Rory Smith won a chaotic first Avon Tyres BRSCC National FF1600 Championship race of the weekend at Donington Park, after poleman Joey Foster was involved in a multi-car incident.
B-M Racing driver Smith started fourth but the nature of Donington’s National circuit, now completely dry after the damp qualifying session, lended itself to pack racing, demonstrated by the lead battle.
Foster made a good start from pole in his Don Hardman Racing-ran Ray, and held the lead until a charging Matt Round-Garrido (Medina) made a move around the outside of the daunting Craner Curves on lap three, having passed Luke Cooper’s Swift one lap previously.
The pair stayed side-by-side to the Old Hairpin, where Foster’s ran slightly wide, allowing Team Dolan driver Round-Garrido through. His lead only lasted a lap, however, as Foster found a way back through and Smith followed.
The winning move came from Smith on lap five, diving down the inside of Foster at the Old Hairpin.
It was the end of that lap where the first of two significant incidents involving Foster and Round-Garrido took place. Both drivers went off, lost positions and managed to rejoin.
Two laps later a multi-car incident at the chicane sent both drivers out of the race, with Round-Garrido ending up in the barriers and Foster limping back to the pits. Cliff Dempsey Racing’s Nico Gruber (Ray) and Smith’s team-mate Sebastian Job (Van Diemen), who had been running fifth in the early part of the race, were also involved, along with Dolan’s Jack Wolfenden (Firman).
Amongst all the chaos, Cooper was able to move back up to second for Swift Cooper, ahead of Kevin Mills Racing pair Michaels Moyers and Eastwell.
Team USA Scholarship driver Jake Craig took fifth in his first race on UK soil, having started 12th, and just held off fellow Californian Carter Williams at the flag.
Thomas Capezzone was seventh ahead of the second Team USA driver Colin Mullan. Jonathan Browne and Matt Rivett. John Svensson’s Van Diemen was the leading Clubman Post-’89 car in 12th.
|1||Pro||Rory Smith||Medina||12 laps|
|12||Post89||John Svensson||Van Diemen||+24.632|
|14||Pro||Pascal Monbaron||Van Diemen||+35.499|
|15||Pro||Fergus Paton||Van Diemen||+37.379|
|17||Pro||Tommy Foster||Van Diemen||+54.233|
|18||Pre90||Simon Fleet||Van Diemen||+55.550|
|19||Post89||Matt Payne||Van Diemen||+1:12.072|
|DNF||Pro||Sebastian Job||Van Diemen|
|Fastest lap: Cooper, 1:15.607|
|1 Niall Murray 522 2 Eastwell 444 3 Round-Garrido 374 4 Foster 367 5 Cooper 328 6 Jamie Thorburn 274 7 Smith 259 8 Gruber 207 9 Neil Maclennan 193 10 Williams 165|
|1 Niall Murray 175 2 Foster 126 3 Eastwell 122 4 Moyers 119 5 Cooper 110 6 Smith 109 7 Round-Garrido 101 8 Jamie Thorburn 95 9 Hugo Bentley-Ellis 73 10 Stuart Gough 48|
|1 Jay 539 2 Morris 408 3 Svensson 133 4 Daniel O’Beirne 106 5 Felix Fisher 104 6 Street 98 7 John Ferguson 94 8 George McDonald 62 9 Henry Chart 53 10 Payne 22|