Daly Name Racing Again on Avon Tyres
The Formula Ford Festival in October 2008 saw the return of the Daly name on Avon Tyres. Conor Daly, son of Former Formula 1 driver Derek Daly, performed well for Team USA at the festival – trousering a sixth-place finish – more than 25 years after his father raced on Avon rubber in Formula 1.
Derek Daly was born in Ireland and competed in F1 for teams including Hesketh, Williams and Tyrrell in the late 1970s and early 80s and now lives in the USA. There his son won the Skip Barber National Championship and a drive with Team USA in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch.
Conor Daly and Team USA team-mate Josef Newgarden qualified second and first respectively for their two Kent-engined heats but, after his throttle stuck open in his heat, the young Daly was forced to start from the back of the field for his semi-final race. After charging through from 20th place to finish sixth, he then leapt from 12th on the grid to finish sixth in the final, while Newgarden kept near the front through each of the heats, eventually winning in the final race from pole position.
Derek Daly won the Formula Ford Festival himself in 1976, and was on hand to watch his son’s charge through the field. Coincidentally, he also got to see another driver named Derek Daly, who is no relation to the former F1 star, finish in 21st place.
Avon Tyres, now a Cooper Tire & Rubber Company brand, has competed at every level of competition, including Formula 1, since the 1950s.