Rory Smith has praised BRSCC Avon Tyres National Formula Ford 1600 rival James Clarke after the pair’s wheel-to-wheel duel for second in the opening race at Croft.
The pair were battling for the runner-up spot behind runaway winner Ross Martin, with the duo touching wheels at the high-speed Jim Clark Esses on the last lap, but afterwards praised each other for a ‘nip-and-tuck’ fight.
“It was quite a lively race!” Smith told FF1600website.
“The team asked me afterwards if I had a chance to check the times I was doing, I wasn’t even looking at the dash!
“It was such a close battle, every lap we were running wheel-to-wheel.
“It was so tight but he gave me space. That’s quite rare in Formula Ford, some drivers wouldn’t give you space – they’d shove you off instead.
“It was nice to have a nip and tuck battle.”
Those thoughts were echoed by Cliff Dempsey Racing’s Clarke, who thought their scrap was ‘tight but respectful’ despite losing out to the B-M Racing driver and finishing third.
“There were a few times we ran each other quite close but it was tight but respectful throughout,” said Clarke.
“I said to Rory after the race that there were probably eight or nine times we could have had a big accident if we didn’t give each other space.
“But it was a mega fight and it was awesome to be a part of it.”
Smith’s podium was his first since winning the opening race of the season at Snetterton, promoting him to fifth in the championship standings, one place behind Clarke.