Classic News

Tilley triumphs in first Classic race at Donington

Benn Tilley converted his Luna Logistics Classic Formula Ford pole position into a race one win on the Donington Grand Prix circuit.

Class B driver Tilley finished 3.5s ahead of Class A winner Ben Tinkler to record his first finish of the season in second place, and though he finished 3.5s behind Class B driver Tilley, Tinkler did not make life easy for him.

Tinkler pushed ahead of the Bourne-based teenager early in the first lap and established a small lead by Coppice. The first lap was a close-run thing, with a big pack up front.

Their frenetic pace was interrupted by a safety car period on the second lap. Despite not hitting anything, the bodywork from the front of Ian Jeary’s Dulon flew off at Craner Curves.

Quick action from the marshals meant that the yellow flag period was brief. Jeary carried on and did not seem too affected by his predicament, running as high as sixth at one point before taking a pit stop and dropping to 15th. He was 13th at the end.

Tilley overhauled Tinkler for top spot fairly quickly and kept ahead with some superb driving. He took very aggressive lines through all the corners and utilised two backmarkers well to build up a gap to Tinkler. Tinkler pushed hard but was unable to pass.

Nigel Lingwood and Kevin Mansell had their own fight over third and fourth place. Lingwood had jumped from fifth to third before the safety car and though either could have taken it, Lingwood was ultimately quicker.

Behind them, Stuart Kestenbaum had rather a lonely race, having lost a few positions due to gear selection issues at the Old Hairpin.

Alan Williamson and Steve Pearce, both in 1981 Van Diemens, were locked in a private battle over sixth place, which Pearce won.

There was an unexpectedly tight struggle over eighth place between Tim Saunders and Stephen Greenwood, which went down to the finish line with Greenwood the victor.

Greenwood’s Beattie is a one-of-a-kind car and is now running well thanks to improved airflow, a contrast to its less reliable showing at the Cadwell Park HSCC meeting two weeks ago.

Tilley will start from pole on Sunday.


Pos Class Driver Car Gap
1 B Benn Tilley Merlyn Mk20 20:22.957
2 A Ben Tinkler Van Diemen RF80 +3.537
3 A Nigel Lingwood Van Diemen RF80 +13.226
4 A Kevin Mansell Crossle 32F +13.697
5 B Stuart Kestenbaum Crossle 16F +23.912
6 A Alan Williamson Van Diemen RF81 +26.857
7 A Steve Pearce Van Diemen RF81 +29.039
8 B Stephen Greenwood Beattie +50.230
9 A Tim Saunders PRS RH01 +50.512
10 A Mark Harrison Lola T504E +56.283
Fastest lap: Benn Tilley, 1:44.34

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