Home Formula FordNational FF1600 Alex Walker wins red-flagged race first race of Scottish FFord’s return

Alex Walker wins red-flagged race first race of Scottish FFord’s return

by Stephen Brunsdon

Photo: Jim Moir

Alex Walker claimed his third BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 victory in four races, beating Chris Middlehurst on countback in a sensational red flagged first race at Knockhill.

Walker started from pole but was outdragged off the line by Middlehurst as the field navigated through Duffus Dip for the first time.

From then on, it was a slipstreaming affair for the remainder of the 18-lap race, with Middlehurst initially maintaining a slender but solid lead of just over three tenths of a second.

Walker never left the rear of Middlehurst and the duo went side-by-side over the line several times as the lead switched hands.

Middlehurst had some respite however, following a safety car intervention after Lucas Romanek went off early in the race.

Middlehurst maintained his small gap upon the restart, but still had Walker breathing down his neck and he finally found a way past on lap 13.

Still there was nothing separating the two leaders as they crossed the line on lap 15 split by just eight-hundredths of a second as Middlehurst desperately tried to find a way back into the lead.

He eventually reclaimed first place but the scrap was ended prematurely though as the red flag was thrown after Walker’s KMR team-mate Megan Gilkes stopped on lap 19, the result therefore being called a lap earlier when Walker headed Middlehurst by just 0.088s.

Max Esterton finished third after a superb race from sixth on the grid. He initially made ground by getting past Thomas Mills for fourth and then grabbing the final place on the podium with an assertive move on Jamie Sharp on lap 10.

Mills had dropped to sixth but such was the closeness of the race, he made it back into fourth by the end. Sharp was just behind at the finish in fifth though, and series returnee Jordan Dempsey was sixth.

Jordan Gronkowski was the best of the drivers eligible for Scottish FFord points in seventh place, having made strong progress from 11th on the grid. The series didn’t run in 2020.

Defending champion Gronkowski jumped three positions on lap one to run eighth and benefitted from the safety car intervention to move past Carter Williams and Dempsey to sixth but lost out to the latter towards the end.

Second in Scottish was the returning Michael Gray, while privateer Neil Broome faded in the latter stages, meaning Andrew Elliott completed the podium in 13th place.

Lucy Grant finished her first FF1600 race in 14th, while her Graham Brunton Racing team-mate Logan Hannah was absent.

Race results (18 laps)

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Alex Walker Kevin Mills Racing 19m32.586s
2 Chris Middlehurst Team Dolan +0.088s
3 Max Esterson Low Dempsey Racing +3.896s
4 Thomas Mills Kevin Mills Racing +5.261s
5 Jamie Sharp B-M Racing +5.639s
6 Jordan Dempsey B-M Racing +8.459s
7 Jordan Gronkowski Jordan Gronkowski Racing +9.638s
8 Carter Williams Oldfield Motorsport +11.537s
9 Megan Gilkes Kevin Mills Racing +15.992s
10 Drew Stewart SC Motorsport +16.188s
11 Colin Queen Low Dempsey Racing +18.505s
12 Michael Gray Graham Brunton Racing +18.831s
13 Andre Lafond Low Dempsey Racing +24.679s
14 Andrew Elliott +49.403s
15 Lucy Grant Graham Brunton Racing +50.276s
16 Neil Broome +1 lap
17 Glen Alcock West College Scotland +2 laps
Ret Morgan Quinn Team Dolan
Ret Lucas Romanek Kevin Mills Racing
Ret Benjamin Cochrane Team Dolan
DNQ Logan Hannah Graham Brunton Racing
DNQ Matthew Chisholm
Fastest lap: Walker, 54.005s

Championship standings
Walker 126   2 Esterson 97   3 Sharp 87   4 Rory Smith 85   5 Luke Cooper 52   6 Romanek 46   7 Middlehurst 42   8 Queen 40   9 Joey Foster 37   10 Gilkes 36