Scottish Formula Ford 1600 Championship 2017

Back to March 2018

This is the only circuit racing Championship for single seater cars in Scotland. In 2017, there were again 15 rounds at Knockhill.

We had an increase to 18 drivers taking part, as there were 15 in 2016. Last season, 12 scored points and six were guests, which was way up the one guest in 2016. The average entry for the season was just over 10, down from 12. There were some new cars, with virtually all of the field now in a Ray, and many less than 3 or 4 years old. Graham Brunton Racing prepared over half the field, and they had the top two finishers.

Since 2014, teenagers have dominated with Ciarran Haggerty (2014) and Adam McKay (2015), then Neil MacLennan in 2016. Last season we had another teenage champion; Ross Martin dominated the Championship. He won 11 of the 15 rounds and took two 2nd places in his Ray. He secured the title before the final meeting, though not one driver managed to finish every round, which was unusual. He was pressed all year by young Seb Melrose who had two wins in his 7 podiums.

One of these wins was the prestigious David Leslie Trophy, as SMRC remember a very fine Scottish driver. David had started in FF, progressing through national single seaters, winning races before going onto international success in Le Mans Sportcars and British Touring Cars.

Jordan Gronkowski was 3rd overall and raced the only Van Diemen to regularly appear. Once again he won a race and had 5 podiums, but virtually all of these came late on as he finished the year strongly with a win and three 2nds in the last 4 rounds.

Kenneth Cowie was 4th and did win a race on the road, but was then penalised giving victory to Ross Martin. He took 8 podiums with half of them 2nds. He also missed or was dnf in 5 rounds.

Michael MacPherson was 5th with 3 podiums, though also had two 4ths in the final meeting of the year. In 6th was Neil Broome, who had moved from the classic class, he took a race win and five 5ths. Clay Mitchell was 7th despite missing the last 4 rounds, he also took 4 podiums including one 2nd. In 8th was the 2016 Classic Cup winner, Matthew Chisholm. He didn’t enter the last 6 rounds, but had 4 podiums in the 6 rounds he finished. Ross Howe and Stephen Barlow took 9th and 10th respectively, scoring consistently, though both missed at last 4 rounds. Guests don’t score points but were up to 6, and national racer James Roe jnr was right with the leaders, coming 2nd in round 3.

Drivers also only scored the top 13 of the 15 rounds so had to drop scores, but this only affected two of the 12 points scorers as others had dnfs or missed more rounds. In 2017, there was again a major prize for the Champion. The organisers of the Road to Indy – in association with Mazda – nominated the winner of the Scottish FF1600 Championship to be invited to take part in their program. This gathered the champion drivers from 16 different championships around the world.

They went into a “shootout” from which a winner was selected. This was held in America with the winner being granted a $200,000 scholarship into the USF2000 Championship. Ross Martin took the prize, following Neil MacLennan who took part in 2016, though they didn't win the shootout. Points:

1. Ross Martin (324) 2. Sebastian Melrose (221) 3. Jordan Gronkowski (195)