Home News Esterson takes Walter Hayes heat one pole, Mills leads KMR 1-2 in Q2

Esterson takes Walter Hayes heat one pole, Mills leads KMR 1-2 in Q2

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Ida Wood

Max Esterson beat Matt Cowley to pole for heat one of the Walter Hayes Trophy, while Tom Mills topped heat two qualifying at Silverstone.

Low Dempsey Racing’s Esterson, who was runner-up in last weekend’s Formula Ford Festival, beat Cowley’s early benchmark by one second to lead the way, and continued to improve throughout the session.

Team Dolan’s Cowley moved back in front before Esterson regained the advantage with a couple of minutes remaining.

Cowley then went a tenth quicker, with Luke Cooper moving into second before Esterson’s pole-claiming effort as the chequered flag fell.

Cowley will line-up alongside Esterson on the front row, while B-M Racing’s David McArthur snatched third from Cooper on his final lap.

Privateer Darwin Smith was another to feature near the top of the timesheet and ended up fifth in a Van Diemen RF90 ahead of Kevin Mills Racing’s Nick Gilkes.

Lewis Fox was seventh in a Ray GR14 ahead of Springbridge Motorsport’s Tom Hawkins in a 2011 equivalent.

James Clarke marked his contempoerary FF1600 return in ninth in PWR1 Racing’s Van Diemen RF99 ahead of Callum Grant in a 2008 Van Diemen.

Former British Touring Car Championship racer Kelvin Burt was 22nd of the 26 runners for Snetterton Speed Shop, taking over the Van Diemen RF80 piloted by Roberto Moreno at the Festival.

Mills dominated Q2 after beating KMR team-mate Megan Gilkes’ early benchmark. The 16-year-old soon bettered Esterson’s time from heat one, and set a best lap of 1m02.042s late on.

Gilkes secured a front row spot, 0.259s behind Mills, after beating three-time WHT winner Joey Foster with a minute remaining.

Oldfield Motorsport’s Lukas Romanek will line up alongside Foster on the second row.

Reigning BRSCC National FF1600 champion Chris Middlehurst was fifth for Dolan, ahead of B-M Racing’s racing returnee Jonny McMullan.

GB3 racer Alex Fores qualified ninth for Enigma Motorsport in a Jamun, and W Series driver coach Warren Hughes was 16th on his FF1600 return in a Royale RP26.

Qualifying round-up
Heat 1 grid
1 Max Esterson Low Dempsey Racing 1m03.072s
2 Matt Cowley Team Dolan +0.024s
3 David McArthur B-M Racing +0.054s
4 Luke Cooper Swift Cooper +0.135s
5 Darwin Smith privateer +0.303s
6 Nick Gilkes Kevin Mills Racing +0.378s
7 Lewis Fox Team Fox Racing +0.479s
8 Tom Hawkins Springbridge Motorsport +0.566s
9 James Clarke PWR1 Racing +0.735s
10 Callum Grant Nigel Grant Motorsport +0.786s

Heat 2 grid
1 Tom Mills Kevin Mills Racing 1m02.042s
2 Megan Gilkes Kevin Mills Racing +0.259s
3 Joey Foster Don Hardman Racing +0.292s
4 Lucas Romanek Oldfield Motorsport +0.386s
5 Chris Middlehurst Team Dolan +0.438s
6 Jonny McMullan B-M Racing +0.468s
7 David McCullough Team DDR +0.891s
8 Cameron Jackson Neil Fowler Motorsport +1.604s
9 Alex Fores Engima Motorsport +1.645s
10 Adam Higgins Riadro Motorsport +1.685s