Jumping from Historic Sports Car Club Historic Formula Ford 1600 – in which he landed regular podium finishes in 2016-17 – to Classic FF1600 brought the deserved breakthrough for Benn Tilley last year against stiff competition.
The Lincolnshire lad, who turned 19 in October, dominated the Pre-’82 championship with nine wins from 14 races in Mandie Hadfield’s Merlyn Mk20, his success mirroring father Stuart’s Pre-’74 title in 1992.
“Part of the reason for switching was cost,” says 2017 Fjunior standout Tilley. “Fewer rounds meant less cost, but it was still hugely competitive. Particularly against Rick Morris; at 71 he is a very tough cookie to crumble.”
Lifelong racing nuts Benn and father
Stuart spent their shoestring budget wisely, preparing the car themselves. Tilley Sr also helped EX-BRM apprentice Paul
Fisher keep the engine sharp.
Their quandary is how to progress in 2019. “There are options,” says Tilley, “but sponsors – absolutely vital to us – want TV coverage!”