Matt Round-Garrido continued his imperious form from last weekend’s SMRC meeting at Knockhill, scoring pole position for Avon Tyres National FF1600 Championship’s first race this afternoon.
Team Dolan’s Round-Garrido benefited from a slipstream on his fastest lap, towing Sebastian Melrose down the start-finish straight at the start of his lap to score a 52.848s pole lap.
Nico Gruber was another driver who got in plenty of practice around Knockhill’s reverse layout last weekend, and went second quickest with a 53.021s lap, 0.173s off Round-Garrido’s pole time but still enough for a front-row start this afternoon.
Duns native Jamie Thorburn put his Cliff Dempsey Racing-prepared Ray third quickest in qualifying, a 53.045s putting him only 0.024s shy of his team-mate Gruber.
Neil MacLennan was a surprise late entrant to this weekend’s National meeting, putting together a deal with Cliff Dempsey Racing to make his racing return. Despite it being his first race weekend all year, he immediately went fourth quickest, 0.211s off Round-Garrido’s pace.
Niall Murray completed the top five, but suffered a dramatic end to his qualifying session. His car lost all power coming down pit straight, crawling to a standstill and forcing him to pull off just before the hairpin, with only a couple of minutes remaining in qualifying.
Hugo Bentley-Ellis picked up where he left off at last Sunday’s SMRC meeting, going sixth quickest and one tenth faster than Scottish FF1600 championship leader Ross Martin
Josh Smith was only 0.055s off Martin’s pace in eighth place, while Luke Cooper and Carter Williams went ninth and 10th fastest. Joey Foster was the last car within a second of pole sitter Round-Garrido, 0.961s off his pace in 11th.
Despite giving Round-Garrido a helpful tow on his way to pole position, Melrose did not see that benefit return his way, only managing 13th place behind Oldfield Motorsport’s Josh Smith.
Jack Wolfenden and Michael Eastwell could only muster 16th and 17th fastest times, but both were affected by incidents that ended their session. Eastwell made a mistake exiting the chicane, coming at Butcher’s, while Wolfenden pulled up in the Scotsman gravel trap moments before Murray’s session-ending car failure.
|5||Pro||Niall Murray||Van Diemen||+0.313|
|8||Pro||Joshua Smith||Van Diemen||+0.583|
|15||Pro||Sebastian Job||Van Diemen||+1.289|
|19||Pro||Davide Meloni||Van Diemen||+2.274|
|21||Pro||Fergus Paton||Van Diemen||+4.548|