Sixth Round Pre-Race Report, Kirkistown
Can Ross Martin Extend His National Pro Championship Lead?
The BRSCC Avon Tyres National FF1600 Championship heads across the Irish Sea for round six of the 2019 season at Kirkistown.
It has been an action-packed year, with five different race winners: Rory Smith, Spike Kohlbecker, Neil MacLennan, Jonathan Browne and Ross Martin.
However, it is the Scottish racer, Martin, who leads the Pro-Championship for Team Dolan as it heads into the final three rounds.
Martin took his inaugural win at Oulton Park back in May and left the Cheshire circuit as the series leader. Its a position that he hasn’t relinquished thanks to an emotional maximum points scoring weekend at Croft and despite a comparatively poor weekend last time out at Brands Hatch.
Lying second in the championship is Spike Kohlbecker. The promising young American driver had two podium finishes at Brands Hatch, including his second win of the season and is targeting another three solid points scoring finishes to keep him in the hunt for the championship.
Kohlbecker’s Cliff Dempsey Racing teammates, James Clarke and Jonathan Browne, are both in the championship mix and have shown there are no team orders as the three have had many closely fought battles throughout the season.
Key rival, Neil MacLennan lies third in the championship but is missing the Kirkistown event. However, with the dropped score rules in the National FF1600 Championship he remains a potential threat.
Rory Smith lies fifth, splitting teammates Clarke and Browne. It has been a mixed year for Smith. The B-M driver took the inaugural win in his Medina JL18 at Snetterton, but then suffered a series of technical woes. It may not be Smith’s year for the championship, but he is always an exciting driver to watch and impressive overtaker.
Another driver to watch out for is series returnee, Micheal Eastwell, who was runner up in the 2018 National FF1600 Championship. Eastwell took some time out at the start of the year after an intensive time pursuing opportunities in the US. He is back with former team Kevin Mills Racing in one of their Spectrums.
Eastwell’s teammate, Michael MacPherson, is likely to be part of the midfield battle along with Jamie Thorburn, Club championship contender, John Svensson, who is making the journey over from Belgium and the Team Dolan pair, Jamie Sharp and rookie Morgan Quinn.
There is also a strong contingent of local drivers. Ivor McCullough and Alan Davidson could well be in the battle for podium finishes, whereas William Herron and Allan McBurney are looking forward to battling with series regulars.
In addition to trying to spot motor racing stars of the future, fans can also enjoy a packed programme of racing including Ginetta Juniors, NI Saloon/Seat, Formula Vee, Roadsports and Fiesta/Mazdas
Qualifying starts at 13.30 on Friday 23 August and Saturday race day begins at 9.30. For the full timetable and event information go to the official championship website.