Wainwright leaves it late to top 40-strong FF1600 field
Forty Historic Formula Ford 1600s unleashed on a viciously slippery Silverstone Grand Prix circuit could have been a disaster, but some exemplary driving was capped by a thrilling finish as Rob Wainwright stole ahead of Benn Simms at the final corner.
Young lions Ben Tusting and Benn Tilley built an immediate lead but slithered wide first time through Stowe and were lucky to escape from inter-locked wheels. Simms had a quick first-lap spin but was soon at the head of the race as a pack battled for second, with Mark Shaw leading Tilley, Wainwright and Sam Binfield. Tusting, however, lost more ground with a spin at Brooklands.
As the race developed it was Wainwright on the move and he edged clear of the pack before setting off after Simms. Late-race traffic did Simms no favours and ‘Rainwright’ tigered his way into contention on the final lap. Wainwright tried the inside line at Brooklands and that set him up for a run around the outside, and probably grippier, line at Luffield. It worked perfectly and the Elden beat Simms’ Jomo to the line by a quarter of a second.
“All of a sudden Rob was in my mirrors,” said Simms of the final lap.
“Over the last two laps it seemed to be wetter but the car felt better,” said Wainwright after a fine performance.
Teenager Tilley was impressive once more as he raced his Merlyn in the wet for the first time to head Shaw, while Binfield scored his best result to date in fifth.