Home Formula FordNational FF1600 Maclennan leads Smith in third National FF1600 Brands Hatch race

Maclennan leads Smith in third National FF1600 Brands Hatch race

by Craig Woollard

Photo: Jack Elleker

Neil Maclennan made it four wins out of five in BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 this year in a typically frantic final Brands Hatch Indy race.

Reigning champion Ross Martin led from the start of the reversed grid encounter and was able to open a gap to Low Dempsey Racing’s Bryce Aron early on.

At one point during the 15-minute race, the gap opened up to almost two seconds – by far the biggest during any of the three races this weekend.

Team USA scholar Aron started to come back at Martin as the race edged towards the midpoint, and gave a handy tow to those behind including team-mate Jonathan Browne, Kevin Mills Racing’s Maclennan and B-M Racing duo Jamie Sharp and Rory Smith.

Aron couldn’t get past Martin, and Maclennan and Smith came through to put more pressure on the leader.

A mistake for Martin at Graham Hill Bend in the closing stages allowed Maclennan and Smith to get past. The pair then battled in the closing stages, but Maclennan was able to hold off Smith by just over a tenth of a second.

Martin rounded out the podium with third, ahead of Browne and Aron.

Swift Cooper’s Luke Cooper was able to get onto the back of the leaders towards the end but could only finish sixth, inheriting the spot after Sharp’s engine expired with just less than two laps to go.

Race two winner Chris Middlehurst didn’t get a good start, was forced wide at Paddock Hill Bend on the first lap, had a spin fairly early in the race that dropped him 18th. His recovery only brought him back up to 14th and he’s dropped from second to fourth in the points.

Morgan Quinn, Stuart Gough, Matt Cowley and Grant Palmer rounded out the top 10 finishers.

In the BRSCC Northern FF1600 classification, Peter Daly was able to resist Samuel Harrison to the line by just a few hundredths of a second in a photo finish.

Race results (18 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Neil Maclennan Kevin Mills Racing 15m33.447s
2 Rory Smith B-M Racing +0.162s
3 Ross Martin Team Dolan +1.029s
4 Jonathan Browne Low Dempsey Racing +1.098s
5 Bryce Aron Low Dempsey Racing +1.175s
6 Luke Cooper Swift Cooper +1.312s
7 Morgan Quinn Team Dolan +2.002s
8 Stuart Gough Oldfield Motorsport +2.410s
9 Matt Cowley Team Dolan +2.644s
10 Grant Palmer Low Dempsey Racing +6.883s
11 Maxwell Esterson PWR1 Racing +7.042s
12 Alex Walker PWR1 Racing +7.653s
13 Michael Macpherson Kevin Mills Racing +7.862s
14 Chris Middlehurst Team Dolan +8.939s
15 Tom Ward B-M Racing +11.148s
16 Reece Lycett Kevin Mills Racing +21.801s
17 Peter Daly +27.623s
18 Sam Harrison Tim Harrison Engineering +27.666s
19 Neil Patten Souley Motorsport +38.965s
20 Paul Tucker Tucker Motorsport +1 lap
21 Jonathan Barnes Souley Motorsport +1 lap
Ret Jamie Sharp B-M Racing
Fastest lap: Smith, 50.734s

Championship standings
1 Maclennan 157   2 Smith 127   3 Browne 116   4 Middlehurst 108   5 Martin 106   6 Aron 87   7 Sharp 59   8 Cooper 42   9 Quinn 38   10 Gough 35