Jayde Kruger closes in on championship leader Harrison Scott after a super-successful day in ScotlandCrash halts Ashley Sutton's run of wins
Jayde Kruger reignited his Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain title bid at Knockhill today, leading home his team-mate Max Marshall for a JTR 1-2 in both races. Championship leader Harrison Scott finished third in each for Falcon Motorsport but finds his advantage over Kruger cut to six points with nine races remaining.
Saturday race winner Ashley Sutton made a dramatic exit from the first of today’s races, crashing out at the final corner after his throttle stuck open. He was unhurt, and able to take the start of the second race in a spare car, battling through from the back to take the Scholarship class win.
Round 20 reportJayde Kruger clocked up his seventh race win of the season at Knockhill, the South African overhauling his pole-sitting JTR team-mate Max Marshall on the opening lap and holding on in front to the chequered flag despite a fierce attack from Ashley Sutton.
Sutton, who won Saturday's Knockhill race and who was very much the quickest man on track today, fell victim to what appeared to be a throttle problem at the final corner of the race. His MBM Motorsport Mygale ploughed straight on at the hairpin and into the impact-absorbing barriers; he was unhurt but his car was extensively damaged.
It was a sad end to an enthralling battle for victory. Sutton had made it up to third on the opening lap behind Kruger and Marshall, and snatched second from Marshall at the hairpin on lap five after a couple of laps of vigorous defending by Max. Ashley whittled away Kruger’s three-second lead to nothing by lap 17 and launched a series of determined manoeuvres on Jayde over the ensuing five laps.
Lap after lap he closed on to the South African’s tail under braking for the hairpin and tried to slipstream him up the pits straight, but wily Jayde had an answer for his every move. With three laps to run and with a new lap record under his belt, Sutton backed off slightly and had eased the pressure on the leader when he suffered his 24th lap mishap.
“The throttle stuck on the second downchange as I approached the hairpin,” said a chastened but completely uninjured Sutton. “Once I realised what was happening I stamped on the throttle to try to unjam it, then back on to the brakes to try to stop it. But I was still going… Last lap, last corner, it’s a real shame. I had backed off by that point because the tyres had gone off a little; I pushed it that little bit too hard trying to catch Kruger.”
“Ashley had a little bit more pace than me,” conceded Kruger. “When I saw him coming I tried to push but he was too fast. I just had to keep him behind me. I don’t know what happened to him at the end there – he came past me so fast it looked like he had an accelerator problem. I’m pleased he’s OK, and I’m pleased to have won and clawed back some points from Harrison.”
Championship leader Scott was surprised and delighted to find himself third at the flag behind Kruger and Marshall, who finished six seconds ahead. “There’s not too much I can say about my race – our pace was very average, so to be on the podium again is a real bonus.”
Ricky Collard lost third place to his team-mate Scott on lap two and spent much of the rest of the race duelling with Radical Motorsport’s Juan Rosso. “After Harrison went past me I had Juan on my case – we raced really hard and fair and it was a great battle; I have a lot of respect for Juan.” Collard claimed fourth, and as a result of Sutton’s crash inherited the Scholarship class win, his fourth of the year. Rosso was half a second behind for fifth, well ahead of his team-mate James Abbott.
James survived an eighth-lap off at Hislop’s when both he and Chris Mealin (Falcon) went grasstracking, allowing Louise Richardson (Richardson Racing) to nip past both for seventh. Mealin damaged his car in the rough and retired to the pits with oil pressure issues five laps later; Abbott recovered to chase down Richardson and repass her for sixth at Duffus Dip on lap 14. As he passed on the outside, Louise clipped the inside kerb and spun but recovered from the incident to finish seventh (and a best-yet Scholarship second).
With the loss of Mealin and Sutton, SWB Sinter driver Greg Holloway was the eighth and final finisher.
Round 21 reportKruger’s victory was a straightforward job perfectly executed – Ashley Sutton’s Round 20 crash meant that the pole position man had to start from the back of the grid in an unfamiliar spare EcoBoost Mygale, and with that threat removed from the equation Jayde was able to lead from the start and ease away to an eight-second win over Marshall. For his efforts, Kruger added another £1000 victory cheque to that he had won earlier in the day.
