Classic News

Tilley tops Classic qualifying at Donington

Benn Tilley will start the first Luna Logistics Classic FF1600 race at Donington Park from first place, narrowly beating a demoted Jordan Harrison to pole position.

Tilley, driving Mandie Hadfield’s Merlyn Mk20, edged out Lola driver Harrison by just under a tenth of a second. However, Harrison is sharing his car with father Mark, so will not start Saturday’s race.

Ben Tinkler inherited second from Harrison after putting in some very rapid laps towards the end of the session in his Van Diemen. He had sorted out the suspension problem that put him out of the last round at Silverstone and now describes his car as “bomb-proof”.

Stuart Kestenbaum moved up from fourth to third was disappointed with his original grid slot, having battled Tilley for pole position for much of the session. He looked very smooth at the Melbourne hairpin, which many of the other drivers found very tricky.

Ian Jeary, who qualified twelfth, struggled with gear selection issues, leaving him less time to concentrate on taking a good line and affecting his laptime. 

This weekend represents a good chance for Tilley and Tinkler to make an impression on the championship. Frontrunner Mike Gardner is on holiday, Mark Armstrong is also absent and Rick Morris’s car has not yet been repaired after his Silverstone shunt. Adriano Medeiros’s Silverstone outing was a one-off and Simon Hadfield is not entered.

  1. Benn Tilley (Merlyn Mk20) 1:44.817
  2. Jordan Harrison (Lola T504E) 1:44.907 (DNS)
  3. Ben Tinkler (Van Diemen RF80) 1:44.978
  4. Stuart Kestenbaum (Crossle 16F) 1:45.359
  5. Nigel Lingwood (Van Diemen RF80) 1:46.323
  6. Kevin Mansell (Crossle 32F) 1:46.632
  7. Alan Williamson (Van Diemen RF81) 1:47.596
  8. Steve Pearce (Van Diemen RF81) 1:47.756
  9. Tim Saunders (PRS RH01) 1:49.045
  10. Alan Fincham (Van Diemen RF80) 1:49.089


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