Round-Garrido wins shortened second Scottish race

Matt Round-Garrido scored victory in a shortened second race in Scottish FF1600’s May meeting at Knockhill, after passing championship leader Ross Martin for first place early on.

Martin once again made a better start than his rivals but Round-Garrido quickly reeled Martin in, making his way past only a couple of laps later.

As Round-Garrido created a gap of just over a second to secure victory Hugo Bentley-Ellis was once again making up positions lost off the start, retaking fourth place from Kevin Mills Racing team-mate Michael Eastwell at the hairpin.

One lap later he picked off fast-starter Sebastian Melrose for third, getting a fast run exiting the hairpin and going around the outside heading towards Clark’s curve.

Martin in second was next for Bentley-Ellis to pass, and though he made a move stick at the hairpin late on for second it ultimately came one lap too late.

A red flag was deployed after 10 of the scheduled 12 laps for Gary Sykes’s stranded Graham Brunton Racing-prepared Ray, beached in the gravel trap located inside the first hairpin.

With results declared official one lap prior to Sykes’s incident Bentley-Ellis’s pass was effectively undone, confirming Martin in second place and a fourth maximum points score in Scottish FF1600 this season.

Behind Bentley-Ellis in third came Sebastian Melrose in fourth place, handing Graham Brunton Racing a second consecutive 1-2 finish for SMRC-registered cars.

Rory Smith regained a fifth place he had lost moments before the red flag was deployed, ahead of sixth placed Eastwell. Smith passed Eastwell at the hairpin at around halfway, and had to defend aggressively from then on.

Eastwell managed a quick run out of Duffus Dip, moving to the outside heading into the hairpin in a passing move. However Smith dived to Eastwell’s inside heading into the hairpin, causing the pair to collide and fall behind Jordan Gronkowski.

Due to countback Gronkowski had to settle for another seventh place finish, though he scores third-place points for a second time this weekend in Scottish FF1600.

James Clarke scored another top ten, finishing eighth overall and fourth of SMRC’s registered drivers. He led home an improved Ross Howe in ninth place, who had struggled during race one in which he had lost first gear at the halfway mark.

Neil Broome finished right behind Howe in 10th place, resisting a late challenge from Nico Gruber in 11th.

All three Cliff Dempsey Racing cars once again started from the pitlane though Jonathan Browne and Jamie Thorburn kept a safe distance behind in 15th and 16th, allowing Steven Barlow and Matthew Chisholm to finish 13th and 14th respectively.

Jack Wolfenden did not start race two, having already missed race one due to a broken sump picked up in qualifying.

Photo courtesy of Alasdair Lindsay

Race results

Pos Class Driver Car Gap
1 G Matt Round-Garrido Median Sport 10 laps
2 Ross Martin Ray +1.193
3 G Hugo-Bentley Ellis Spectrum +1.401
4 Sebastian Melrose Ray +6.507
5 G Rory Smith Medina Sport +7.457
6 G Michael Eastwell Spectrum +7.553
7 Jordan Gronkowski Van Diemen +11.747
8 James Clarke Mygale +14.090
9 Ross Howe Van Diemen +18.097
10 Neil Broome Ray +18.560
11 G Nico Gruber Ray +18.624
12 Steven Barlow Ray +20.010
13 Matthew Chisholm Van Diemen +20.461
14 G Jonathan Browne Ray +21.836
15 Jamie Thornburn Ray +23.013
NC Gary Sykes Ray +19.032
DNS G Jack Wolfenden Firman
Fastest Lap: Bentley-Ellis, 53.441

Championship standings

Martin 103   Melrose 81   Gronkowski 48   Broome 47   Clarke 42   Chisholm 40   7 Barlow 38   8 Sykes 34   9 Howe 21   10 Thorburn 17

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