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Tusting pips Smith to win interrupted third Historic FF1600 race

Benjamin Tusting won the third HSCC Historic Formula Ford Championship race at Donington Park, giving him the opportunity to race in the second points-scoring encounter later in the day.

Tusting, who was running in the top 10 in the main race on Saturday before having to retire, made his way from fifth on the grid to second on the opening lap.

He built up a lead over Rob Smith in the opening five laps, but his charge was halted when the race was red red flagged due to an incident that knocked Brian Morris and Philip Walker out of the race.

Merlyn drivers Tusting and Smith then fought for the lead during the eight laps after the race restarted, with the latter triumphing by 0.182 seconds. Smith got the consolation prize of winning the over-50 class.

Robert Tusting quickly made his way into the top eight after starting on the second-to-last row of the grid in his Lola. He got away quickly when the race restarted to move up to third, but fell down to fourth after Gregory Thornton, who originally started the race in last in his Titan, passed him in the second half of the race to take third.

A gap of over six seconds separated fourth and fifth by the end of the race, whereas Dick Dixon in the Lotus 61 had a lot of work to do to hold off sixth-placed Ian Fernihough.

Andrew Mansell, who started from pole position in his Merlyn Mk11A, fell down the order and outside the top 10 just before the race was red flagged. After the restart he was able to make it back up to seventh.

John Roberts became the last qualifier for the main race after finishing eighth.  A gap of 1.793 seconds separated him and John Slack and Nigel Adams in ninth and tenth.

Photo courtesy of Dan Bichener

Race results

Pos Class Driver Car Gap
1 Benjamin Tusting Merlyn 8 laps
2 OF Rob Smith Merlyn +0.182
3 Gregory Thornton Titan +10.302
4 OF Robert Tusting Lola +14.692
5 OF Dick Dixon Lotus +20.847
6 Ian Fernihough Merlyn +21.063
7 OF Andrew Mansell Merlyn +21.461
8 John Roberts Merlyn +21.854
9 OF John Slack Lola +23.647
10 OF Nigel Adams Lotus +24.084
11 OF Rudolf Ernst Titan +36.791
12 OF Louis Hanjoul Elden +38.489
13 Roger Arnold Merlyn +47.062
14 OF John Evans Lotus +58.978
15 Rachel Arnold Merlyn +59.707
16 OF Nick Arden Merlyn +1:10.223
Ret OF Chris Sharples Palliser
Ret OF John Hayes-Harlow Merlyn

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