Rory Smith clung on to victory in the opening Avon Tyres BRSCC Northern Formula Ford 1600 Championship race at Oulton Park, which was decided by a red flag.
Smith, in his B-M Racing Medina JL18, initially had a reasonable advantage but front-row man David McArthur, who had made a poor start in his Van Diemen LA10 and briefly dropped to fourth, closed the gap before a safety car period.
Once the race resumed McArthur hassled Smith, and went around the outside of Smith at Old Hall corner for the lead a lap later.
Victory wasn’t his though, as red flags flew seconds later after an incident at Deer Leap involving Seamus Wild and Andrew Kluge.
The latter’s Van Diemen collided with the parked Mygale of Post-’89 championship leader Andrew Thomas, who had gone off in a separate incident earlier in the race. Kluge was taken to the medical centre and the North West Air Ambulance arrived at the circuit shortly afterwards. There is no official word on Kluge’s condition at present.
The race result was set from the end of the previous lap, with Smith taking a 0.053s victory over McArthur. Wild was excluded from the results for driving in a manner incompatible with general safety.
A brilliant start from the outside of the second row of the grid briefly put Jack Wolfenden into second, but he dropped back down to third in his Reynard 88FF and spent the rest of the race fending off the similar car of Jaap Blijleven for the final overall podium position and Pre-’90 victory.
After overcoming Ray Smith’s Van Diemen RF88, Neil McArthur’s Van Diemen LA10 was fifth overall, with Matthew Chisholm’s Van Diemen RF00 climbing to sixth.
Mario Sarchet, Alaric Gordon and Scott Guthrie claimed class wins, while Thomas and Edwin Hannah were ruled out in separate incidents, which led to the mid-race caution. Chris Stones retired after an engine failure aboard his Van Diemen RF88.
|1||Post89||Rory Smith||Medina||7 laps|
|2||Post89||David McArthur||Van Diemen||+0.053|
|5||Post89||Neil McArthur||Van Diemen||+5.515|
|6||Post89||Matthew Chisholm||Van Diemen||+5.653|
|7||Post89||Nigel Dolan||Van Diemen||+5.753|
|8||Pre90||Ray Smith||Van Diemen||+6.657|
|9||Pre90||Wayne Poole||Van Diemen||+6.758|
|12||Pre90||Scott Rawlinson||Van Diemen||+9.113|
|17||Pre90||Stephen Bracegirdle||Van Diemen||+18.307|
|18||Post89||Fergus Paton||Van Diemen||+19.847|
|20||Pre90||Steve Nixon||Van Diemen||+31.084|
|NC||Pre90||Andrew Kluge||Van Diemen||+1 lap|
|DNF||Pre90||Christopher Stones||Van Diemen|
|Fastest lap: D McArthur, 1:50.281|
|1 Thomas 94 2 Rory Smith 88 3 Gordon 78 4 Dolan 74 5 D McArthur 67 6 Chisholm 60 7 John Ferguson 48 8 Paton 44 9 Tom Canning 42 10 Wild 27|
|1 Sarchet 136 2 Wolfenden 104 3 Bruceie 89 4 Young 72 5 Hannah 70 6 Poole 66 7 Rawlinson 61 8 Ian Ellis 32 9 Morgan 38 10 Blijleven 29|