Scottish Formula Ford 1600 ChampionshipBack to August 2018
Ross Martin had pole by the blink of an eye or 0.06secs from Jordan Gronkowski. These two fought for the lead all race and in one of the closest races of the weekend, they were tied together for all 12 laps of their race. Ross led throughout but Jordan was very close from lap 3 having been 2 car lengths back over laps 1 & 2. They finished just 0.3 secs apart. Initially Sebastian Melrose went with them with guest teenager Josh Smith right behind him, but Smith pitted on lap 2. Seb was half a second back on lap 2 then dropped to 2 seconds behind on lap 3, but steadied the gap holding it for a couple of laps, then he started to drop back finishing 9.7 seconds behind Jordan. But Seb wasn’t troubled, getting clear of a 3 car battled over 4th. This was led by Gary Sykes until lap 5, when Matthew Chisholm took over and he held the place to the flag, drawing out a few seconds on Sykes while holding the gap to 3 seconds behind Seb. So it was Ray GR17, Van Diemen JL012K, Ray GR14 , Van Diemen RF00 at the front. Gary Sykes made it home 5th with James Clarke all over him from mid distance, as half a second separated them
Ross Martin led the field away chased by Jordan Gronkowski and Seb Melrose. These two were a couple of car lengths back over the opening 3 laps as Gronkowski edged away from Melrose. On lap 4 we had a change of leader as Jordan overtook Ross by Clarke corner. Ross stayed on his gearbox, but Jordan led until lap 6 when Ross nipped past at Butchers, after Jordan defended at MacIntyres. Seb Melrose slipped past as well to grab second a lap later. As Ross opened out a 2 second gap at the front on lap 8, Melrose and Gronkowski were joined by Josh Smith. It had been a strong drive by young Smith, who started last and was 5th by lap 3, hassling Gary Sykes before passing him by lap 4. He then closed a 2 second gap to Melrose in 3 laps. By lap 9 Martin had a 2 second lead with the 2nd place battle raging as 3 cars were nose to tail, led by Melrose. On lap 10 Smith demoted Gronkowski going up the hill to take 3rd. A lap later and disaster at the hairpin as Melrose and Smith made contact. Gronkowski drove past them into 2nd which he took at the flag. James Clarke slipped into 3rd for his podium. Clarke had dropped down on to 8th on lap 1 then fought back. He was 7th on lap 3 and 6th buy lap 5. It took him to lap 9 to close a 2 second gap on Gary Sykes. Clarke sat close for a couple of laps then took 3rd on lap 11, and Sykes was only a tenth of a second behind at the flag. In 5th came Matthew Chisholm who got past Ross Howe mid race. Melrose came in 9th and last while Smith retired. Fastest lap of the weekend Ross Martin 54.42 secs.
Race 3 David Leslie Trophy
This is a prestigious race, won in 2017 by Sebastian Melrose. It remembers the late great David Leslie, who amongst all his racing honours was Scottish FF Champion back in 1978. He also came and races at Knockhill with a classic FF in the early 00s. The race was led all the way by Ross Martin, but it ws again a close run thing. Jordan Gronkowski dropped a second back by lap 2 then slowly reeled in Ross. By lap 6 there was 2 car lengths between them. It was on lap 8 that Jordan was right on Ross’s tail. They ran nose to tail over the final two laps but Ross held on and won by 3 tenths of a second. James Clarke took 3rd on lap 1 from Gary sykes at Clark diving up the inside. He then came under pressure from Matthew Chisholm from lap 3 as Chisholm nipped into 4th on lap 2. These two were joined by Josh Smith on lap 6. Smith again came up from the back of the grid. He passed Chisholm on lap 7 for 4th and was 3rd on lap 8. But by now Smith was 8 seconds behind the two leading cars. He maintained this gap to the flag as he finished 3rd. Just over 2 seconds behind him came 3 cars. Clarke in 4th who was holding off Chisholm over the last 5 laps. They were joined by Seb Melrose on the last lap. Melrose had started at the back and worked his way up, but would finish 6th. It was Ross Martin’s race and trophy. Ross said, ‘It’s unbelievable. It’s been a good weekend. Jordan’s been pushing me all weekend. Coming back and winning this year has been special.’ Jordan Gronkowski said, ‘It was absolutely on the edge, you had to be inch perfect. We both locked up once, but congratulations to Ross Martin, great race.’