BRSCC National News

Josh Smith takes lights to flag National win in first Croft race

Oldfield Motorsport driver Josh Smith secured his first Avon Tyres National FF1600 Championship race victory this season at Croft, while championship leader Niall Murray retired.

A bad start by second placed qualifier Michael Eastwell allowed Smith an unchallenged run into Clervaux, extending his gap out to two seconds in the opening laps before settling down and managing his gap to Eastwell.

Eastwell’s start had been so poor that Carter Williams had jumped to second by the start, though his spell near the front was extremely short lived. He began dropping positions at Tower Bend, his Ray then grinding to a halt further round the lap at the Complex.

Sixth placed qualifier Joey Foster mastered the tricky wet conditions, making up two places at the start and stealing second away from Eastwell on the final lap, an excellent run through the Jim Clark Esses allowing him to slip past at Sunny.

That trio were a class apart from their rival with third placed Eastwell finishing 6.287s ahead of fourth placed Rory Smith. Surprisingly absent from the victory battle was Eastwell’s title rival Niall Murray.

Murray failed to progress from his ninth placed grid slot before his car ground to a halt around the halfway mark, breaking a push rod on his Van Diemen going over a kerb.

B-M Racing driver Smith briefly held second on the opening lap after passing Williams but had no answer for Eastwell or Foster, although he managed to break away late on from a titanic scrap over the final top five position.

James Clarke surged from 10th to fifth on his Cliff Dempsey Racing debut, picking off rivals in the closing laps. Series returnee Jordan Dempsey got past Team Dolan’s Jack Wolfenden on the opening lap, but could not match Clarke’s pace and was demoted to sixth place at the end.

Matt Round-Garrido was seventh, ahead of a recovering Nico Gruber in eighth, who had started well down the order due to a crash in qualifying. Jamie Thorburn recovered from 15th to finish ninth, while Luke Cooper took the final significant points haul in 10th, still struggling to bed in a brand new engine.

Wolfenden was the biggest loser in the large midfield scrap, dropping from seventh to 11th in the closing stages after battling with Round-Garrido.

Race results

Pos Class Driver Car Gap
1 Pro Josh Smith Van Diemen 9 laps
2 Pro Joey Foster Ray +1.024
3 Pro Michael Eastwell Spectrum +1.942
4 Pro Rory Smith Medina +8.229
5 Pro James Clarke Ray +10.774
6 Pro Jordan Dempsey Van Diemen +11.001
7 Pro Matt Round-Garrido Medina +11.670
8 Pro Nico Gruber Ray +13.230
9 Pro Jamie Thorburn Ray +15.583
10 Pro Luke Cooper Swift +26.439
11 Pro Jack Wolfenden Van Diemen +27.805
12 Pro David McArthur Van Diemen +42.985
13 Pro Sebastian Job Van Diemen +43.079
14 CM89 Richard Morris Swift +1m02.270
15 CM89 Vincent Jay Ray +1m11.376
DNF Pro Jonathan Browne Ray
DNF Pro Niall Murray Van Diemen
DNF Pro Carter Williams Ray
Fastest lap: Foster, 1:43.492

Championship standings

Pro
Murray 473   2 Eastwell 378   3 Round-Garrido 326   4 Foster 319   5 Cooper 294   6 Thorburn 269   7 R Smith 207   8 Neil Maclennan 195   9 Gruber 192   10 Hugo Bentley-Ellis 156
Clubman Post89
1 Jay 455   2 Morris 341   3 Daniel O’Beirne 106   4 Felix Fisher 104   5 John Svensson 97   John Ferguson 94   7 Sam Street 74   8 George McDonald 62   9 Henry Chart 53
Clubman Pre90
1 Simon Fleet 174   NC Alan Davidson   NC Nicky Gibson   NC Ian McCulla   NC Ashley McCulla   NC Jim Campbell

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