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Classic Formula Ford FF2000 Historic Formula Ford HSCC round up

Suprises at Silverstone

Qualifying for the Silverstone Finals has thrown up a few new combinations and set us up for some exciting and close races.

Horatio Fitz-Simon will start from pole in Historic Formula Ford, having set the pace with a highly impressive time of 1.02.997s. The Classic Team Merlyn driver was late getting onto the grid, having not heard his final call, and came straight from earning another pole position in Historic Formula Junior. This was his first real run in a Junior and he is full of confidence.

Cam Jackson’s Winkelmann was only a third of a second behind, with the Titan of Tom McArthur only 0.2s further back. The nature of the National circuit means that competition will be very close and pole position will be difficult to hold.

Another surprise came in the shape of late entry Linton Stutely, driving his Royale RP3 to fifth place, just over a second away from pole. In between him and McArthur was Samuel Harrison’s Elden.

Tim Brise led the Over 50s qualifying charge and will start from seventh in his Merlyn, behind Simon Toyne’s Lola.

Ross Drybrough, still undergoing extensive physio on his injured hand, put his Merlyn in tenth place. Another welcome returnee is Cormac Flanagan, having repaired his Alexis after its first-round shunt.

Champion-elect Jordan Harrison’s Lola on pole was no surprise for Classic Formula Ford, but a late entry from Ben Tinkler split up the expected favourites. Tinkler, in a Van Diemen RF80, was only 0.166s slower than Harrison, despite a spin mid-session. Henry Chart’s RF81 was almost collected, but both carried on and set incredibly similar times. The front three will be extremely close and it will all come down to who breaks the tow first, as long as the start is good and clean.

Class B driver Toyne is making another guest appearance and will start fourth in his Lola, only a couple of hundredths ahead of Rick Morris, who was struggling with understeer. Together with Paul Britten’s PRS, the front six cars are covered by about three-quarters of a second.

Joe Ahrens will start seventh in Richard Tarling’s Van Diemen RF80, still less than a second away from second place. Philip Senior’s Royale RP24 is next, followed by series regulars Richard Yeomans (Crossle) and Ben Hadfield (Van Diemen) in ninth and tenth, having qualified well.

Stuart Kestenbaum will be absent after crashing his Van Diemen in practice on Friday.

There were fewer surprises in Formula Ford 2000 qualifying, but a close contest is still assured, with 32 starters and the front seven cars within a second of one another. Graham Fennymore will lead the pack away once more in his Reynard SF81, ahead of Tom Smith, who is not in his rare Nomad FF2000 car but a more standard Reynard SF78.

Benn Simms will line up third and will be hoping to get a decent slipstream off the leaders. Leading Royale driver Ian Pearson was only a whisker off Simms’s time in fourth; Simms will be looking in his mirrors as well as ahead of him.

The SF79s of Greg Robertson and Marc Mercer are in fifth and sixth, then Adrian Reynard’s SF78 and two more SF79s, driven by Andrew Storer and Dan Eagling. Paul Allen is back out in his Delta and will start tenth, ahead of Molly Dodd’s Royale.

Ben Glasswell has had to pull out due to illness. Dad Stephen will start 12th in a Reynard SF79.

Full results at TSL Timing

By Rachel Harris-Gardiner

Rachel Harris-Gardiner is the editor of Vintage Formula Ford and former Historic editor for ff1600website.com. She is a regular contributor to Autosport and Motorsport News and writes her own blog about women in motorsport, Speedqueens.

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