KNOCK­HILL: SMRC

MAY 1

Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports - BY JONATHAN CRAW­FORD

De­spite miss­ing April’s open­ing round of the Mini Cooper Cup, Kyle Reid left Knock­hill at the top of the stand­ings af­ter se­cur­ing a hat-trick of vic­to­ries.

Al­though guest driver Aiden Mof­fat started the first race on pole, Reid was quickly into the lead on the damp track. While Mof­fat’s pole po­si­tion had been se­cured in heavy rain, the down­pour had eased and he ex­plained that the car’s set-up was not best suited to the con­di­tions. Mal­colm Mc­nab took the bat­tle to Mof­fat and briefly got along­side on lap five but dropped back.

Chris Reid had a ma­jor wob­ble ex­it­ing the chi­cane at the start of race two, which caught out a num­ber of driv­ers be­hind, most no­tably Mof­fat, who had been slow away. On lap four the safety car was de­ployed af­ter John Duncan and Des Wheat­ley went off at Scots­man. Reid reestab­lished his lead while Mor­gan Mur­ray got ahead of Mc­nab to take sec­ond place.

Han­nah Chap­man burst into an early lead in the re­verse grid third race. New­comer Mur­ray once again im­pressed and he took over the lead on lap three al­though, a lap later, rookie Rob­bie Dal­gleish got ahead. Dal­gleish, who im­pressed with two fastest laps over the week­end, suc­cumbed to the form man Kyle Reid on lap five.

Wet con­di­tions played a part in a dra­matic open­ing Clas­sic Sports and Sa­loons race. Al­though Tommy Gil­martin led from lights-to-flag in his Mor­gan, he had to with­stand race-long pres­sure from Harry Simp­son’s Ginetta G4. Ray­mond Boyd’s Porsche 911 made a good start and briefly held sec­ond but his car slowed with a tech­ni­cal grem­lin on lap 10.

The sec­ond Clas­sics race was set­tled at Scots­man on lap one as Gil­martin ran wide and dropped to fifth. Simp­son pulled a gap and, de­spite Gil­martin’s re­cov­ery, could not be caught.

Neil Maclen­nan con­tin­ued his win­ning form in the For­mula Ford races with an­other two vic­to­ries. Jor­dan Gronkowski, who won a sim­i­larly wet race in April, used the con­di­tions to his ad­van­tage in race one and was rarely more than a sec­ond be­hind but could not find a way through. Se­bas­tian Mel­rose took his first podium in race one de­spite a bad start, which meant he dropped back. Fel­low young­ster Jamie Thor­burn fought back from a dif­fi­cult first race to take third in race two.

It was a dif­fi­cult week­end for reign­ing Leg­ends cham­pion John Pater­son, who suf­fered en­gine prob­lems. David Hunter was the main ben­e­fi­ciary and he grabbed all three vic­to­ries while Ste­wart Black took his best ever re­sult with three sec­onds.

Reign­ing Fi­esta ST cham­pion Wayne Ma­caulay was unstoppable in the first race as he romped away from Josh Orr. Race two came alive as Kevin Whyte grabbed the lead from Ma­caulay on lap three only to be passed by Orr at the hair­pin later that lap. Orr took too much kerb at Scots­man on lap five and crashed out, leav­ing Whyte to win a tight bat­tle for the vic­tory.

Gary Clark dom­i­nated both BMW Com­pact races, while Ian Don­ald­son and Rod­die Pater­son shared the spoils in the Sa­loons and Sportscar races.

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