Home Formula FordNational FF1600 Kelly holds off Sharp to win National FF1600 race one at Brands Hatch

Kelly holds off Sharp to win National FF1600 race one at Brands Hatch

by Ida Wood

Photo: FF1600 National / Team Dolan

Team Dolan’s Jordan Kelly won the opening BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 race of the weekend at Brands Hatch after a lengthy battle with Jamie Sharp.

It was Kelly’s team-mate Morgan Quinn who started from pole, having topped a qualifying session where the top five were spread by 0.026 seconds and the top two by just 0.01s.

Oldfield Motorsport’s points leader Lucas Romanek shared the front row with Quinn and he passed the poleman on the opening lap. Sharp, who won the 2021 FFord Festival at Brands Hatch and was making his FF1600 return, also got by Quinn but they were split by a tiny 0.13s at the end of the lap.

Quinn lost another place on lap two to Kelly, who continued the three-way fight for the lead into the next laps.

Sharp took the lead from Romanek at Graham Hill Bend on lap four of 18, with Kelly also able to get by before the end of the lap, and there was 0.169s splitting the top two heading into lap five.

Kelly immediately pressured Sharp and the leader had a wide moment and lost traction by running over some kerbs, but managed to stay ahead. They finished the lap side-by-side, but Kelly could not make a move happen when on the outside line for most corners.

On lap eight he tried at Paddock Hill Bend, then at Druids, and finally had enough momentum to turn that into the inside line on Sharp at Graham Hill Bend and to snatch the lead.

Sharp stayed in his mirrors thereon, with Quinn also applying pressure from behind after passing Romanek at Paddock Hill Bend on lap eight but falling back from the lead fight after a few laps.

Around a quarter of a second seperated the top two through the second half of the race, and Sharp attempted to take back the lead around the outside of Druids on the final lap but fell short of victory by 0.165s.

Quinn held third to the end, and late on pulled away from Romanek and Kevin Mills Racing’s FF1600 returnee Lucas Blakeley. Ammonite Motorsport’s Elliott Budzinski shadowed their fight throughout but did not try to involve himself and finished 0.184s behind Blakeley.

Privateer Tom Nippers lost ninth place to a five-second penalty for track limits abuse.

Race result (18 laps)
Pos Driver Team Car Time
1 Jordan Kelly Team Dolan Van Diemen RF06 15m26.101s
2 Jamie Sharp B-M Racing Medina Sport JL17 +0.165s
3 Morgan Quinn Team Dolan Van Diemen RF99 +1.638s
4 Lucas Romanek Oldfield Motorsport Van Diemen JL13 +2.524s
5 Lucas Blakeley Kevin Mills Racing Spectrum 011C +2.706s
6 Elliott Budzinski Ammonite Motorsport Ray GR18 +2.890s
7 Nolan Allaer Ammonite Motorsport Ray GR22 +3.106s
8 Brandon McCaughan Oldfield Motorsport Van Diemen JL13 +6.137s
9 Jeremy Fairbairn PWR1 Racing Ray GR20 +7.018s
10 Tom Nippers Van Diemen RF01 +11.706s
11 Nathan Yu Team Dolan Van Diemen RF99 +15.138s
Fastest lap: Kelly, 50.691s

Championship standings
1 Romanek 298   2 Kelly 265   3 McCaughan 244   4 Budzinski 259   5 Allaer 187   6 Quinn 176   7 Chris Middlehurst 173   5 Budzinski 259   8 Donal Downey 97   9 Yu 85   10 Brindley Kinch 68