Oldfield Motorsport’s Josh Smith secured pole position for the first heat of the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, after exchanging fastest laps with Niall Murray throughout.
Smith spent much of the 15-minute session battling with national champion Murray throughout the qualifying session but ultimately held a one-tenth advantage at the conclusion in his Van Diemen.
With four minutes to go, Smith utilised a tow and set his fastest lap then. Times late in the session rarely improved, as the tyres wore down.
Team Dolan’s Murray will start Saturday’s first heat from second on the grid, after holding the top spot for much of the session.
Previous Festival winner Murray held the top spot for a sizeable chunk of the session, including during a red flag period for a spin involving Guillaume Archambault.
Team Canada’s Archambault spun on cement dust laid down on the run to Paddock Hill Bend following an incident in an earlier race, which brought out the sole red flag early in the session. Despite this, he finished the session in fifth, half a second off the pace.
Behind Smith, Keith Donegan showed his pace late in the session, leaping to third towards the end. He will line up alongside Don Hardman Racing’s Carter Williams.
Jonathan Browne, Geoffrey Horion, Sebastian Melrose and Michael MacPherson rounded out the top 10.
Top of the historics class was Conor Murphy, ahead of Flashman Finneran.
|1||P89||Josh Smith||Van Diemen||50.214|
|2||P89||Niall Murray||Van Diemen||+0.142|
|3||P89||Keith Donegan||Van Diemen||+0.263|
|7||P89||Geoffroy Horion||Van Diemen||+0.775|
|8||P89||Noel Robinson||Van Diemen||+0.867|