10 Jul Hingeley storms to Spa win
Third win of the year for Fortec driver after battle with Sowery.
Fortec Motorsport’s Ben Hingeley claimed a superb win at Spa Francorchamps on Friday 7 July, following a dramatic opening race of the weekend.
Hingeley started third on the grid, but passed championship leader Enaam Ahmed on the first lap and then overtook Toby Sowery on lap three to clinch his third win in eight races, and moving to second in the championship standings.
Championship leader Enaam Ahmed secured his first qualifying pole position after a gripping tussle with Sowery and Hingeley.
The trio engaged in battle for much of the second half of the session, with Ahmed’s late flier securing pole by just 0.036s on the longest circuit on the calendar, with Lanan’s Sowery settling for second. Hingeley in third was a tenth off the fastest time, showing the youngster’s great pace. Nicolai Kjaergaard set a time of 2:19.322 which put him on row 6 with Maldonado 4 tenths down the row in P15.
Pole man Ahmed made a good start to lead down to La Source on lap one, while Hingeley challenged Sowery for second place. Coming to the end of the Kemmel straight into Les Combes, Sowery and Hingeley were able to make use of the tow to draft past Ahmed, with the championship leader ending the lap in third place.
Sowery had built a small lead early on but Hingeley began to peg him back, and the pair were separated by just 0.4 seconds starting lap three. On the approach to the Bus Stop Chicane, Hingeley pulled out of Sowery’s slipstream and the pair were side by side through the initial right hand turn with Hingeley on the outside. The pair appeared to make slight contact and Hingeley took the inside of the left hand turn, claiming the lead.
The Fortec driver then set about building a lead of two seconds, while Sowery was further demoted on lap four, first by title rival Ahmed and then by Brazilian Samaia. Hingeley crossed the line 1.1sec ahead of Ahmed, claiming a stunning victory at the prestigious circuit.
Hingeley commented: “Last time out I claimed a win on a brilliant track like Silverstone and I’ve done the same today so I’m really made up. I got a great start and a lovely tow down the back straight on both Toby and Enaam and managed to get around the outside of Enaam. I pushed on to catch Toby and I had the pace on him.
“I caught him and got a really nice tow down the back straight into the chicane and he defended to the inside, I went to the outside, out-braked him and got the move done. As we went through the right I had the inside for the left and I’m not sure if because he took a tighter line, he understeered but there was a bit of contact which pushed me off the track and I had to take to the escape road a little bit. These things happen with racing and without the contact I would have made the corner quite comfortably.
“We’ll go again now, we’ve got the night to think about anything we need to change and try and figure out why the rear tyres went off a little bit and we’ll come back tomorrow to try and get another two wins.”
Hingeley went on to podium in the 3rd race and sits in P4 in the Championship, only 17 points behind Sowery in P2.