Home Formula FordNational FF1600 Romanek wins Ulster Trophy, grows National FF1600 lead at Kirkistown

Romanek wins Ulster Trophy, grows National FF1600 lead at Kirkistown

by Ida Wood

Photo: National FF1600

The BRSCC National and Northern Irish Formula Ford 1600 championships joined together this weekend at Kirkistown.

Qualifying and race one took place on Friday, with races two and three (which counted towards the Northern Irish championship) running on Saturday.

Team Dolan’s Jordan Kelly took his first category pole in qualifying by a tiny 0.022 seconds over Oldfield Motorsport’s Lucas Romanek, and with reigning champion Jordan Dempsey impressively just 0.082s off pole on his series return and competing as a privateer.

Oldfield’s Brandon McCaughan was 0.104s back in fourth, and Dolan’s returnee Matt Round-Garrido qualified fifth. Half a second covered the top 11.

Romanek took the lead early in race one before yellow flags waved, as Round-Garrido got up to third and David Parks jumped from seventh to fourth.

By lap three of 15 it was green flags all around again, and Romanek pulled away. Battles behind helped him maintain his gap, with Round-Garrido passing Kelly for second on lap five. Only a second covered second to fifth, and as Kelly reclaimed second on lap six there was a pass behind by McCaughan on Parks.

Two laps later McCaughan was past Round-Garrido, and he then cleared Kelly with five laps to go. Romanek’s lead dissapeared once McCaughan was in second, but it took a bit of side-by-side running before McCaughan could actually usurp the long-time leader. He then raced away, winning by a second over Kelly who passed Romanek on the last lap.

Round-Garrido and Dempsey were fighting over fourth, but the latter retired on the last lap and then post-race Round-Garrido was disqualified. That promoted Ammonite Motorsport’s Elliott Budzinski into fourth place.

Victory put McCaughan on pole for race two, but he was passed by Kelly, and then Romanek moved past both. The race was then red flagged after Ammonite’s Nolan Allaer went into a tyre barrier and the tyres dispersed across the track, and after the restart Romanek held a small lead until late on when Kelly passed him for the win.

McCaughan had ran in second as he passed Kelly following the restart, but lost the position and then sat behind the top two until the finish.

Dempsey took fourth from Budzinski late on, and Round-Garrido exited their battle as he retired.

Romanek finally converted his pace into victory in the reversed-grid race three to extend his points lead, beating McCaughan to the Ulster Trophy by 0.023s. Budzinski was just 0.209s behind in third, while Round-Garrido finished three laps down and Dempsey had another retirement.

Results round-up
Race 1 (15 laps)
1 Brandon McCaughan Oldfield Motorsport 16m23.794s
2 Jordan Kelly Team Dolan +1.088s
3 Lucas Romanek Oldfield Motorsport +1.500s
4 Elliott Budzinski Ammonite Motorsport +7.332s
5 Ivor McCullough Team DDR +8.202s
6 Morgan Quinn Team Dolan +9.255s
7 David Parks Vertical Racing +14.932s
8 Nolan Allaer Ammonite Motorsport +16.258s
9 Jason Smyth +20.696s
10 Donal Downey +20.823s
Pole: Kelly, 1m01.733s
Fastest lap: McCaughan, 1m01.688s

Race 2 (9 laps)
1 Kelly 13m18.545s
2 Romanek +0.442s
3 McCaughan +0.526s
4 Jordan Dempsey +0.894s
5 Budzinski +1.207s
6 McCullough +1.347s
7 Alan Davidson +2.911s
8 Smyth +6.276s
9 Quinn +8.774s
10 Trevor Delaney +9.274s
FL: Dempsey, 1m01.841s

Race 3 (16 laps)
1 Romanek 16m59.144s
2 McCaughan +0.023s
3 Budzinski +0.209s
4 Kelly +1.737s
5 McCullough +3.631s
6 Davidson +6.999s
7 Allaer +9.910s
8 Delaney +13.388s
9 Nathan Yu Team Dolan +24.996s
10 Philip Harris +25.176s
FL: McCaughan, 1m01.950s