Ross Martin’s David Leslie Trophy-winning performance was his best yet according to his team boss Graham Brunton.
Reigning Scottish Formula Ford champion Martin claimed his ninth consecutive championship win in the prestigious David Leslie Trophy at Knockhill last weekend, continuing a winning streak dating back to September last year.
The former British Formula 4 driver withstood immense pressure from Jordan Gronkowski’s Van Diemen to win the race, making up for his 2017 retirement on the final lap.
Brunton was full of praise for his driver, whom he claims is racing better than ever.
“If you have a look at the lap-times, Ross was driving defensively and Jordan was keeping him honest, but the lap times the two of them were doing were incredible,” Brunton told FF1600website.
“I’ve had some drivers leading races and they’ve dropped a second in defence, but that was probably the best I’ve seen him drive, in terms of keeping the pace up and keeping the guy behind you.
“Ross has worked hard with [team manager] Craig [Brunton]. He comes out of the car, we send him into the debrief and Craig doesn’t let him away with anything.”
Martin had ambitions to race in the BRSCC Avon Tyres National FF1600 Championship this year but the plans fell through and has since focused on retaining his Scottish title. The Dumbartonshire teenager did take part in the Knockhill round of the National championship as a guest entry, running as high as fifth in the third race before retiring.
Brunton plans to field Martin in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch in October, as well as next month’s National round at Croft as preparation.
“Obviously, we’re talking about the Festival and possibly the Walter Hayes. I’d like him to go and do the Croft [National FF1600] round, because that’ll keep him sharp for the next two races up here [Knockhill],” Brunton added.
“It’s about the bum in the seat. You know, these guys, it’s four or five weeks out the seat and when you go south, you’re up against guys who are in a car, sometimes every week.”
If he does compete in this year’s Festival, Martin will be looking for redemption after missing out on a place in the 2017 final following an off-track excursion at Paddock Hill Bend.
Brunton believes Martin would be a victory contender should he make his second Festival appearance this year.
“Well he was on the money last year, and as he said, he made the mistake himself in the semi-final,” Brunton said.
“I think we gave him a really good car last year. When you’re used to going round here [Knockhill], I’ve always found we’ve had quick cars at Brands. We’ve never had the ultimate result but we’ve always had quick cars at the Festival.