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September 07, 2014
Formula Ford UK: Marshall & Kruger Claim Rockingham Wins for JTR

Round 23 podium finishers Harrison Scott, Max Marshall and Ashley Sutton (Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography)
Round 23 podium finishers Harrison Scott, Max Marshall and Ashley Sutton
(Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

The JTR team completed a home-track hat-trick today at Rockingham, team-mates Max Marshall and Jayde Kruger sharing the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain wins to add to Kruger’s Saturday victory for the Pavenham-based squad. Marshall took the honours this morning after Kruger retired with a fuel pump problem, denting his title hopes, with Jayde battling back to win this afternoon despite a misfire which threatened to ruin his race.

Harrison Scott followed up his Saturday third place with another brace of podium finishes today. Scott arrived at Rockingham six points ahead in the championship; thanks to Kruger’s issue, he leaves with a 17-point lead with six races remaining.

In the Scholarship class, today’s wins were shared by MBM Motorsport’s Ashley Sutton and, taking her first class victory, Richardson racing driver Louise Richardson.

Round 23 report
There was pleasure and heartbreak in equal measure for the JTR team in the reverse-grid round, with Max Marshall (above) landing the second win of his season and his team-mate, championship contender Jayde Kruger, halted by a fuel pump failure after only two laps. With Kruger’s title rival Harrison Scott finishing third, Jayde – who drew level on points with Harrison yesterday after winning at Rockingham – slumps well behind him.

Marshall took command of the race after five laps of pursuit of the Falcon Motorsport EcoBoost Mygale of Ricky Collard, which led from pole position; Max dived down the inside of Ricky entering turn one and made the manoeuvre stick into the Deene hairpin. “Yesterday I went around him there on the outside,” said Max, “and I tried it twice again today before deciding it wasn’t going to pay off, so I held back and picked my moment. He went to the inside and I went out and he didn’t defend because he thought I wasn’t going to go for it; at the last minute I made my move and got him under braking.”

By the end of the sixth lap the race was under the control of the safety car, scrambled while the beached MBM car of Michael O’Brien was retrieved from a gravel trap, where it had come to rest after contact with Chris Mealin’s Falcon Mygale. The restart four laps later was to prove Collard’s undoing as Ashley Sutton (MBM) and Harrison Scott (Falcon) swept past to demote him to fourth. Said Ricky: “I went down the box and got stuck in neutral; it’s a big shame and I feel bad for the team. To start from pole and not finish on the podium is disappointing.”

Marshall handled the restart perfectly and by lap’s end was 1.8s clear of Sutton. Ashley was in no position to narrow the gap: “Straight after the safety car my temperature gauges went off the clock – we think a stone went through the radiator. So for the rest of the race I had to take it really cautiously for the rest of the race and limp it home.” Ashley claimed the Scholarship class honours once again to further extend his class points lead.

Sutton finished just under a second ahead of Scott, who claimed his fourth consecutive third-place finish. “I’ll take that,” said Harrison. “A podium and a non-finish for Jayde means that I have gained a big chunk of points. I’m happy with that, but obviously I’d rather be beating him on outright pace…”

Behind fourth-placed Collard there was a great late-race battle for fifth between Richardson Racing’s Louise Richardson and the cars of James Abbott (Radical) and Clay Mitchell (JTR). Abbott got past Richardson at the start of the final lap before she repassed, with Mitchell following Louise’s example to dump James back to seventh by the line. The top 10 was completed by Mealin, Juan Rosso (Radical), who was suffering a slipping clutch and deranged suspension after swiping a kerb, and Greg Holloway (SWB Sinter), who was fortunate to make the grid after picking up a puncture; the SWB mechanics switched his wheel in double-quick time.

Round 24 report
Despite a power-sapping misfire which he thought at one point of the race might halt him completely, Jayde Kruger hung on to win his 10th race of the season at Rockingham this afternoon.

JTR’s South African driver took the lead at the start of Round 24 after an inch-perfect getaway from pole position, pursued by his team-mate and Round 23 victor Max Marshall. Jayde eased into a slender lead but, mid-race, felt his EcoBoost Mygale start to stutter, just like it did this morning when a fuel pump failure caused his retirement.

“It started to misfire half-way through, so it became the longest race of my season... I thought it was going to be the same as this morning’s race; it was the exact same sort of problem and luckily I think Max was slightly nice to me initially when I slowed up. Then I just got my head down and tried to give myself room to compensate for when the car slowed down. It cleared in the last three laps but there were stages of the race when I thought I was going to have to park it.”

After slipping 24 points behind championship leader Harrison Scott this morning, Jayde clawed back some ground with his afternoon win. “In terms of the championship, I’m now 17 points behind but I’ve clawed my way back from a similar position,” he added. “There are six rounds left and everything to play for.”

