JTR Motorsport’s Max Marshall has taken victory in the first race of the 2014 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain at Snetterton. The win completes the set for JTR, with all three of their drivers having a 2014 win to their credit, the first team in the year to have three winning drivers.
After starting fourth on the gird Marshall rocketed away from the line, to lead the race out of Palmer, the third turn on the Snetterton 300 layout. The front row starters, Jayde Kruger for JTR and MBM Motorsport’s Ashley Sutton, bumped wheels at the ninety left allowing the first time winner to take the lead. By the end of the first lap he had built a 0.3 second lead.
By lap five the gap over his team mate had grown to 1.25 seconds. Then problems started gnawing at the JTR stable. Already short one of their big names, Sam Brabham who is sitting out the meeting due to budget restrictions, gearbox problems and a misfire on the Mountune engine dropped the South African to sixth place by the end of the race.
That allowed Falcon Motorsport’s championship leader Harrison Scott to take second place at the end of the race, 4.3 seconds down on the speeding #18 of Marshall.
The turn three clash was viewed differently by the involved drivers. Kruger said, “I didn’t see him, he was up my inside and we banged wheels.” Sutton, who took the Scholarship victory, viewed it as a deliberate move saying, “I was well alongside him and he turned in and drove over the front of my car!” The recovery was different for both drivers. Kruger kept hold of second place until his mechanical problems set in, Sutton dropped back and ended the race in third place after his rival started to struggle.
Ricky Collard took his best result since the opening round of the championship at Brands Hatch in March. A fourth place overall and second for the second Falcon machine in the Scholarship class brought him back into the action but the son of BTCC racer Rob Collard admits he needs to work on his consistency in the closing half of the season.
Fifth place went to Radical Motorsport’s James Abbott who was the last to make gains from Krugers spluttering turbocharged power plant. Juan Rosso in the second Radical Mygale-Mountune took seventh place, carrying engine problems of his own. Still he diced with the third Falcon car of Chris Mealin, with the #23 dropping down to ninth as a result of a slip up which put him on the grass.
Michael O’Brien, a new name to the championship with MBM, took eighth ahead of Mealin with the Richardson Racing entry of Louise Richardson in tenth. Greg Holloway’s SWB Motorsport run Sinter-Scholar brought the Australian home in eleventh and last place.
Max Marshall said after his maiden win, “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 second and third races of the meeting from Norfolk take place on Sunday with actions starting with the action beginning at ten thirty.