Donnelly takes commanding victory in race one at Brands
Charlie Donnelly took a commanding victory in the penultimate round of the UK Formula Ford Championship at Brands Hatch this morning. The Irishman dominated the race after passing new champion Valle Makela midway through the race on a damp track.
Makela got a better start compared to pole position driver Suk Sandher and led the field into Paddock Hill Bend. A series of quick laps gave the Finn a good lead as Donnelly started his charge towards the front of the pack.
American driver Charlie Kimball's battle for second place in the championship took a knock when he made contact with Julian Yap on lap three on the exit of Graham Hill Bend. The damage put him out of the race, giving Sebastian Hohenthal and Daniel Clarke an advantage as they all head into the final race later today.
Donnelly managed to find a way past Sandher, pulling alongside at Clearways and finally diving past on the entry to Paddock Hill. Once clear, he set off in pursuit of Makela.
On lap 13 he lined up the Finn on the entry to Druids and took the lead, before pulling out a lead of almost five seconds. An easy drive to the flag gave him his fourth win of the year.
"I had to be patient as I knew I had the speed to pass everyone. They all raced really fair though, which was good. I didn't want to get caught up with anyone with the second race yet to come too," said Donnelly.
Sakamoto took third place after he re-took the place from Daniel Clarke. The Team JLR car struggled for pace in the second half of the race and Hohenthal also managed to pass him for fourth place.
Clarke had to settle for sixth place at the chequered flag after guest driver Juho Annala managed to follow Hohenthal past.
<pre> UK Formula Ford Championship -- Brands Hatch Results: 1 Charlie Donnelly Mygale SJ04 17m56.513s 2 Valle Makela Van Diemen RF03 17m59.682s 3 Yuya Sakamoto Van Diemen RF03 18m00.831s 4 Sebastian Hohenthal Van Diemen RF03 18m02.623s 5 Juho Annala Van Diemen RF03 18m03.729s 6 Daniel Clarke Van Diemen RF04 18m07.446s