presented to the aggregate winner of the Historic FF1600 races on the fabulous Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit during the annual Historic Sports Car Club Legends of Brands Superprix meeting.

The Brands races come at the mid-point of the season for the Barnett Racing Engines-backed championship and a grid of up to 25 cars is expected as work continues to rebuild support for the championship. Historic FF1600 has been a key part of HSCC race meetings since 1992 and 2024 marks the 30th year of the HSCC championship for the pre-1972 cars.

To date, there have been five different winners in six rounds of the 2024 championship and the early points’ leader is young Spencer Shinner from Cornwall in his Merlyn Mk20.

The late Ray Allen first made his name by winning the inaugural Formula Ford race at Brands Hatch in July 1967 at the start of what became the most successful racing category of all. The HSCC continues to provide great racing for the cars from the first five years of the category.

In 2017, Ray joined many other former Formula Ford racers for a special 50th anniversary celebration at Brands Hatch organised by the Historic Sports Car Club. Speaking in 2017, Ray recalled his victory in the first Formula Ford race: “I got into the first Formula Ford race and won it by a country mile. I’d done two other races before that in Lotus Formula 3 cars.

“Then Geoff Clarke, from Motor Racing Stables, said he wanted to me race for the school in the next year and I said I’d just been posted to Cyprus as I was a soldier. But I never went. Geoff bought me out of the army for the princely sum of £250, which was a lot of money in 1967.”

Andy Dee-Crowne, CEO of the HSCC, said: “Historic Formula Ford has been a successful HSCC championship for more than three decades and we expect that to continue for a very long time. The annual races on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit are a real highlight of the season and we’re working to ensure a strong grid at the home of the very first Formula Ford race.”