B-M Racing’s Rory Smith defeated Jonathan Browne to win the 2020 Formula Ford Festival, as reigning BRSCC National FF1600 champion Neil Maclennan crashed late on.
Browne started on pole and led the early stages of the race, while Smith passed Maclennan and Ross Martin to move into second with a strong start.
Smith’s battle with Browne early on around a damp Brands Hatch with realistically one dry line brought Maclennan back into play towards the middle of the 20-lap contest and then Browne’s Low Dempsey Racing team-mate Bryce Aron and Team Dolan’s Martin too.
Smith eventually lunged up the inside of Browne into Clearways to lead, and Kevin Mills Racing’s Maclennan got by at Druids on Lap 12.
The quintet continued in that order for a number of laps until Maclennan crashed at Paddock Hill Bend on lap 15 of 20.
A safety car period was required, and it left a three-lap dash to finish.
Smith got a brilliant restart, but 2019 Festival winner Browne reeled him back in and pressured him to the chequered flag.
Matt Cowley charged from 10th on the grid to round out the podium. After the restart, team-mate Martin got by Aron and took Cowley with him, but Martin went off on the penultimate lap and dropped to 12th.
Chris Middlehurst rose from eighth to fourth in the third of Dolan’s cars, making his way past Team USA scholar Aron late on. His LDR team-mate Maxwell Esterson had a clean drive to sixth.
KMR’s Jordan Dempsey finished seventh after dropping several places prior to the safety car.
Luke Cooper was eighth, with Morgan Quinn (Dolan) and Team USA scholar Jackson Lee (LDR) completing the top 10. B-M’s Jamie Sharp recovered to 11th after a grassy moment at Graham Hill Bend.
Souley’s Sam Harrison, Enigma’s Jack Wolfenden (who suffered a similar loss of places to Martin) and John’s Racing Team driver Pascal Monbaron were 13th, 14th and 15th, while Tom McArtur rose from 25th to be Super Classic class winner in 16th.
Race results (20 laps)
|1||Rory Smith||B-M Racing||21m08.309s|
|2||Jonathan Browne||Low Dempsey Racing||+0.566s|
|3||Matt Cowley||Team Dolan||+3.160s|
|4||Chris Middlehurst||Team Dolan||+3.297s|
|5||Bryce Aron||Low Dempsey Racing||+3.557s|
|6||Maxwell Esterson||Low Dempsey Racing||+4.181s|
|7||Jordan Dempsey||Kevin Mills Racing||+4.750s|
|8||Luke Cooper||Swift Cooper||+5.301s|
|9||Morgan Quinn||Team Dolan||+5.859s|
|10||Jackson Lee||Low Dempsey Racing||+6.959s|
|11||Jamie Sharp||B-M Racing||+7.316s|
|12||Ross Martin||Team Dolan||+7.701s|
|13||Sam Harrison||Souley Motorsport||+8.057s|
|14||Jack Wolfenden||Enigma Motorsport||+10.745s|
|15||Pascal Monbaron||John’s Racing Team||+11.045s|
|16||Tom McArthur||B-M Racing||+12.900s|
|18||Logan Hannah||Graham Brunton Racing||+13.827s|
|19||Milan De Laet||Oldfield Motorsport||+14.518s|
|20||Megan Gilkes||Kevin Mills Racing||+14.842s|
|21||Rick Morris||Don Hardman Racing||+15.024s|
|22||Goofy Pirro||Oldfield Motorsport||+16.215s|
|23||Tom Hawkins||Springbridge Motorsport||+16.623s|
|26||Tom Ward||B-M Racing||+30.887s|
|27||Henry Campbell||+1 lap|
|Ret||Reece Lycett||Kevin Mills Racing|
|Ret||Neil Maclennan||Kevin Mills Racing|
|Ret||John Svensson||John’s Racing Team|
|Fastest lap: Smith, 54.616s|