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SEPTEMBER 29, 2001

Pat Long robbed of British Formula Ford title at final corner

AMERICA's big hope for Formula 1 in the future, Patrick Long was robbed of the British Formula Ford Championship on Saturday at Silverstone where the young American was taken out at the final corner as he overtook championship rival Robert Dahlgren of Sweden.

Long had to beat Dahlgren to win the title but in qualifying was caught out by Britain's uncertain weather and qualified only 11th on the grid. Dahlgren was fourth in his Murray Racing Van Diemen.

Long fought through the field in his Duckhams Van Diemen and was behind Dahlgren at the last corner when the Swede collided with Wesley Barber. Long moved to pass Dahlgren, who had slowed down because to the incident and Dahlgren drove into the Californian's car in a move similar to Michael Schumacher's 1994 take-out of Damon Hill in Adelaide.

Subject to any penalties being imposed Long thus finishes second in the British Championship but hopes that his strong showing will lead to a drive next year in the British Formula 3 Championship.