Martin wins shortened first race as Gronkowski and Melrose collide

Ross Martin took his fifth Scottish Formula Ford win of the season at Knockhill, as polesitter Jordan Gronkowski collided with Sebastian Melrose.

A better getaway off the line from Martin brought him alongside Gronkowski heading into Duffus Dip, and they ran side-by-side towards McIntyre where an inside line advantage helped Martin snatch first place.

That lead lasted only a single lap, as Gronkowski pulled a similar move at McIntyre to retake first place.

A brief safety car period for Gary Sykes’ stranded Ray ensured a pack of front-runners including Sebastian Melrose and Neil Broome remained close behind, as Melrose swapped between attacking his Graham Brunton Racing team-mate Martin and defending from Broome across several laps.

Two decisive moments would come following that safety car. Race leader Gronkowski slowed while travelling down the pit straight, allowing Martin, Melrose and Broome past. Gronkowski’s sudden loss in speed was only momentary, as by McIntyre on the same lap he had retaken third from Broome.

Martin’s victory would be secured by Gronkowski’s recovery efforts going awry, colliding with Melrose as he attempted a passing manoeuvre at McIntyre.

Both drivers went off into the gravel, Gronkowski picking up front left suspension damage in the process, causing another safety car under which the race would finish.

Behind Broome in second, Matthew Chisholm and James Clarke traded places in their battle for what would eventually become third position.

Clarke, starting eighth, quickly passed Sykes aboard his Mygale and picked off Chisholm a lap later, but dropped behind Chisholm shortly after the first safety car period ended, settling for fourth.

Along with Sykes, fellow Ray racer Steve Barlow also retired late on, handing Fraser Gray a top five finish.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Brunsdon

Race results

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Ross Martin Ray 13 laps
2 Neil Broome Ray +0.558
3 Matthew Chisholm Van Diemen +3.392
4 James Clarke Mygale +4.273
5 Fraser Gray Ray +5.164
DNF Sebastian Melrose Ray
DNF Jordan Gronkowski Van Diemen
DNF Steven Barlow Ray
DNF Gary Sykes Ray
Fastest Lap: Martin, 54.264

Championship standings

Martin 129   Melrose 81   Broome 67   4 Clarke 56   Chisholm 56   6 Gronkowski 48   7 Barlow 38   8 Sykes 34   9 Gray 28   10 Ross Howe 21

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