Classic News

Ben Tilley tops Classic qualifying at Mallory

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.

Qualifying results

Pos Class Driver Car Gap
1 B Ben Tilley Merlyn 49.902
2 B Stuart Kestenbaum Crossle +0.112
3 A Mark Bates Royale +0.214
4 A Nigel Lingwood Van Diemen +0.227
5 A Ben Tinkler Van Diemen +0.370
6 B James Hadfield Hawke +0.428
7 A Kevin Mansell Crossle +0.428
8 A Steve Pearce Van Diemen +0.596
9 A Mark Armstrong Van Diemen +0.599
10 A Alan Williamson Van Diemen +1.906
11 B David Lowe Lotus +1.918
12 A Graham Terry Van Diemen +1.944
13 A Jordan Harrison Lola +1.967
14 A Phil Attwood Crossle +2.084
15 B Ian Fernihough Van Diemen +2.126
16 A Alan Fincham Van Diemen +2.203
17 A Martin Whitlock PRS +3.377
18 A John Evans Royale +3.415
19 A David Roark Van Diemen +3.639
20 B Robin Haslam Alexis +3.754
21 A Richard Yeomans Crossle +4.355
22 A Andrew Bartosiak Royale +4.796
23 A Ben Hadfield Van Diemen +13.913

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