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Tucker takes the long route to the win in the Janet Cesar pre-final

James Tucker has won the Janet Cesar Trophy pre-final, but did not make it easy for himself.

The Van Diemen RF92 driver was the quickest of the pre-’93 field during the qualifying heats but he faced a massive challenge from Darwin Smith, who shot to the front from fourth on the grid, dropping Tucker into a four-car scramble for second. He did get on to the tail of Smith’s RF90 but could not quite pass, but in the end he did not need to anyway, as Smith’s wheel came off and he had to retire mid-way through the race.

By the end, Tucker had pulled away slightly from the pack, which consisted of Ben Tinkler’s Wolfe Reynard 89FF and young Irish driver Brandon McCaughan in a Mondiale, who got a great start from 12th on the grid. They were second and third respectively. For most of the race, they were joined by Cam Jackson in another RF90, having made up several positions in the opening laps. He ran as high as second before being clouted by McCaughan, who out-braked himself and spun but was able to carry on. Jackson finished, but a long way down in 19th place.

Jordan Harrison, driving an 89FF for the first time in competition, kept up with the leaders admirably to finish fourth, narrowly ahead of Nathan Ward’s Swift and fellow Classic title-winner Benn Tilley in a Van Diemen RF86.

Richard Higgins’s 1988 Van Diemen was next over the line, then eighth-placed Robert Wainwright in a Mondiale. There was then another big gap before Jaap Blijleven (Reynard 88F)Gaius Ghinn appeared. Ghinn had done well to recover from a spin at Brooklands in his 1991 Van Diemen.

Matt Wrigley narrowly missed out on the top ten, finishing just 0.255s behind Ghinn in his Reynard 89FF.

Previous Carl Hamer Trophy winner Alex Fores did not finish, having got his Jamun caught up in a three-car pile-up at Brooklands in the opening lap. Alex Ames lost a wheel from his Reynard in the same incident.

Full results at TSL Timing

Image copyright Tucker Motorsport

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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