Benn Tilley showed his class again with another pole position for the first BARC Luna Logistics Classic Formula Ford race at Snetterton.
The Bourne-based teenager put his Merlyn Mk20 in front by 0.8 seconds, from a resurgent Mark Armstrong in his Van Diemen RF80.
Armstrong set his fastest time on the penultimate lap of the session, but could not quite beat Tilley’s mark – set four laps earlier. He has overcome the misfiring issue that put him out of contention a fortnight ago at Mallory Park.
Stuart Kestenbaum was third, about a tenth slower than Armstrong. Kestenbaum is now Tilley’s chief rival for the title, as current second-place man in Class B.
Ben Tinkler is absent this weekend so unable to continue his rivalry with Tilley. Realistically, Tilley is the champion-elect.
A rather depleted field was improved by the return of Rick Morris, who is driving a new Royale RP26. Morris walked away from a car-trashing accident at Silverstone but the experienced Formula Ford stalwart was right back on the pace, leading qualifying for part of the session.
Kevin Mitchell has not managed to repair his car after this Mallory off. Early series leader Mike Gardner appears to have withdrawn from the championship.
1 Benn Tilley (Merlyn Mk20) 1:21.072
2 Mark Arrmstrong (Van Diemen RF80) +0.845
3 Stuart Kestenbaum (Crossle 16F) +0.944
4 Rick Morris (Royale RP26) +0.990
5 Steve Pearce (Van Diemen RF81) +2.199
6 Alan Williamson (Van Diemen RF81) +2.254
7 Alan Fincham (Van Diemen RF80) +3.564
8 David Lowe (Lotus 69) +4.964
9 Simon Clews (Elden Mk10) +6.003
10 Phil Attwood (Crossle 32F) +7.501