Ammonite Motorsport’s Elliot Budzkinsi took pole for heat one at the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone, with team-mate Max Esterson dominating qualifying for heat two.
Kevin Mills Racing were the closest challengers in both sessions, with Julian Van der Watt qualifying second for heat one, and Andrew Rackstraw and Michael Eastwell setting an identical time to line up second and third for heat two.
Team USA scholar Budzinski set an early benchmark of 1m10.979s in a damp heat one qualifying, and continued to improve, finishing the session with a best lap of 1m09.333s. Van Der Watt was 0.176s adrift, having moved ahead of B-M Racing’s Dave McArthur late on.
Reigning Castle Combe FF1600 champion Felix Fisher was another late improver to fourth ahead of Ammonite’s Shawn Rashid.
Former British Touring Car Championship racer Mike Epps was less than 0.5s off the pace in sixth on his first FF1600 appearance, while Team Dolan’s Chris Middlehurst could only muster the seventh quickest time.
Tom Bradshaw was eighth ahead of McArthur’s brother Tom and privateer Doug Crosbie.
Esterson got his Walter Hayes defence off the perfect start, with the 2021 winner setting the quickest time of the day so far in session two with a 1m09.267s, and made further improvements to end with 1m08.692s.
Rackstraw and Eastwell were both a huge 0.820s behind, while Michael Moyers was fourth in a new Medina run by Simon Hadfield Motorsport. Brandon McCaughan was over 1.2s off the pace in fifth for Oldfield Motorsport.
Ammonite’s William Ferguson and KMR’s Josh Le Roux both improved on their final laps to end sixth and seventh ahead of Team Canada scholar Jake Cowden.
David McCullough (Team DDR) and FF1600 returnee James Clarke (Enigma Motorsport) were also late improvers in ninth and 10th.
Heat 1 grid
1 Elliott Budzinski Ammonite Motorsport 1m09.333s
2 Julian Van der Watt Kevin Mills Racing +0.176s
3 David McArthur B-M Racing 0.279s
4 Felix Fisher TM Racing +0.309s
5 Shawn Rashid Ammonite Motorsport +0.386s
6 Mike Epps Border Reivers +0.480s
7 Chris Middlehurst Team Dolan +0.560s
8 Tom Bradshaw Nigel Grant Motorsport +0.812s
9 Tom McArthur B-M Racing +1.080s
10 Doug Crosbie Privateer +1.291s
Heat 2 grid
1 Max Esterson Ammonite Motorsport 1m09.063s
2 Andrew Rackstraw Kevin Mills Racing +0.820s
3 Michael Eastwell Kevin Mills Racing +0.820s
4 Michael Moyers Simon Hadfield Motorsport +0.924s
5 Brandon MCcaughan Oldfield Motorsport +1.219s
6 William Ferguson Ammonite Motorsport +1.377s
7 Josh Le Roux Kevin Mills Racing 1.385s
8 Jake Cowden Graham Brunton Racing +1.391s
9 David McCullough Team DDR +1.433s
10 James Clarke Enigma Motorsport +1.760s