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Mitchell stars in thrilling Formula Ford headliner at Brands Hatch

Saturday, July 01 2017

Sam Mitchell emerged as the victor in a thrilling headline Historic Formula Ford race on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit this afternoon (Saturday), as the popular category began its 50th anniversary celebrations at its spiritual home.

Mitchell stood atop the podium following a hugely frenetic, five-way scrap for the lead in which he, his brother Ben, Callum Grant, Michael O'Brien, and Benn Tilley were all in contention for victory throughout the race. Mitchell occupied every position between fifth and first throughout the race distance and it was impossible to tell which of the leading quintet would occupy first position each time the pack reappeared from the trees.

Ultimately, Mitchell got a break with just two laps to go, allowing him to stretch away from the chasing four to the flag. O'Brien came home second whilst Ben Mitchell occupied fourth. Pole man Cameron Jackson looked set to nose in on the lead fight too, but he was denied when he pulled out of the race early on.

Earlier in the day, Ed Thurston won the qualification race for the main Formula Ford race, securing his position on the grid with a storming nine-second margin. The qualification race was preceded by a special photo shoot, in which this year's crop of Historic Formula Ford racers were joined on the grid by a few veterans of yesteryear to wish the class a happy birthday.

The Formula Fords will return to action tomorrow (Sunday) for further celebrations, 50 years to the day since the class hosted its first standalone race at Brands Hatch.

Historic Formula Ford, Saturday Main Race, Result

1, Sam Mitchell, Merlyn Mk20, 12 laps
2, Michael O'Brien, Merlyn Mk20, +1.210s
3, Ben Mitchell, Merlyn Mk20, +1.276s
4, Callum Grant, Merlyn Mk20A, +2.766s
5, Benn Tilley, Merlyn Mk20, +3.048s

There will be two more Historic Formula Ford races on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit tomorrow, with tickets available on the gate for £25 - under-13s go free.

Other Sunday highlights will include races for the Derek Bell Trophy for powerful F5000 single-seaters, and the SUper Touring Trophy for '90s BTCC saloons.