The BRSCC’s Avon Tyres National Formula Ford 1600 Championship saw its fifth different winner from five races as Jonathan Browne and Ross Martin took a victory each at Oulton Park. It was round two of what is already looking like a classic year for this popular single-seater series.

The two youngsters also celebrated the fact that it was their first win in the series, but they both had to work hard for it.

Race One

Browne took pole position for the first race of the day and it was a lights to flag victory in what was an impressive example of defensive driving, as Martin was on the gear box of his Ray GR19 for the whole race.

Behind them Browne’s teammate, the American driver and championship leader, Spike Kohlberg finished third after a race-long battle with Neil MacLennan from the Kevin Mills Racing Team.

However, in the post-race interviews both of the Cliff Dempsey Racing drivers were also concerned about their teammate, James Clarke, who had a massive off at Old Hall on the first lap, ploughing straight into the barrier. Thankfully Clarke was able to walk away from the accident, but the team would have an enormous job to get the car ready for the second race of the day.

Rory Smith had been looking very racy and had just made it passed MacLennan into fourth place when he had to retire with an engine problem. Unfortunately, when the team got the car back to the pits it turned out to be too big a job to have the car ready for race two.

Rory Smith had been looking very race and had just made it passed MacLennan into fourth place when he had to retire with an engine problem. Unfortunately, when the team got the car back to the pits it turned out to be too big a job to have the car ready for race two.

Further back Brendon Leigh had a steady race to be the highest placed rookie and it was a great opportunity for this Formula One eSport champion to get more track time after a challenging weekend at Snetterton.

In the Club class Nigel Dolan took the honours in his first outing of the year, in what was a foreshortened race.

Clarke’s accident had brought out the safety car whilst the marshals and rescue crew worked. The clock continued to count down leaving about half of the twenty-minute race duration left when they went green flag racing.

It was a shame for the crowd, who were certainly enjoying the close racing we know to expect in this championship. However, the fans had the opportunity to get up close to the cars and drivers just before the race, with a grid walk organised by the BRSCC.

Final Classification: Browne (NP), Martin (NP), Kohlbecker (NP), MacLennan (NP), MacPherson (NP), Sharp (NP), Leigh (NP) R, Dolan (C), Marzorati (C), Quinn (NP) R, Jeansonne (NP), Huntley (NP) R, Woods (NP) R

DNF: Clarke (NP), Smith (NP)

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

Race Two

Jonathan Browne was on pole again for the second race of the day at the historic Cheshire circuit. He led into turn one, but Martin made an aggressive start and was clearly determined to take the victory he has been threatening since the start of the season.

By the end of lap one the Scottish driver was through and into the lead.

Browne also dropped behind teammate Spike Kohlbecker and Neil MacLennan. Meanwhile, James Clarke, in his repaired Ray GR18, was flying through the field and up to sixth place, battling with Team Dolan driver, Jamie Sharp.

As the top three ran nose-to-tail fans were enjoying the spectacle and the roar of the Kent engine cars at this historic track. However, as Martin, Kohlbecker and MacLennan battled for the lead it allowed pole sitter Browne to close up to make it a four-way battle for the lead.

An incident out the back of the circuit involving Browne, MacLennan and Kohlbecker meant that Martin came over the line with a solid gap back to Browne in second followed by Clarke, then further back Kohlbecker and MacLennan, which is how the race ended.

Brendon Leigh took Rookie Class honours again, with Max Marzorati finishing ahead of Nigel Dolan in his Van Diemen RF01 and scoring the fastest Club Class Lap.

James Clarke took the fastest lap and thanked the team on the podium saying, “He owed them that for all their hard work getting the car fixed and it felt great.”

The final result was amended after Jonathan Browne was adjudged to have caused the collision and was given a 7.7 second penalty which dropped him back to fifth place behind MacLennan.

Final Classiciation: Martin (NP), Clarke (NP), Kohlbecker (NP), MacLennan (NP), Browne (NP), Leigh (NP) R, Quinn (NP) R, Marzorati (C), Dolan (C), Jeansonne (NP), MacPherson (NP), Huntley (NP) R, Woods (NP) R

DNF: Sharp (NP)

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

Next Event: 8th – 9th June, Anglesey Circuit

Alex Birley


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