Home Formula FordNational FF1600 Chris Middlehurst wins in National FF1600 at Brands despite backmarker contact

Chris Middlehurst wins in National FF1600 at Brands despite backmarker contact

by Craig Woollard

Chris Middlehurst took victory in the second BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 race at Brands Hatch, despite contact with a backmarker.

Middlehurst started the 15-minute race alongside poleman Neil Maclennan on the front row, with the grid being set by the race one result.

Kevin Mills Racing driver Maclennan started well but on the second lap Middlehurst dived down the inside going into Druids, having ran wider through Paddock Hill Bend.

From there, Middlehurst was able to keep in front of the championship leader, and led a train of cars that included Low Dempsey Racing duo Jonathan Browne and Bryce Aron, B-M Racing’s Rory Smith and reigning champion and Team Dolan team-mate Ross Martin.

There was a scare for the leader as he came up to lap BRSCC Northern FF1600 contender Paul Tucker, where he sent him into a spin at Clearways. That looked to be Maclennan’s chance to reclaim the lead but he was unable to do so.

Middlehurst resisted the race-long pressure to take his first National FF1600 win in five years, and to be the first driver to beat Maclennan this season.

Browne challenged Maclennan several times in the race but was unable to get through. He finished third.

Smith finished fourth on the road, but a five-second time penalty dropped him down to seventh in the classification. Aron therefore inherited fourth, despite being tapped by Smith at Paddock.

Martin finished fifth, ahead of Oldfield Motorsport’s Stuart Gough – who initially able to keep with the leaders but faded later on.

EDIT: Smith’s penalty was later overturned.

Jamie Sharp came out on top of an epic scrap over eighth that went down to 15th in the middle part of the race, before Sharp, Luke Cooper, Max Esterson and Morgan Quinn were able to pull away. The quartet finished in that order, with Cooper seemingly having fixed a throttle issue from Saturday.

Simon Harrison came out on top in the Northern classification, finishing six seconds ahead of BRSCC chairman Peter Daly.

Race results (18 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Chris Middlehurst Team Dolan 15m32.332s
2 Neil Maclennan Kevin Mills Racing +0.138s
3 Jonathan Browne Low Dempsey Racing +0.634s
4 Bryce Aron Low Dempsey Racing +1.963s
5 Ross Martin Team Dolan +2.384s
6 Stuart Gough Oldfield Motorsport +3.972s
7 Rory Smith B-M Racing +5.903s
8 Jamie Sharp B-M Racing +9.328s
9 Luke Cooper Swift Cooper +9.511s
10 Maxwell Esterson PWR1 Racing +10.265s
11 Morgan Quinn Team Dolan +10.411s
12 Grant Palmer Low Dempsey Racing +11.563s
13 Michael Macpherson Kevin Mills Racing +16.008s
14 Matt Cowley Team Dolan +16.159s
15 Alex Walker PWR1 Racing +18.760s
16 Reece Lycett Kevin Mills Racing +21.729s
17 Tom Ward B-M Racing +21.897s
18 Sam Harrison Tim Harrison Engineering +24.716s
19 Peter Daly +30.373s
20 Neil Patten Souley Motorsport +40.584s
21 Jonathan Barnes Souley Motorsport +1 lap
22 Paul Tucker Tucker Motorsport +1 lap
Fastest lap: Smith, 50.649s

Championship standings
1 Maclennan 125   2 Middlehurst 105   3 Browne 94   4 Smith 91   5 Martin 84   6 Aron 69   7 Sharp 57   8 Quinn 23   9 Ollie White 20   9 Gough 26   10 Cooper 24