Graham Brunton Racing’s Logan Hannah became the first female winner of a Scottish Formula Ford 1600 race, beating Jordan Gronkowski in an epic David Leslie Trophy at Knockhill on Sunday.
This year’s Scottish FFord season was cancelled due to low numbers and the coronavirus pandemic, with a subsititute Scottish Renegades Cup organised that included a race meeting for the annually-held David Leslie Trophy.
Just six cars were entered for the meeting, with the results of race one setting the grid for the trophy-awarding race two.
Reigning Scottish FFord champion Gronkowski dominated both qualifying and the opening 10-lap race in his Van Diemen, taking pole by a tenth of a second from Neil Broome in very wet conditions and winning by over 12 seconds in a cold but drying first race.
Broome’s race was ended by gearbox trouble which forced the Ray-driving privateer to start race two from the back of the grid. Hannah finished a distant second to Gronkowski, and therefore started race two from the front row.
GBR opted for a hybrid part-dry, part-wet set-up for Hannah’s car for race two, with the track still not fully dry, while Gronkowski went for a full-wet set-up. Their different approaches proved critical in Hannah being the one who won.
“I’m so happy,” Hannah said after victory. “Off the start, I was right under Jordan’s gearbox, but I didn’t feel like I was close enough to have a go at him.
“Then on about lap three, I went around the outside of him at Duffus, got the inside line at the kink before McIntyres and was in the lead.”
Once in the lead, Hannah immediately set the fastest lap of the race to open up a slender eight-tenths margin over Gronkowski.
But a “big moment exiting Clarks” after which Hannah nearly spun gave Gronkowski the momentum needed to dive up the inside of the Hairpin to reclaim the lead.
Gronkowski held the lead for another two laps before Hannah again went around the outside of Duffus.
Another fastest lap and a nervy final tour was enough for Hannah to edge Gronkowski by just 0.619s.
“Fair play to Jordan, it was such a close race and so clean as well,” Hannah added post-race. “I’m not going to lie; I was crying when I saw my parents on the in-lap, but I’m absolutely ecstatic to win that.”
Privateer Matt Chisholm finished third in both races in his Van Diemen, the first secured with a late pass on GBR’s Steve Barlow while the second was six seconds adrift of Hannah and Gronkowski.
Broome raced well to secure fourth in race two, ahead of Barlow and Colin Turner.
Qualification race (10 laps)
1 Jordan Gronkowski Jordan Gronkowski Racing 10m23.059s
2 Logan Hannah Graham Brunton Racing +12.792s
3 Matthew Chisholm +22.538s
4 Steve Barlow Graham Brunton Racing +24.499s
5 Colin Turner +1 lap
6 Neil Broome +2 laps
Pole: Gronkowski, 1m03.229s
Fastest lap: Gronkowski, 1m01.443s
David Leslie Trophy (10 laps)
1 Hannah 10m04.426s
2 Gronkowski +0.474s
3 Chisholm +6.499s
4 Broome +11.836s
5 Barlow +14.074s
6 Turner +49.172s
FL: Gronkowski, 58.423s