Jordan Gronkowski maintained his unbeaten start to the Scottish FF1600 season, escaping a frenetic podium battle behind to claim victory in the opening race on Knockhill’s reverse layout.
The championship leader leapt away from pole and was leading comfortably before a late safety car intervention, following contact between Kenny Cowie and Neil Broome at the hairpin while the pair disputed second place.
Logan Hannah finished a best-ever second for Graham Brunton Racing behind Gronkowski as a result, with privateer Matt Chisholm making it two Van Diemens on the podium in third.
As Gronkowski sped off into the distance at the start, Hannah snuck past Chisholm for second on the inside of the Hairpin, with Broome getting the best of the slow-starting Cowie for fourth.
Cowie made inroads into the pack having dropped as low as sixth on the opening lap and fought his way back to third after Hannah lost speed coming out of McIntyres just after half-distance.
That dropped the Young Racing Driver Academy member to fifth and allowed Cowie to challenge Chisholm, who was passed by Broome on the same lap.
Cowie forced his Mygale by Chisholm under braking for the Hairpin to seize third, but tangled with Broome two laps later as an ambitious overtaking attempt failed to pay off.
The pair went into the Hairpin side-by-side, with Cowie trying to pull off a repeat maneuvre. But Cowie was tipped into a spin by Broome’s Ray, leaving the Mygale beached in the gravel which brought out the safety car.
Despite seeing his 13 second advantage wiped out by the safety car intervention, Gronkowski quickly responded and took the flag by 1.188s over Hannah, who profited from the Broome/Cowie contact to recover to second.
Chisholm held on to finish third, just ahead of the charging Broome, while Steven Barlow headed GBR team-mate Cameron Thomson, who received a 10-second penalty for jumping the start.
|1||Jordan Gronkowski||Van Diemen||13 laps|
|3||Matthew Chisholm||Van Diemen||+1.526|
|Fastest lap: Gronkowski, 53.975