“I can’t complain about two wins in a day, especially after what happened yesterday,” said Jayde. “Also, Max finished ahead of Harrison, so that’s even better for me. Happy days, and good to have got my championship back on track, it’s a lot of pressure off me and we are headed for circuits now which I think will suit us.”
What set the race alight was Sutton’s charge from the back to fifth place, especially a long battle between him and Ricky Collard (Falcon Motorsport) to be top finisher in the Scholarship class. Ashley climbed to fifth within five laps and lost no time in getting on terms with Collard, crawling all over the back of his rival’s Mygale lap after lap, especially at the Hairpin. One such lunge rebuffed by Collard on lap 15 led to Sutton losing ground and being repassed by Juan Rosso’s Radical Motorsport Mygale.
Rosso made short work of snatching fourth away from Collard also, and battle was rejoined between Ricky and Ashley for a further four laps until Sutton got the job done around the outside of Scotsman corner and seized the place from Collard. “The car was very different to mine,” said Ashley. “There was very little traction or rear-end grip. It was OK as a damage-limitation exercise and good to get the Scholarship win.”
Marshall drove a sterling race from sixth on the grid (he was handed a three-place grid penalty for blocking Sutton in Round 20) to second, passing Louise Richardson’s Richardson Racing Mygale early on and then making short work of both Collard and a down-on-pace Scott. Harrison was both pleased to pick up third and disappointed not to be able to take the fight to Kruger. “I just didn’t have the pace compared with the other two,” he said. “Jayde went off into the distance and I couldn’t defend against Marshall…”
Rosso finished four seconds down on Scott for fourth, with Sutton and Collard next up and Richardson driving excellently to beat Abbott to seventh. Greg Holloway’s SWB Sinter was the final finisher after Chris Mealin, whose Falcon car was re-engined between races, ran off track and he was forced to retire to the pits.Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship GBProvisional results Knockhill 24 August 2014Round 20: 25 laps / 31.67 miles1 Jayde KRUGER/RSA JTR Mygale 20m 38.286s / 92.08mph2 Max MARSHALL/GBR (North Kilworth) JTR Mygale +6.664s3 Harrison SCOTT/GBR (Althorne) Falcon Mygale +12.349s4 Ricky COLLARD/GBR (Eversley) Falcon Mygale +14.983s5 Juan ROSSO/ARG Radical Mygale +15.466s6 James ABBOTT/GBR (Thurlby) Radical Mygale +25.497s7 Louise RICHARDSON/GBR (Grantham) Richardson Mygale +45.633s8 Greg HOLLOWAY/AUS SWB Sinter 24 lapsDid not finish Ashley SUTTON/GBR (Bishops Stortford) MBM Mygale 24 lapsChris MEALIN/GBR (Braddan, IOM) Falcon Mygale 12 lapsScholarship class 1 Collard, 2 RichardsonFastest lap Sutton 48.595s / 93.85mph Rec
Round 21: 25 laps / 31.67 miles1 KRUGER 20m 40.063s / 91.95mph2 MARSHALL +8.293s3 SCOTT +14.117s4 ROSSO +18.528s5 SUTTON +20.112s6 COLLARD +23.680s7 RICHARDSON +25.189s8 ABBOTT +25.826s9 HOLLOWAY 23 lapsDid not finish MEALIN 14 lapsScholarship class 1 Sutton; 2 Collard; 3 RichardsonFastest lap Kruger 49.130s / 92.83mph
Provisional championship standings1 Scott 510 points; 2 Kruger 504; 3 Marshall 438; 4 Rosso 421; 5 Abbott 391; 6 Sutton 380; 7 Collard 303; 8 Mealin 214; 9= Sam Brabham & Holloway 186 etcScholarship class 1 Sutton 413; 2 Collard 326; 3 Mealin 245; 4 Connor Mills 214; 5 Richardson 151 etc
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