Home Formula FordNational FF1600 Neil Maclennan on top in close Brands National FF1600 opener

Neil Maclennan on top in close Brands National FF1600 opener

by Craig Woollard

Photo: Jack Elleker

Kevin Mills Racing’s Neil Maclennan came out on top in the BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 opener at Brands Hatch Indy, beating Chris Middlehurst and reigning champion Ross Martin.

Conditions were dry despite a lunchtime shower, but cold and windy compared to the pleasant weather that graced the Kent circuit in the morning.

Low Dempsey Racing’s Bryce Aron started on pole and got a solid start, but was passed by Middlehurst coming into Clearways on the opening lap.

Maclennan got past Martin shortly after for fourth, as Aron made an error at Paddock Hill Bend in the early phase of the race to allow LDR team-mate Jonathan Browne to get by.

From there, Maclennan was able to progress through the pack and eventually worked his way past Middlehurst as they approached the halfway mark of the 15-minute race.

Maclennan’s pace wasn’t stellar out front and that allowed a train of eight cars to form at one point for the lead.

As the race came to its conclusion, Maclennan, Middlehurst and Martin were able to pull away and challenge each other several times throughout – mainly into Paddock – but the trio finished in that order.

Behind, Browne came out on top of a battle with Aron and Rory Smith over fourth, while Morgan Quinn dropped back towards the end of the race.

Jamie Sharp climbed up from 15th to eighth, ahead of Michael Macpherson and Stuart Gough, while Castle Combe FF1600 champion Luke Cooper slipped down to 11th.

In the BRSCC Northern FF1600 classification, Samuel Harrison came out on top in a scrap for 18th place with Peter Daly by less than three tenths of a second, as some of the runners started to affect the leaders in traffic towards the end.


Race results (18 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Neil Maclennan Kevin Mills Racing 15m25.947s
2 Chris Middlehurst Team Dolan +0.144s
3 Ross Martin Team Dolan +0.323s
4 Jonathan Browne Low Dempsey Racing +0.894s
5 Bryce Aron Low Dempsey Racing +1.165s
6 Rory Smith B-M Racing +1.502s
7 Morgan Quinn Team Dolan +5.135s
8 Jamie Sharp B-M Racing +5.327s
9 Michael Macpherson Kevin Mills Racing +5.774s
10 Stuart Gough Oldfield Motorsport +5.932s
11 Luke Cooper Swift Cooper +6.077s
12 Grant Palmer Low Dempsey Racing +6.813s
13 Maxwell Esterson PWR1 Racing +8.005s
14 Alex Walker PWR1 Racing +18.654s
15 Thomas Ward B-M Racing +20.228s
16 Reece Lycett Kevin Mills Racing +21.135s
17 Matt Cowley Team Dolan +24.268s
18 Sam Harrison Tim Harrison Engineering +34.510s
19 Peter Daly +34.826s
20 Neil Patten Souley Motorsport +39.853s
21 Paul Tucker Tucker Motorsport +1 lap
22 Jonathan Barnes Souley Motorsport +1 lap
Pole: Aron, 50.136s      Fastest lap: Browne, 50.537s

Championship standings
1 Maclennan 98   2 Smith 74   3 Middlehurst 73   4 Browne 70   5 Martin 64   6 Sharp 45   7 Aron 47   8 Ollie White 20   9 Quinn 20   10 Cowley 15