Classic News

Tinkler takes first Classic FF1600 win of year amid last-lap Mallory chaos

Ben Tinkler won a dramatic BARC Luna Logistics Formula Ford race at Mallory, passing polesitter Benn Tilley just after the hairpin.

Tilley led for most of the race, but was overhauled cleanly by Van Diemen driver Tinkler, who then pulled away and recorded a very convincing first win of the year.

Tinkler had started from fourth place and pushed hard from the start. He took advantage of slips by both Mark Bates and Kevin Mansell to position himself behind Tilley, then strike.

He was also helped by Nigel Lingwood’s late withdrawal before the race, which pushed him up one starting position. Early on, he battled with James Hadfield, but Hadfield had to pit due to his car overheating and he slipped down the field.

Tinkler was delighted with his win over Tilley. “It feels like it’s been a lot of hard work to get here,” he said.

Jordan Harrison was third, from thirteenth on the grid, having joined the leading group at about half-distance and cannily kept himself out of trouble. His father will drive their Lola T504E for Race 2.

Bates had qualified exceptionally well in his Royale and he was in a strong third place for much of the race. Unfortunately, he spun off at Gerards in the last third of the race and unwittingly triggered a rather nasty incident.

Mansell, who had been running as high as fifth, ran over Bates’s shed sidepod, which cut through his brake pipe. He was unable to slow down at the Esses on the last lap and hit the armco hard, taking Martin Whitlock’s PRS with him. Neither driver was seriously hurt, and miraculously, Bates finished in sixth place.

Stuart Kestenbaum added to the last-lap drama with a gear-change mistake and subsequent stall at the hairpin, triggering yellow flags. This was a shame for the Londoner, who ran in third place for much of the race and repeatedly challenged Tilley for the lead in the early laps. He also set the fastest lap.

Race results

Pos Class Driver Car Gap
1 A Ben Tinkler Van Diemen 24 laps
2 B Benn Tilley Merlyn +0.617
3 A Jordan Harrison Lola +5.295
4 A Steve Pearce Van Diemen +14.614
5 A Mark Armstrong Van Diemen +15.193
6 A Mark Bates Royale +18.052
7 A Alan Williamson Van Diemen +37.440
8 A Graham Terry Van Diemen +48.430
9 B David Lowe Lotus +1 lap
10 A Alan Fincham Van Diemen +1 lap
11 A Phil Attwood Crossle +1 lap
12 A John Evans Royale +1 lap
13 B James Hadfield Hawke +1 lap
14 A Richard Yeomans Crossle +1 lap
15 A David Roark Van Diemen +1 lap
16 A Ben Hadfield Van Diemen +4 laps
DNF A Kevin Mansell Crossle
DNF B Stuart Kestenbaum Crossle
DNF A Martin Whitlock PRS
DNF B Ian Fernihough Van Diemen
Fastest lap: Kestenbaum, 50.054

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