• Alex Birley

Fourth Round Post Race Report - Day 1, Croft

Ross Martin Dominates Race One of the National FF1600 Championship at Croft

Scottish driver, Ross Martin took a lights to flag victory in his Van Diemen RF99 at the first race of the Croft weekend.

As Martin got away well to hold the lead into turn one, behind him the Cliff Dempsey racer, Spike Kohlbecker moved from fourth place on the grid into second as both he and Rory Smith passed James Clarke.

However, Kohlbecker seemed to be struggling for some pace as Smith, after a few foiled attempts, managed to take second place.

B-M Racing’s Smith would be involved in a fantastic battle with Clarke over the closing few laps. Despite dropping back at the start, Clarke had fought his way through to be right on Smith’s tail. The two continued to trade places, but at the chequered flag it was Smith second, Clarke third. The B-M Racing driver was delighted to score his first podium since taking victory in the first race of the season back at Snetterton.

Kohlbecker dropped a couple of places to sixth when he ran wide through Sonny which allowed the Kevin Mills racer, Neil MacLennan and his Cliff Dempsey teammate, Jonathan Brown to get by.

Former F4 racer, Jamie Sharp was looking racey as he moved from ninth on the grid to finish seventh, kicking up some dust as he tried to find a way passed Kohlbecker as well.

Double eSport World Champion, Brendon Leigh had been part of this mid-field battle, but unfortunately a puncture dropped him rapidly back down the field and the rookie would finish the race in last place.

This problem meant that Team Dolan racer, Morgan Quinn, took another Rookie class victory, despite nursing gearbox issues and extended his lead in the championship. The former Ginetta racer had a fight on his hand as he and the current French FF1600 championship leader, Adrien Laissac, making his debut in the National FF1600 championship, squabbled for 12th place.

In the Club Championship John Svensson took the win, finishing tenth over all and extending his lead over Adam Quartermaine who had a spin early in the race. The Team Dolan racer managed to get going but had dropped down the field.

Another spinner on this tricky circuit was rookie racer, Nicole Woods who finished in 15th place.

The only DNF was Michael McPherson who retired with a broken suspension after a coming together with Svensson in the opening laps.

Team Oldfield teammates, Americans Carter Williams and Aaron Jeansonne, took the chequered flag in eighth and eleventh respectively. Williams is certainly finding his feet again in National FF1600, having competed with Don Hardman’s team in 2018 before moving into British F4 in 2019. As F4 takes a bit of a summer break, it was a great opportunity for the youngster to keep sharp and we are hoping we may see him make another outing at some point this year.

Border Reivers Racing Team’s, Jamie Thorburn made his 2019 debut last time out in Anglesey, but says he is struggling for pace, finishing in 9th place but hoping for more in Sunday’s races.

Hoping for more of the same will be the spectators who enjoyed another great BRSCC Avon Tyres National Formula Ford 1600 race whilst bathing in the North Yorkshire sunshine.

Final Classification: Martin (NP), Smith (NP), Clarke (NP), MacLennan (NP), Browne (NP), Kohlbecker (NP), Sharp (NP), Williams (NP), Thorburn (NP), Svensson (C), Jeansonne (NP), Quinn (NP) R, Lassaic (NP), Quartermaine (C), Woods (NP) R, Leigh (NP) R,

DNF: MacPherson (NP),

NP =National Pro, C = Clubman’s Class, R = Rookie

Fastest Laps: Martin (NP), Svensson (C)

Ross Martin leads the pack in Turn One at Croft


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