Two of Scotland’s brightest young up-and-coming single-seat racers, Edinburgh’s Graham Carroll and Dunfermline’s Rory Butcher, delivered impressive performances at the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch.
But while Scottish FFord champ Carroll carved through the field in the final to bag a podium finish, Butcher was left reflecting on what might have been after falling victim to errant drivers in both his qualifying heat and final.
“I got a good start in the qualifying heat and was up to third after just three laps,” Butcher, who had previously won three of his last four FFord races in the Scottish Championship, explained, “but towards the end of the race a guy in front spun, I braked and the guy behind me ran right over the back of my car.
“I was really lucky because he almost pitched me into the tyre wall. Instead the damage only affected my car’s exhaust which meant I was down on power for the rest of the race, but we held on to finish fifth.”
Carroll meanwhile won his heat and started his semi from pole position, but a couple of incidents eventually saw him finish fifth. And with Butcher finishing fifth in his semi, both drivers lined up alongside each other in 9th and 10th in the combined final.
Again though Butcher fell foul of some over-aggressive driving by less experienced competitors. No sooner had the safety car allowed the race to resume, with Butcher up into seventh, than the young Scot was pitched into the gravel.
“One of the guys came careering down my inside and pushed me off the track,” Butcher explained. “Thankfully I managed to get the car back on-track but was way back in 19th, though I did manage to fight my way back to 11th.”
Carroll meanwhile delivered an awesome performance carving through the field to finish third.
“It’s been a terrific weekend, though I think it could have been better,” Carroll admitted. “I should have had a better starting position in the final, but that was all down to my performance in the semi. Still, I’m leaving with a nice piece of silverware after my podium finish.”