Home Formula FordNational FF1600 Alex Walker dominates second National FF1600 race at Donington

Alex Walker dominates second National FF1600 race at Donington

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: BRSCC

Alex Walker claimed his maiden BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 victory after dominating an eventful second race of the weekend at Donington Park.

The Kevin Mills Racing driver took the lead on lap one of 14 and pulled away to win by 6.5 seconds after a safety car intervention while a multi-car battle raged behind. It’s Walker’s third win in FF1600, all of which have come at the same circuit.

B-M Racing’s Jamie Sharp was second, while Low Dempsey Racing’s Max Esterson finished third despite two trips off the circuit.

Esterson briefly led the race after making a good start, with Walker diving up the inside of race one winner and polesitter Rory Smith to take second into Redgate. Walker took the lead out of Old Hairpin after Esterson lost ground and dropped to fifth.

At the start of lap two, Sharp made a move up the inside of B-M team-mate Rory Smith at Redgate, but Smith was sent through the gravel and dropped to 10th after the two made contact.

Oldfield Motorsport’s Carter Williams became beached in the gravel after spinning out of eighth, triggering a safety car period – with the race length extended by five minutes.

At the restart Don Hardman’s Racing’s Joey Foster locked up into Redgate while running second, before driving through the gravel and retiring with a suspected issue on his new Firman.

From there Walker pulled away, helped by a frenetic battle for the other podium places.

Sharp and Esterson were joined in that scrap by Team Dolan’s Chris Middlehurst, Swift Cooper’s Luke Cooper and KMR rookie Lukas Romanek.  An off at the chicane and a second excursion at Redgate cost Esterson positions, while an issue sent Middlehurst briefly to the pits after locking up and running off the circuit.

Sharp was able to pull a gap to the pack in the closing stages to secure second place, with the squabble for third intensifying in the final minutes.

Cooper wrestled third heading into the final lap, with Smith recovering from his earlier spin to run fourth. Esterson drove around the outside of Smith as the cars negotiated Macleans for the last time, and snatched third at the final corner, with Cooper running wide on the exit and dropping to sixth.

Smith finished fourth ahead of Romanek, while former W Series driver Megan Gilkes was seventh for KMR, having joined the battle late on.

Will Everington – who did not start Saturday’s race due to mechanical issues – was 10th for Dolan.

Race results (14 laps)

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Alex Walker Kevin Mills Racing 20m09.940s
2 Jamie Sharp B-M Racing +6.565s
3 Max Esterson Low Dempsey Racing +16.069s
4 Rory Smith B-M Racing +16.311s
5 Lucas Romanek Kevin Mills Racing +16.352s
6 Luke Cooper Swift Cooper +16.546s
7 Megan Gilkes Kevin Mills Racing +16.937s
8 Colin Queen Low Dempsey Racing +17.056s
9 Jack Wolfenden Souley Motorsport +17.200s
10 Will Everington Team Dolan +41.548s
11 Chris Middlehurst Team Dolan +1 lap
Ret Joey Foster Don Hardman Racing
Ret Carter Williams Oldfield Motorsport
Fastest lap: Walker, 1m14.553s

Championship standings
Walker 58   2 Smith 56   3 Esterson 51   4 Sharp 49   5 Romanek 32   6 Cooper 28   7 Wolfenden 25   8 Foster 22   9 Williams 20   10 Gilkes 18