BRSCC National News

Smith holds on to win frenetic National race two at Croft

Josh Smith took a second straight BRSCC Avon Tyres National FF1600 Championship victory at Croft, holding a trio of rivals at bay in the closing laps of race two.

Continuing his strong pace from Saturday’s opening race, Oldfield Motorsport returnee Smith made a good start, holding Joey Foster at bay for the first half of the race. Michael Eastwell, who finished third in race one, was also sitting behind the leading duo early on.

It was an unexpected face that turned what had been a straightforward affair into a tense finale, with James Clarke making the most of his Cliff Dempsey Racing debut, picking off B-M Racing’s Rory Smith at Barcroft on lap two and catching the leaders.

Clarke caught and passed Eastwell for third with a strong exit out of Tower with three laps remaining, slipping past entering the Jim Clark Esses. As Foster tried an unsuccessful move at the hairpin on race leader Josh Smith, both Clarke and Eastwell closed in.

Smith was given breathing room as Foster was forced to defend from Clarke, and meant the teenager took his third career victory in the championship.

After an initially unsuccessful attempt on Foster for second around the outside of Tower, Clarke made his decisive move on the final lap, getting a run down the inside into Clervaux and snatching second place.

Locking his front left wheel, Foster ran wide through the gravel, allowing Eastwell past into third. Team Dolan’s Matt Round-Garrido picked up fifth place and also set fastest lap. He finished just 1.280 seconds behind winner Smith.

Round-Garrido was also aided by a mistake from his rivals battling for the same position. Jamie Thorburn made contact while going around the outside of Rory Smith at Sunny Out, spinning round, breaking his throttle cable and blocking Smith’s path. Both retired from the race.

Chinese Formula 4 regular Jordan Dempsey finished sixth, while championship leader Niall Murray just missed out on wrapping up the title in seventh place despite climbing 10 places during the race. His Team Dolan team-mate Jack Wolfenden finished right behind in eighth, leaving the door open for Murray to pass at the hairpin just after the halfway mark.

Carter Williams showed his third placed qualifying run on Saturday was no fluke, emulating Murray by climbing to ninth from 18th and last on the grid.

JMR Scholarship driver Sebastian Job rounded out the top 10. Richard Morris secured class victory in Clubman Post-’89, finishing nearly half a minute ahead of Vincent Jay.

Race results

Pos Class Driver Car Gap
1 Pro Josh Smith Van Diemen 10 laps
2 Pro James Clarke Ray +0.446
3 Pro Michael Eastwell Spectrum +0.895
4 Pro Joey Foster Ray +1.094
5 Pro Matt Round-Garrido Medina +1.280
6 Pro Jordan Dempsey Van Diemen +3.685
7 Pro Niall Murray Van Diemen +7.978
8 Pro Jack Wolfenden Van Diemen +8.546
9 Pro Carter Williams Ray +11.615
10 Pro Sebastian Job Van Diemen +14.752
11 Pro David McArthur Van Diemen +14.978
12 Pro Nico Gruber Ray +15.828
13 Pro Luke Cooper Swift +19.526
14 CM89 Richard Morris Swift +49.837
15 CM89 Vincent Jay Ray +1:19.232
DNF Pro Rory Smith Medina
DNF Pro Jamie Thorburn Ray
DNF Pro Jonathan Browne Ray
Fastest lap: Round-Garrido, 1:29.787

Championship standings

Murray 488   2 Eastwell 402   3 Round-Garrido 348   4 Foster 341   5 Cooper 297   6 Thorburn 271   7 R Smith 209   8 Neil Maclennan 195   9 Gruber 195   10 Hugo Bentley-Ellis 156
Clubman Post89
1 Jay 482   2 Morris 375   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

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