BARC Luna Logistics Classic Formula Ford championship leader Benn Tilley took a close pole at Mallory Park.
Tilley set an impressive time of 49.902s, the hot weather slowing potential top speeds slightly. Stuart Kestenbaum, like Tilley a Class B competitor, was a very close second but unable to break the 50 second barrier, setting a 50.014s.
Initial timing screens suggested that Nigel Lingwood, in a Van Diemen RF80, had posted the fastest time, but he ended up in fourth place, behind Mark Bates’s Royale RP24. Ben Tinkler, who made such a strong resurgence at the Donington meeting, will start the race in fifth.
The Mallory circuit’s compact nature meant that qualifying was a tight affair, with the fastest drivers having to negotiate slower cars frequently as well as the track’s corners. Still, times were highly competitive, with the top seven drivers covered by less than half a second.
The series is reconvening after a midsummer break. Mark Armstrong has made his return after missing the last round at Donington. He was not quite happy with his performance but couldn’t put his finger on why. He will start in ninth place.
Fellow Donington absentee Mike Gardner remains missing in action and may not return to the championship. He was Tilley’s chief rival for the title, but this now seems unlikely.
Dulon driver Ian Jeary is sitting this round out but will return later in the season. James Hadfield, driving his matt-black Hawke, is making another appearance in the series and qualified sixth.
|4||A||Nigel Lingwood||Van Diemen||+0.227|
|5||A||Ben Tinkler||Van Diemen||+0.370|
|8||A||Steve Pearce||Van Diemen||+0.596|
|9||A||Mark Armstrong||Van Diemen||+0.599|
|10||A||Alan Williamson||Van Diemen||+1.906|
|12||A||Graham Terry||Van Diemen||+1.944|
|15||B||Ian Fernihough||Van Diemen||+2.126|
|16||A||Alan Fincham||Van Diemen||+2.203|
|19||A||David Roark||Van Diemen||+3.639|
|23||A||Ben Hadfield||Van Diemen||+13.913|