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Chart the winner in a classy end to the Classic season

Henry Chart has won the final race of the Classic Formula Ford season, following an old-school towing contest at the front with Jordan Harrison and Ben Tinkler.

This is Van Diemen RF81 driver Chart’s second win of the season. Jordan Harrison had already claimed the championship but was still pushing hard in his Lola T540E, giving away the win by the tiniest of margins. They even touched slightly at one point, but lost no real ground.

In the end, it was Chart’s later braking in the final corners that won him the race. He and Harrison were side by side coming into Luffield, but Chart dared to wait that millisecond longer. Harrison chased him down the straight but ran out of room by less than a tenth of a second.

Tinkler, driving a 1980 Van Diemen, was with the duo for much of the race and led several laps, taking advantage of the spinning PRS of Mike Saunders to attack. A spin of his own at Brooklands trying to pass Chart a little later left him in fourth place with too much work to do.

Harrison and Chart continued to trade the lead, with Rick Morris’s Royale RP29 now part of their leading group. Tinkler tried his hardest to get on the back of Morris, but was too far away. Morris in turn harangued Chart at one point when he was behind Harrison, but could not make a move stick. He was third, with Tinkler behind in fourth.

A big gap followed, the Joe Ahrens in Richard Tarling’s Van Diemen RF80. Ahrens had been quicker than he was on Saturday and kept on the tail of the leading group for the first few laps, but most of his race was spent in a lonely fifth. Paul Britten had started off behind him, but his PRS developed problems very early and he pulled into the pits. Class B driver Chris Porritt made up a few places to finish sixth in his Lola; someone else who did not have anyone to race with for most of the 15 minutes.

Alan Fincham was seventh in another RF80, then a terrific scrap for eighth ensued. Mark Harrison’s Royale RP21 was the victor, closely followed by Peter Hannam in a Nike, who had in turn got the better of Lola driver Mike Bainbridge. Newcomer Philip Senior, driving a distinctive bright green Royale RP21, was the final part of the group.

Another rear-end battle was won by Richard Yeomans, who had sorted out his car’s holed radiator in time for the start. He was twelfth, ahead of his usual rival, Ben Hadfield in a Van Diemen.

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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