Classic News

Tilley takes two from two at Donington

Benn Tilley won the second Luna Logistics Classic Formula Ford race at Donington Park, making it two wins from two races this weekend.

Tilley took the win by just over 5 seconds at the end, having renewed his rivalry with Ben Tinkler from the first race.

Tinkler, in a Van Diemen, won a second Class A trophy but admitted a mistake made at the Old Hairpin in the last third of the race let Tilley get away. Tinkler had already fought back from a slow start, when he was overtaken by third-placed driver Nigel Lingwood, but took back his place quickly.

The start was once more a frenzied affair, with only Tilley getting away cleanly and a sizeable pack forming behind him.

Tinkler was given another chance by a lengthy safety car period and caught Tilley again, but his mistake, along with Tilley’s assured and aggressive cornering, meant that he had to settle for a class win rather than an overall one.

The safety car came out in the early stages of the race when Tim Saunders’s PRS collided with Stephen Greenwood’s Beattie. Greenwood admitted that he had “run out of talent” and spun at Coppice. Saunders tried taking to the grass, but was ultimately unable to avoid the backwards Beattie. Neither driver was injured, although the PRS picked up some serious damage to the rear suspension.

At the restart, a furious battle erupted over fourth place, with five cars scrapping together. One of the key movers in this action was Jordan Harrison, driving a Lola T504E. He qualified second on Saturday morning but started the race at the back, as he was sharing the car with his father Mark, who drove in Saturday’s race. At the time of the safety car, he had made up fifteen places and was seventh. In the latter stages of the race, he was duelling with Kevin Mansell and Stuart Kestenbaum behind Lingwood, in third.

Kestenbaum made an attempt on third place, from fifth on the grid, but could not stop Harrison. Mansell proved a sturdier adversary for the younger driver. They were very close until the final flag, but Harrison’s car suddenly lost power and he had to settle for seventh, finishing in the pits. Van Diemen driver Alan Williamson finished sixth.

Race 2 result

Pos Class Driver Car Gap
1 B Benn Tilley Merlyn Mk20 21:09.096
2 A Ben Tinkler Van Diemen RF80 +5.393
3 A Nigel Lingwood Van Diemen RF80 +9.372
4 A Kevin Mansell Crossle 32F +10.117
5 B Stuart Kestenbaum Crossle 16F +10.839
6 A Alan Williamson Van Diemen RF81 +11.145
7 A Jordan Harrison Lola T504E +17.344
8 A Alan Fincham Van Diemen RF80 +25.662
9 B Ian Jeary Elden Mk8 +26.101
10 B David Lowe Lotus 69 FF +35.359

Rachel Harris-Gardiner is Historic editor for She is a regular contributor to Autosport and Motorsport News and writes her own blog about women in motorsport, Speedqueens.

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