TRISTAN Nunez won the 12th-running of the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone last weekend after he dramatically snatched victory in the event’s Grand Final from John Martin and Ivor McCullough.
Driving for the Team USA Scholarship team, Nunez took victory in a race that has is widely regarded as one of the best Formula Ford races of all-time, and the best race Silverstone has witnessed for years.
By winning, Nunez became the third Team USA driver to be crowned as Walter Hayes Trophy winner, following in the footsteps of Conor Daly (2008) and Connor de Phillippi (2009).
Nunez passed the chequered flag just a matter of inches ahead of Silverstone-based Australian, John Martin. Ivor McCullough, the Formula Ford Festival winner, was third.
Torrential rain lashed Silverstone throughout Sunday morning and organisers were faced with the difficult decision of continuing with the meeting or not. Abandonment was not an option for the Silverstone staff, and a herculean effort followed to clear standing water from the track’s surface and enable racing to continue.
The race organising Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC) made sure the world’s largest Formula Ford event reached its climax with the running of the Grand Final.
Throughout the opening nine laps of the final the lead continually switched places between three-time WHT winners, Peter Dempsey and Joey Foster.
Both racers were looking to secure their fourth title, and their on-track performances thrilled the crowds at trackside.
For more than a lap the pair raced side-by-side until they touched at Becketts, forcing both out. McCullough picked up the lead, before Nunez made his move with one lap to go with Martin following.
“That was the best race of my career and the best race I have ever been in,” Nunez said afterwards.
“The Walter Hayes Trophy is such a famous race meeting and to win the event representing Team USA means so much. I want to thank everyone who made my trip to the United Kingdom possible.”
John Martin said: “I loved racing in the Walter Hayes Trophy. It was great fun and certainly different to driving in the FIA World Endurance Championship.”
The Walter Hayes Trophy was voted a huge success and will take place on the first weekend of November next year. CB/JB