KNOCKHILL CHALLENGE AHEAD FOR ECOBOOST RACERS
Max Marshall will be hoping to celebrate success as well as his recent 20th birthday at Knockhill. Photo: www.jakobebrey.com
The unique demands of Scotland’s Knockhill circuit will be faced by the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford combatants this coming weekend (23/24 August) as they head north of the border for a triple helping of championship action. The twists and undulations of the 1.27-mile Fife circuit traditionally provide plenty of overtaking opportunities and some great EcoBoost Formula Ford racing is in prospect.
A meagre 14 points separates the chief title protagonists, Harrison Scott and Jayde Kruger, after 18 rounds of the championship and with 12 races to go, and Knockhill’s unpredictable nature – and weather – could provide either driver with an opportunity to push ahead of his rival. South African 26-year-old Kruger has taken six race wins this season in his JTR-prepared Mygale, and returned to the podium last time out, at Snetterton, where he finished second behind MBM’s Ashley Sutton. Falcon Motorsport’s Scott, 18 and from Essex, has three race wins under his belt plus a further 11 podium finishes.
But the driver on form currently is 20-year-old Sutton, who has won three of the last six races, twice finished second and once third. It bothers Ashley not that he has never driven Knockhill. “I’ve never even seen the track, so it’s going to be a bit like Croft,” said Hertfordshire driver Sutton, who claimed his first Formula Ford win at the Croft circuit in North Yorkshire – another first-time track for him – in June. “We are going to turn up at Knockhill like we did at Croft and start afresh. I’ve a rough idea about the circuit layout, having done a little homework: I know it goes up and down a bit! It will be interesting…”
Sutton is not worried either about the weather in Scotland, despite struggling in the rain at Oulton Park earlier in the season. “We have put that problem at Oulton down to the tyres; our wet tyres were a bit old and now we have a fresh set. It was damp in qualifying at Croft and we were topping the times then, so our wet pace should be OK.
“My aim for the season now is to get into the championship top three. Harrison and Jayde have a nice big gap over us, but we are only really just past the half-way point in the championship and plenty could still happen.” Sutton, who missed three races earlier in the year, trails championship leader Scott by 107 points currently. He is well ahead in the Scholarship class, however, and while Ashley cannot quite secure the rookie title at Knockhill a set of strong results should put the matter beyond much doubt.
Ashley will be MBM’s sole representative in Scotland; Michael O’Brien, who debuted with the team at Snetterton, is missing the event but hopes to return at Rockingham next month.
Also in action at Knockhill, and seeking further race wins to add to those they have already scored, will be Radical Motorsport duo James Abbott and Juan Rosso, and JTR’s Max Marshall, who has just celebrated his 20th birthday. Scott’s Falcon Motorsport team-mates Ricky Collard and Chris Mealin will be in action also, with 18-year-old Collard looking to replicate his Snetterton overall podium form. Louise Richardson (Richardson Mygale) and Greg Holloway (SWB Sinter) are also due on track.
The Knockhill BTCC-supporting weekend gets underway on Friday 22 August with two test sessions, followed by qualifying and a single race on Saturday. Sunday’s live-televised Knockhill event will feature two Formula Ford races.
For more information about the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain visit www.britishformulaford.co.uk