News Walter Hayes Trophy

Martin snatches last-gasp heat two pole

Scottish FF1600 champion Ross Martin claimed pole for heat two at the Walter Hayes Trophy, edging out historic single-seater racer Cameron Jackson as the chequered flag came out.

Martin was swapping fastest times with Jackson and Jaap Blijleven for the majority of the 10-minute session but it looked like Jackson – making his contemporary Formula Ford debut – had set a decisive pole time with a 1m13.179s as the rain that affected heat one qualifying got heavier in the second qualifying session.

But Graham Brunton Racing driver Martin banged in session-best first and second sectors on his final lap and became the only driver to drop into the 1m12s with a 1m12.881s.

Kevin O’Hara will start heat two in third as he couldn’t keep up with the ever-improving lap times around the Silverstone National circuit. He’ll share the second row with TM Racing’s Felix Fisher.

Blijleven ended the session down in sixth place in the best of the older cars, three tenths behind fellow Northern regular David McArthur – who claimed fifth on his last lap of qualifying.

Seventh place is Callum Grant in his Merlin Mk20a, edging out Britcover National FF1600 with Avon Tyres frontrunner Luke Cooper.

Cooper was lucky to get out in the session. Accidental contact in the assembly area after a misunderstanding with Sebastian Melrose caused suspension damage that Swift Cooper and garage-mate Wayne Poole Racing joined forces to fix in time for Cooper to take to the track late on.

A clutch problem then further hampered Cooper, with the team having to take the car’s rear end off after the session to carry out repairs before the afternoon’s heat. Residual steering damage from the assembly area incident cannot be fully fixed until Sunday, leaving Cooper up against it in this afternoon’s race.

Rounding out the top 10 are Champion of Brands regular Matt Rivett and Scottish FF1600 race winner Melrose.


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