Maiden Formula Ford victory for Max Marshall

Maiden Formula Ford victory for Max Marshall after Jayde Kruger and Ashley Sutton clash wheelsHarrison Scott extends championship lead with second as Sutton recovers to take third and Scholarship class win

Max Marshall kept his cool in a hot and fractious 16th round of the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain to claim an emphatic victory at the wheel of his EcoBoost JTR Mygale. While others around him clashed wheels, the 19-year-old Leicestershire lad kept his clean to earn a long-awaited maiden win.

Marshall seized his opportunity at turn three on the opening lap when the front-row men, Jayde Kruger (JTR) and Ashley Sutton (MBM) clashed wheels. Max nipped past them both to establish a three-tenth advantage over Kruger by the end of the opening lap. By lap five he was 1.25s clear of the South African and the race was in the bag.

Marshall crossed the line 4.3s ahead of his closest rival – not Kruger, who fell back with gearbox issues and a misfire, but championship leader Harrison Scott. Said Max: “Jayde and Ashley made contact ahead of me, and I saw a gap and just went for it. After that I managed to build a bit of a lead and I just concentrated on saving my tyres a little. It’s great finally to have won a race: I’d have liked to have done so a little earlier in the season, but it’s all come together now. For that, I’d like to thank everyone in the team – they have shown confidence in me and told me to push. It’s been a big help.”

The Kruger/Sutton clash was seen differently by both drivers involved: “I was well alongside him,” said Ashley, “and he turned in and drove over the front of my car.” Said Jayde: “I didn’t see him – he was up my inside and we banged wheels…”

Kruger was able to make the better recovery from the incident, hanging on to second while Sutton slipped to fourth behind Scott’s Falcon Mygale. Ashley battled long and hard with Harrison, the pair touching through Riches on lap six as Sutton tried to pass Scott around the outside. Sutton this time slipped back to sixth, and he had to do all the hard work over again, passing James Abbott and Ricky Collard in short order. He closed once again on Scott on the final lap but ran wide at Oggies and had to settle for third, and top spot in the Scholarship class.

Scott was delighted with his second and an increased championship lead: “It was a pretty eventful race. It was all a bit hairy on the opening lap with cars going everywhere but I managed to avoid them all. It went on to become one of the hardest races of my life – I’m really happy with second, but I had to work hard for it.”

Collard survived a couple of moments to secure fourth place, his best result since Brands Hatch in March. Said Ricky: “We’ve come on massively since Croft. We did a lot of work pre-race, I had a good holiday and have come back really refreshed. There’s still a lot of work to do: I need to work on my consistency.”

James Abbott lifted fifth for Radical, with Kruger fading to sixth. “I don’t know what the problem was with the car,” said Jayde. “It started early on – it wasn’t shifting up properly and then it started misfiring after that.”

A down-on-power Juan Rosso got the better of an entertaining battle with Chris Mealin to take seventh, with Mealin slipping to ninth. “I had a good battle with Juan for a few laps,” said Chris. “He kept it fair, but then we both went through Brundle, both understeering, and I was pushed wide on to the grass and I lost two places.”

Michael O’Brien made the Scholarship class podium on his impressive debut, clawing back several places after a grassy moment on the opening lap at the wheel of his MBM Mygale to finish eighth overall. Louise Richardson (Richardson Racing) and Greg Holloway (SWB Sinter) completed the finishing order.

Sunday sees two Formula Ford races at Snetterton: the reverse-grid sprint at 1030 and the event-closing finale at 1740, with Ashley Sutton starting from pole in both. The action will be covered live by ITV4 throughout the day.