Historic News

Mitchell beats reigning champion Tarling to pole in Historic Formula Ford opener at Donington Park

Ben Mitchell grabbed pole position in drying conditions for the HSCC Historic Formula Ford Championship season opener at Donington Park, with defending champion Richard Tarling completing the front row.

Qualifying was split into two groups due to the size of the entry list, with the fastest driver from each group starting on the front row. The top 12 from each session will enter the second of the two Saturday races. The remaining drivers will be entered into the first race.

Rain had fallen prior to qualifying, meaning the second session had the drier track, and therefore the faster times.

Mitchell battled for pole in the second session in his Merlyn Mk20, and was up against another former champion, Crossle driver Nelson Rowe.

Tarling and Cameron Jackson traded fastest laps during the first qualifying session with the track still damp. Tarling set the only sub 1m30 laptime of the session, but was over five seconds slower than the time then set by Mitchell.

Rowe and Jackson will fill the second row of the grid behind the session toppers.

Callum Grant, who switched to a different Merlyn car before qualifying after finding an issue with the brakes, caught up to the times of Mitchell and Rowe in the second group but wasn’t able to find enough pace to split the two.

He will start the race on the third row, with Benjamin Tusting, also in a Merlyn, alongside him.

Ed Thurston and Will Nuthall qualified seventh and eighth respectively. Thurston went into the gravel at the end of second session, but was able to make his way back to the pits.

The top 10 for the second race grid is completed by Michael Grant Peterkin, in a Brabham, and Merlyn driver Matthew Wrigley.

Brian Morris was the fastest driver in the over-50s class, with his 2m08.209 lap just under seven-tenths of a second quicker than John Hayes-Harlow.

It will be David Wild who lines up alongside Morris though, forming an all-Lola front row in the Over-50s class.

Photo courtesy of Dan Bichener

Qualifying round-up
A results
Pos Class Driver Car Time
1 Richard Tarling Jamun 1:29.787
2 Cameron Jackson Lola +0.237
3 Benjamin Tusting Merlyn +1.960
4 Will Nuthall Jamun +2.302
5 Matthew Wrigley Merlyn +2.508
6 OF David Wild Lola +3.169
7 Peter Park Hawke +3.201
8 OF Gislain Genecand Crossle +4.151
9 OF Stuart Kestenbaum Crossle +5.014
10 Cormac Flanagan Alexis +5.113
11 OF Tim Brise Merlyn +5.386
12 OF Andrew Wiggins Titan +5.707
13 OF Robert Tusting Lola +5.709
14 Antony Ross Lola +6.132
15 OF Chris Stuart Crossle +7.251
B results
Pos Class Driver Car Time
1 Ben Mitchell Merlyn 1:24.718
2 Nelson Rowe Crossle +0.098
3 Callum Grant Merlyn +0.547
4 Ed Thurston Elden +2.866
5 Michael Grant Peterkin Brabham +3.020
6 OF Brian Morris Lola +3.491
7 OF John Hayes-Harlow Merlyn +4.185
8 Ross Drybrough Merlyn +4.335
9 Daniel Stanzl Elden +4.525
10 OF Rob Smith Merlyn +4.623
11 OF Stuart Dix Cooper +7.751
12 OF Chris Sharples Palliser +8.032
13 Harvey Sykes Crossle +8.524
14 OF Dick Dixon Lotus +8.853
15 OF Philip Walker Crossle  +9.070


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