Nelson Rowe scored a late victory in HSCC Historic Formula Ford Championship race one at Cadwell Park, emerging ahead in a four-way fight aboard his Crossle 20F.
Starting behind 2017 champion Richard Tarling and Ed Thurston’s Elden in sixth place, Rowe benefitted from Thurston’s driveshaft breaking early on to gain fifth and started homing in on those ahead.
Polesitter Cameron Jackson was the early leader, closely followed by Callum Grant, who had set the fastest time in the first qualifying session. Early indications suggested the race would be a Jackson vs Grant showdown, but third place man Ben Mitchell, driving Marcus Pye’s Merlyn Mk20, quickly joined in.
As the lead quartet started swapping places lap after lap, Jackson’s Lola T200 started to lose power, his car running too hot allowing Rowe to slip by.
Rowe’s path to victory was dictated by a race-defining moment between Grant and Mitchell. Grant, leading the race, ended up on the grass when jockeying for the lead with Mitchell, dropping back to fifth place.
In the ensuing chaos, Rowe pulled away into the lead, Jackson moved back into second place and Tarling passed Mitchell for third place, where all four would finish.
Fifth-placed Grant appealed to the Clerk of the Course post-race over his trip through the grass while battling Mitchell, but the move was ruled as a racing incident.
Rowe was delighted with his win. He described his car as being like “a favourite pair of slippers” that could be slipped back into without a problem at any time.
The leading driver in the Over 50s class was Rob Smith, who finished tenth overall in a Merlyn Mk20.
There were also noteworthy performances further down the field. Qualification race winner Brian Morris was twelfth and UK-based Kiwi Chris Stuart was 16th in a Crossle 16F, despite also progressing from the earlier qualification race.
Stuart was only eighth in the qualification race and 14th in qualifying, but passed several drivers who looked quicker on his way to his 16th placed finish.
The qualification race itself had been a scrappier affair. Morris and Glenn Eagling exchanged the lead several times, but a brief safety car period due to a Donald Laird off neutralised a tactical tussle developing behind involving Tim Brise, Andrew Wiggins and Robert Tusting.
|1||Nelson Rowe||Crossle 20F||20:39.655|
|2||Cameron Jackson||Lola T200||0.282|
|3||Richard Tarling||Jamun T2||0.645|
|4||Ben Mitchell||Merlyn Mk20||1.769|
|5||Callum Grant||Merlyn MK20A||4.451|
|6||Maxim Bartell||Merlyn Mk20A||14.380|
|7||Benn Simms||Lola T200||14.560|
|8||Benjamin Tusting||Merlyn Mk20A||17.721|
|9||Matthew Wrigley||Merlyn Mk11A/20||23.547|
|10||OF||Rob Smith||Merlyn Mk20||34.247|
|11||OF||David Wild||Lola T204||34.880|
|12||OF||Brian Morris||Lola T202||35.580|
|13||Mads Gravsen||Palliser WDF1||36.163|
|14||Daniel Stanzl||Elden Mk8||42.036|
|15||OF||Glenn Eagling||Lotus 61MX||44.425|
|16||OF||Chris Stuart||Crossle 16F||45.101|
|17||OF||Tim Brise||Merlyn Mk20||45.574|
|18||OF||Stuart Kestenbaum||Crossle 16F||55.635|
|19||OF||Kevin Stanzl||Crossle 20F||57.981|
|20||OF||Andrew Wiggins||Titan Mk6||1:05.404|
|21||OF||Alex Meek||Merlyn Mk20A||1:13.947|
|22||OF||John Hayes-Harlow||Merlyn 11A||1:14.423|
|23||James Lovett||Lola T200||1:30.507|
|DNF||Lee Penson||Lotus 51A|
|DNF||Ed Thurston||Elden Mk8|