• Alex Birley

Fifth Round Post Race Reports - Day 2, Brands Hatch

Race 2 - Top Four Covered By 0.336 of a Second in Race Two of the BRSCC Avon Tyres Formula Ford 1600 Championship

Spectators enjoyed another fantastic feast of single-seater racing in the second Formula Ford race of the weekend at the legendary Brands Hatch Circuit.

Once again, the race winner was in doubt right to the chequered flag with anyone of six drivers looking like they might have the edge at various points of race.

Scottish driver, Neil MacLennan managed to find a way by polesitter, Spike Kohlbecker, at Druids and then spent the rest of the race holding off a battling train of Formula Fords to take the victory by just 0.096 of a second from Cliff Dempsey’s Jonathan Browne who had tried everything to find a way by the Spectrum of MacLennan.

The Cliff Dempsey Racing Rays flashed across the line in blur of red and white with Browne in second, Kohlbecker third and James Clarke fourth after what had been another heart-stopping race for the team boss, as his three cars battled hard and swapped places throughout the race.

Spike Kohlbecker had another good race but was unable to repeat yesterday’s victory. However, the American racer will be pleased to have held off teammate, Clarke, who had made a couple of very brave moves to fight his way back passed Ross Martin then Rory Smith.

B-M Racing’s Smith finished in fifth having managed to fend off Martin, who was probably very relieved to have had a better race than yesterday and to get himself into a position to be a real threat in the final race of the weekend.

After having the best race of his Formula Ford career yesterday, Aaron Jeansonne had a comparatively quiet race to finish in seventh place, but the Kent track is still proving a happier hunting ground for the Oldfield Motorsport’s driver.

Behind the American racer was another entertaining battle with Team Dolan’s Max Marzorati managing to keep the door firmly closed on Stuart Thorburn, Jamie Sharp and Michael MacPherson. Thorburn made a mistake which dropped him to 12th and then Sharp got passed his teammate to finish in eighth place. Marzorati finished 9th overall but took another victory in the Club Championship.

Thorburn finished in 10th after MacPherson had to retire with technical problems.

Morgan Quinn took rookie class honours again with 11th overall, followed home by Jason Down in his Getem Mygale, Adam Quartermaine, Kevin Mills Racing’s Scott Huntley, Henry Chart and Nicole Woods.

Race Classification: MacLennan (NP), Browne (NP), Kohlbecker (NP), Clarke (NP), Smith (NP), Martin (NP), Jeansonne (NP), Sharp (NP), Marzorati (C), Thorburn (NP), Quinn (NP), Down (Club, Guest driver), Quartermaine (C), Huntley (NP) R, Chart (C), Woods (NP) R

Fastest Lap: Clarke (NP), Marzorati (C),

DNF: MacPherson (NP)

NP =National Pro, C = Clubman’s Class, R = Rookie

Race 3 - The BRSCC Avon Tyres Formula Ford 1600 Championship Produces Another Barnstorming Race at Brands Hatch

The reverse grid put American driver, Aaron Jeansonne, on pole for the final race of the weekend with Ross Martin in second place and desperate to finish his weekend on a high.

Oldfield Motorsport’s Jeansonne managed to keep the championship leader behind him for a lap, but at the start of lap two Martin made his move into Paddock Hill Bend and immediately began to pull away. The Scottish driver didn’t have it all his own way, however, as two safety cars in the later part of the race enabled the pack to close the gap with James Clarke then Neil MacLennan ensuring it was a hard-won victory.

As Martin commented afterwards “[It felt like] a long race, a lot of pressure after the safety car again, but managed to keep my nose clean and it was good racing by everyone out there.”

Neil MacLennan took second having started seventh on the grid. The Kevin Mills Racing driver made a good getaway, passing both Brown and Kohlbecker. He managed to get up to third place and then made a lightning pass on Clarke immediately after the first safety car period before harrying Martin to the chequered flag.

Clarke took the final step on the podium but admitted he had hoped for more from the weekend as the Cliff Dempsey Ray GR15 was working really well. The youngster was at the heart of the action in all three races and made some great overtakes so it surely can’t be long until he takes his first National FF1600 race win.

Kohlbecker, Smith and Browne were all contenders for more trophies, but were not able to make it onto the podium in the final race of the weekend. All three are in the Pro-Championship battle and will be looking forward to seeing what they can do next time out at Kirkistown.

Jamie Sharp and Jamie Thorburn were both in the eight-car train for the final few laps after the second safety car Thorburn had enjoyed a fantastic battle with Max Marzorati in the first half of the race and then chased Sharp across the line to finish eighth.

Marzorati had already taken two wins in the Club Championship this weekend and was managing to keep Thorburn behind him. Unfortunately, it looked like the Team Dolan driver ran wide onto the kerbs up Hailwoods Hill and hit the tyre wall sending him back across the track. Luckily, the other drivers managed to avoid the stricken Van Diemen and Marzorati was uninjured. However, this did bring out the first Safety Car of the race.

The Marshals did an excellent job to clear the track, but almost immediately after racing got underway, with five minutes added on, Nicole Woods flew off into the gravel at the exit of Paddock Bend triggering another safety car period. Once again, the car was cleared as quickly as possible giving the crowds a final nail biting three minutes of close racing.

Adam Quartermaine finished in ninth place overall and first in the Club Championship. He and local racer, Jason Down, crossed the line virtually together with Down just losing out.

Pole sitter Aaron Jeansonne had a difficult final race of what had been a great weekend. When he left the door slightly open to MacLennan to take third place; Smith and Browne also got through and then things went from bad to worse as the American driver ran wide into the gravel at the exit of Paddock and dropped down the field, eventually finishing in 11th, but still positive having scored his first podium.

The last driver to be classified was Scott Huntley who also took the Rookie Class win as the only one to finish.

Henry Chart went off in the closing stages at Surtees and both Michael MacPherson and Morgan Quinn had to retire with technical problems

Race Classification: Martin (NP), MacLennan (NP), Clarke (NP), Kohlbecker (NP), Smith (NP), Browne (NP), Sharp (NP), Thorburn (NP), Quartermaine (C), Down (Club, Guest driver), Jeansonne (NP),Huntley (NP) R

Fastest Lap: Martin (NP), Marzorati (C),

DNF: Quinn (NP), MacPherson (NP), Marzorati (C), Woods (NP) R, Chart (C),

NP =National Pro, C = Clubman’s Class, R = Rookie

Ross Martin leads the National FF1600 train in race 3 at Brands Hatch


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