Kevin Mills Racing’s Jordan Dempsey felt “robbed” of victory in the second Walter Hayes Trophy heat, after a late clash with Matt Cowley meant both finished down the order.
Chinese F4 champion Dempsey led until the heat’s penultimate lap, tangling with Team Dolan’s Cowley at Brooklands.
Both cars spun with, Cowley’s Van Diemen briefly on top of the nose of Dempsey’s Spectrum.
Dempsey was able to recover to finish fourth to progress to the semi-final but Cowley, now with suspension damage, sank to finish 11th.
That result relegated Cowley to taking part in the Last Chance race to reach a semi-final berth.
Yet it was Dempsey who felt most aggrieved at the incident, despite his safe passage to the semis.
“I was kind of robbed,” Dempsey said.
“I had the job done, I was in the lead. I had good pace, it was just a matter of defending the last two laps.
“I had Brooklands defended pretty well but obviously not well enough.
“But there just wasn’t enough room for it at all.”
Despite suffering a much worse fate than Dempsey, Cowley felt no-one was to blame for the clash.
“I just think it was a racing incident,” he said. “I went up the inside and I don’t think he saw me. It’s not really anything to do on his part.
“I had the car perfectly under control going up the inside.
“When Jordan came down I was trying to get out the way and I ended up with two wheels on the grass trying to avoid him.
“He kept coming down and I had no more room on the inside to move over.”
Both drivers remained optimistic of a strong final result tomorrow.
“[It’s] not the way I wanted it to go but we still have good pace for tomorrow, so it should be good,” Dempsey added.
“The car’s been very quick all week. The Spectrum has been the car to be in all weekend.
“This car is flying. We were quickest in the wet test and the dry test. We’ll keep it going.”
Cowley was similarly hopeful of a resurgence on Sunday, even with a much longer path to the final.
“I’m still hoping to make it to the final and see what we can do,” he said.
“Obviously it’s a long way until then, got to go through a fair few races and get past a few people, but hopefully the aim is to get to the final again.”