Classic News

Tilley takes first Brands Classic FF1600 win in photo finish

Class B Luna Logistics Classic Formula Ford 1600 frontrunner Benn Tilley took a dramatic first race victory at Brands Hatch in a photo finish with Scott Mansell.

Tilley, who hasn’t raced at Brands Hatch for two years, secured pole earlier in the day, and held the line from the start in his Merlyn MK20A.

The speed of Scott Mansell’s Crossle 35F meant Tilley was unable to break away though, with Mansell each lap attempting a wider line at Paddock Hill Bend to force a mistake.

The backmarkers looked like they were to be the deciding factor, as the leaders catching Ben Hadfield and Michael Saunders dicing at Paddock on lap 13 held Tilley up, and allowed Mansell to squeeze past.

Mansell held the line until the finish when the pair crossed the line side-by-side in a result even the two leaders didn’t know the outcome of until the podium.

Tilley emerged just 0.061s ahead of Mansell to claim victory number eight of 2018, with Rick Morris in the Royale RP29 taking third.

In the wider championship fight, Mark Armstrong had been wrestling misfire woes in his Van Diemen RF80 all weekend long, but managed to improve from his sixth-place start to finish fifth.

Title contender Steve Pearce had a more troubled race though, finishing his Van Diemen RF78 in 11th after starting in eighth.

Pos Class Driver Car Gap
1 B Benn Tilley Merlyn 13:16.536
2 A Scott Mansell Crossle +0.016
3 A Rick Morris Royale +0.213
4 B Stuart Kestenbaum Crossle +2.632
5 A Mark Armstrong Van Diemen + 3.622
6 A Kevin Mansell Crossle +23.304
7 B Ian Jeary Elden +30.848
8 A Steve Pearce Van Diemen +30.962
9 B Dave Lowe Lotus +32.127
10 A Nicholas Gibson Crossle +33.050

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