Home Formula FordNational FF1600 Dempsey pips Smith in “hectic” Silverstone qualifying for FF1600 opener

Dempsey pips Smith in “hectic” Silverstone qualifying for FF1600 opener

by Ida Wood

Photo: Ida Wood

Jordan Dempsey began his BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 title attack with pole position for the opening round on Silverstone’s International layout.

The Kevin Mills Racing driver and reigning Northern Irish FF1600 champion, a late entry for the season, described the session as “a bit hectic” as drivers ducked in out of the tow and passed each other down straights to get a slipstream.

Oldfield Motorsport’s Lucas Romanek set the early pace, posting a 1m10.731s lap to go almost a third of a second clear of the field while Dempsey was actually one of the last out on track.

Colin Queen was second to Romanek at the start, but he then moved ahead by 0.097 seconds. The Ammonite Motorsport driver was quickly shuffled down to second again though as Romanek improved, and then B-M Racing’s Rory Smith went fastest by 0.035 seconds.

Smith’s lap kept him ahead for almost half of the session, as drivers actually struggled to improve with so much on-track battling take place. Team Dolan’s Ben Cochran ran in Smith’s tow, and more than once overtook him down the inside of the first corner at the start of a flying lap.

The top three were covered by 0.057s going into the final minutes, when several of the top drivers took a quick trip to the pits. Romanek was one of those and found more pace when he rerturned to track, but just as Dempsey improved too to put himself in first place with a 1m10.436s lap.

Nobody was able to beat that time, although Smith got closest to shuffle Romanek off the front row. Queen qualified fourth, just 0.057s slower than Smith.

B-M’s Jamie Sharp qualified fifth, with KMR’s GB4-bound racer Tom Mills the last driver to set a sub-1m11s pace in sixth.

Davide Meloni qualified 13th for his racing return, while Welsh youngster Tom Nippers, racing as a privateer for his single-seater debut, qualified 14th and just 1.331s off pole.

At the bottom of the order was Dolan’s Morgan Quinn, who had an issue that kept him in the pits for much of qualifying, and Ammonite’s debutant Brindley Kinch.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Jordan Dempsey Kevin Mills Racing 1m10.436s 16
2 Rory Smith B-M Racing 1m10.577s +0.141s 16
3 Lucas Romanek Oldfield Motorsport 1m10.612s +0.176s 13
4 Colin Queen Ammonite Motorsport 1m10.634s +0.198s 17
5 Jamie Sharp B-M Racing 1m10.791s +0.355s 16
6 Tom Mills Kevin Mills Racing 1m10.872s +0.436s 17
7 Megan Gilkes B-M Racing 1m11.054s +0.618s 16
8 Andre Lafond Ammonite Motorsport 1m11.147s +0.711s 16
9 Ben Cochran Team Dolan 1m11.232s +0.796s 17
10 David McArthur B-M Racing 1m11.287s +0.851s 14
11 Shawn Rashid Ammonite Motorsport 1m11.396s +0.960s 16
12 Gabe Tesch Team Dolan 1m11.567s +1.131s 16
13 Davide Meloni B-M Racing 1m11.590s +1.154s 16
14 Tom Nippers 1m11.767s +1.331s 15
15 Brandon McCaughan Oldfield Motorsport 1m11.878s +1.442s 15
16 James Hadfield unknown 1m11.893s +1.457s 15
17 Murray Shepherd Andy Powell Racing 1m11.956s +1.529s 16
18 Morgan Quinn Team Dolan 1m12.337s +1.901s 3
18 Brindley Kinch Ammonite Motorsport 1m13.162s +2.726s 12