Thorburn flies the flag

Stuart Thornburn
Stuart Thornburn
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Duns driver Stuart Thorburn scored a notable double for the Borders Reivers race team in the Jim Clark Memorial meeting at Knockhill.

Although Stuart joked that his next comeback will be at the Albert Hall, it was fitting that he triumphed at the Scottish Motor Racing Club’s Jim Clark Memorial meeting on the 45th anniversary of Clark’s fatal accident at Hockenheim.

Stuart Thorburn

Stuart Thorburn

For years Stuart has carried the famous Border Reivers name that launched Jim Clark’s career and although all talk in the paddock was of new Reivers’ recruit Ciaran Haggerty, it was the old hand Thorburn who put in a dominant performance to win both Formula Ford races in his Van Diemen RF92.

Despite the freezing conditions, mist and flurries of snow, Stuart drove confidently. “It was just a case of being consistent with such low grip available,” said the Duns driver.

“I hadn’t done any testing and just turned up on the day and stuck it on pole. Any start is a good start for me if it doesn’t end in a stall but I had two excellent getaways. I won the first race quite comfortably but had to work very hard for my win in the second race. I just managed to hold them off.”

Stuart’s competitive appearances have been limited over the past couple of years due to the fact that his son Jamie (14) is fast becoming a young karting star.

He said: “I have done of couple of races a year just to keep my competition licence but I have been too busy with Jamie and his karting.”

Jamie won the Junior Championship at Raceland last year and this year has progressed to proper Scottish karting at Larkhall competing in the Junior Blues. So far this season the youngster has been top novice in three out of the four meetings staged - a star of the future?

Stuart added: “It was great to get a good result for the Border Reivers team. We have also taken Ciaran under our wing. He is a young man who has progressed from karting and Knockhill was his first meeting. He took two third places and recorded the fastest lap in the second race which was brilliant.

“The Border Reivers are trying to promote young Scottish drivers in the sport and Ciaran certainly did very well.”

Stuart is hoping to do as many rounds as possible in this year’s Scottish Formula Ford Championship but stressed that he will be fitting his appearances in around Jamie’s karting calendar.

Race results were as follows: Race 1 - 1. Stuart Thorburn (Van Dieman RF92), 2. Jordan Gronkowski (Van Dieman RF90) +5.893s, 3. Ciaran Haggarty (Ray GRS09). Fastest lap - Gronkowski 59.940s (76.877mph). Race 2 - 1. Thorburn; 2. Gronkowski +0.655s; 3. Haggerty. Fastest lap - Haggarty 56.741s (81.211mph).