Marshall shadowed Kruger to the flag but, other than when Jayde initially suffered the glitch, was unable to take him on for the win. “I tried to go past when Jayde had his problem,” said Max. “He sort of pulled out of the way to let me past and then I think he got it going again and closed the door again. After that he seemed able to push a bit more and it was a case of trying to match his pace…” Marshall, who collected his eighth podium finish of the year, was 1.6s behind his team-mate at the line.

Falcon Motorsport’s Scott made it a hat-trick of Rockingham third-place finishes, seven seconds behind the winner. He started second on the grid behind Kruger but lost out to Marshall away from the startline. Harrison is aware he needs to start winning to defend his title lead: “We’ve a lot of work to do before Silverstone; a lot of pace to find. I’m not sure what I can do to get into a position to win. But we’re ahead for now and we’ll take that.”

The battle for fourth (and Scholarship class victory) was the highlight of the race, Louise Richardson making a blinding start from sixth on the grid to slot ahead of Ricky Collard and Michael O’Brien on the opening lap. Collard’s Falcon Mygale hassled the Richardson Racing machine all the way to his retirement with an exhaust pipe issue on unlucky lap 13; thereafter it was O’Brien’s MBM machine keeping Louise honest.

She held on to the position ahead of O’Brien by 1.8s and was delighted to score her first Scholarship class win. Said Louise: “With Ricky right behind me and then Michael I couldn’t afford to relax for a minute; if I made a small mistake they were right at me, so it was a case of keeping my head together and, when Ricky pulled off, of not allowing myself to relax. I’m just over the moon, so thrilled. It’s been a steep learning curve and things are starting to come together.”

After failing to finish both earlier Rockingham races, O’Brien was pleased with fifth overall and his third Scholarship podium. “My start wasn’t ideal but I was consistent after that, and that makes up for a disappointing weekend up to now,” said Michael.

An excellent sixth (and Scholarship third) at his first EcoBoost Formula Ford race meeting was 17-year-old Glaswegian Clay Mitchell, who finished well ahead of old hands Juan Rosso and James Abbott in their Radical Mygales. “I never thought I had a chance of making the podium on my first weekend, so I’m delighted,” said Clay.

With Ashley Sutton absent from the race after overheating his engine in this morning’s race, the field was completed by Falcon’s Chris Mealin and SWB Sinter driver Greg Holloway.

Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship GB Provisional results
Round 23

Rockingham 07/09/14
14 laps / 27.16 miles
1 Max MARSHALL/GBR (North Kilworth) JTR Mygale 20m 34.894s / 79.17mph
2 Ashley SUTTON/GBR (Bishops Stortford) MBM Mygale +3.346s
3 Harrison SCOTT/GBR (Althorne) Falcon Mygale +4.151s
4 Ricky COLLARD/GBR (Eversley) Falcon Mygale +5.418s
5 Louise RICHARDSON/GBR (Grantham) Richardson Mygale +6.695s
6 Clay MITCHELL/GBR (Glasgow) JTR Mygale +8.292s
7 James ABBOTT/GBR (Thurlby) Radical Mygale +9.656s
8 Chris MEALIN/GBR (Braddan, IOM) Falcon Mygale +10.708s
9 Juan ROSSO/ARG Radical Mygale +11.781s
10 Greg HOLLOWAY/AUS SWB Sinter +18.839s
Scholarship class 1 Sutton; 2 Collard; 3 Richardson; 4 Mitchell; 5 Mealin.
Fastest lap Marshall 1m 18.470s / 89.00mph

Did not finish Michael O’BRIEN/GBR (Silverstone) MBM Mygale 5 laps
Jayde KRUGER/RSA JTR Mygale 2 laps

Round 24
16 laps / 31.04 miles
1 KRUGER 21m 13.906s / 87.71mph
2 MARSHALL JTR Mygale +1.679s
3 SCOTT +6.924s
4 RICHARDSON +11.527s
5 O’BRIEN +13.367s
6 MITCHELL +21.436s
7 ROSSO +25.500s
8 ABBOTT +26.789s
9 MEALIN +43.181s
10 HOLLOWAY +57.079s
Scholarship class 1 Richardson; 2 O’Brien; 3 Mitchell; 4 Mealin.
Fastest lap Kruger 1m 18.752s / 88.68mph

Did not finish COLLARD 13 laps
Did not start SUTTON

Provisional championship standings
1 Scott 582 points; 2 Kruger 565; 3 Marshall 491; 4 Rosso 459; 5 Abbott 437; 6 Sutton 435; 7 Collard 325; 8 Mealin 254; 9 Holloway 218; 10 Richardson 198 etc
Scholarship class 1 Sutton 466; 2 Collard 350; 3 Mealin 279; 4 Connor Mills 214; 5 Richardson 206 etc
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