National racing stars of the weekend August 5/6


Our team of reporters pick their star performers from last weekend’s national race meetings

Anglesey BRSCC: Teddy Clark. By Ian Sowman

 “I don’t really like driving fast,” admitted Teddy Clark (pictured above by Rachel Bourne) after taking a surprising first race win in the Mazda MX-5 Championship. The 26-year-old from Colchester is in his maiden season of racing, and the third Anglesey race was his first in the rain. “I just went out there to learn how to drive in the wet – never did I expect to come first,” he said.

Having recently switched from a Blendini hire car to his own mount, Clark lauded Blendini boss – and multiple champion – Tom Roche as “an absolute genius” for his coaching skills. They clearly worked, as he climbed from eighth on the grid to lead inside four laps.

Eastick was out in a family treasure. Pic: Mick Walker

Silverstone BDC: Ben Eastick. By Graham Keilloh

Ben Eastick’s Bentley T Type machine stood out even in this eclectic gathering; not only by its distinctive appearance. Eastick’s father Barry built it from a Rolls-Royce prototype then sold it following a 1977 crash. It hadn’t run in anger since. After 15 years’ looking Ben found it in Florida and got it back last November following seven years’ negotiation. This was the first time he’d driven it. “It’s something I wanted to do since I was eight years old,” he said. “It was a great start, it’s got a lot more grip than everyone said.” And Barry was there to witness it finish sixth in the Bentley Handicap race.

Ingram was on a charge in Ginetta GRDC+ at Brands. Pic: Jakob Ebrey

Brands Hatch GT supports: Phil Ingram. By Lucy Morson

Had it not have been for his duties for the Jaguar Formula E team forcing him to miss the Silverstone round of the Ginetta Racing Drivers’ Club + championship, Phil Ingram would undeniably be one of the frontrunners for the 2017 title, alongside Michael Crees and Rob Keogh. Nevertheless, his strong showing last weekend at Brands Hatch proves it would be foolish to rule him out of contention entirely just yet.

Having skated off the track at Druids while trying to overtake Keogh on the first lap of the first race, the Triple V Racing driver found himself slipping from third on the grid all the way back down to 13th place – but through a series of stunningly executed overtakes, he battled through to claim the third spot on the podium. His ruthless pursuit of Crees in the second race gifted him with a well-deserved win, and his steady progression up the grid for another podium in the third and final race of the weekend bought his championship hopes ever closer.

With Brands offering up one win apiece for each major championship player – it seems that nothing is quite as settled as it first seems as the series looks to reconvene for the finale at Donington Park in September.

Tilley was a regular on the podium at Croft Nostalgia. Pic: Charlie Wooding

Croft HSCC: Benn Tilley. By Marcus Pye

Benn Tilley, 17, may not yet have landed an Historic Formula Ford or Formula Junior victory, but four podiums at Croft – three seconds and a third – suggest that a breakthrough will not be long in coming.

Run by former Pre-’74 ace father Stuart, the cool-headed Lincolnshire lad impressed greatly in Mandie Hadfield’s Merlyn Mk20 last season, enduring a torrid end to his debut Historic FF campaign to wind up fourth in the table.

Benn’s speed and racecraft are not in doubt, as FJ pole and brilliant races with local ace Jonathon Hughes at Croft attest, but following a hiccup at Brands Hatch his Silverstone Auctions-supported FF season is gathering momentum.

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