Just five cars are taking part in this weekend’s penultimate Scottish Formula Ford 1600 round at Knockhill, which has forced organisers to merge the grid with Scottish Formula Junior.
The decision was made by the Scottish Motor Racing Club on Friday, citing poor entries and concerns from track marshals over the length of the meeting as justification for the grid share arrangement.
In a statement, the SMRC said: “Having received feedback from our marshalling team expressing concerns on the length of Sunday’s event and having reviewed the number of entries in both FFord and Formula Junior, we have made the decision to amalgamate these two grids.”
However, this move angered some in the FF1600 paddock, notably Graham Brunton Racing team manager Craig Brunton, who called the decision “nonsense”.
Scottish FF1600 representative and driver Neil Broome also voiced frustration but believes the move is correct when taking into consideration the demands for the marshals.
“From a driver’s point of view, it’s far from ideal,” Broome said.
“The Formula Juniors have very different braking points to us and, as they are not testing today, the first time we will get the measure of them will probably be around lap eight or nine of the first race.
“That said, from a drivers’ rep point of view, I can’t reasonably argue a case of a separate grid of five cars when the marshals are already under pressure.”
Confirmed to take part in this weekend’s FF1600 races are the two full-season entries from Graham Brunton Racing (Logan Hannah and Steve Barlow), championship leader Jordan Gronkowski, Broome and the second independent Van Diemen of Matthew Chisholm.
GBR fielded a third entry for Matt Cowley at the previous round of the championship, the David Leslie Trophy, while Rotor Racing entered cars with Kenny Cowie and James Pinkerton. All three are missing from this weekend’s entry.
Qualifying is scheduled to start tomorrow at a revised time of 09:25, with the combined race one due to begin at 11:50. Race two will be at 15:20.