Fearless DeFrancesco dominates in the rain at Croft

  • Carlin’s DeFrancesco superb in difficult conditions.
  • Zane Goddard rounds off excellent weekend for Double R Racing.
  • Max Fewtrell extends his lead in the championship.
  • Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn returns to top step of Rookie class podium.

Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco stormed his way to the third F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford victory of his career courtesy of a jaw-dropping move around the outside of Zane Goddard at Sunny on the opening lap. With a clear track ahead of him DeFrancesco pulled away from the field. The Canadian never put a foot wrong with an inch-perfect drive to the chequered flag; despite the inclement weather which had set in over the 2.125-mile North Yorkshire circuit.

Said the three-time race winner DeFrancesco: “In race two we were incredibly unlucky, but we came back strong in race three. I thought the start was going to be the key to everything and Zane made a really good start.

“I felt I had a lot of grip under me and a lot of confidence in the car. I braked a little later than I normally would into the corner and Zane braked a little earlier so happy days.

“Then I just kept focusing on myself and my inputs every lap, getting the gears right and going quicker and quicker.”

Although he lost the lead on the first lap, Double R’s Zane Goddard was still ecstatic after the race. Another second place to his name and yet another fastest lap. Goddard leaves Croft having scored more points than any other driver this weekend; the Australian clearly building upon his prodigious testing form at the circuit.

Commented Goddard: “I’m happy with second. The race was really good fun. I loved it out there. It was awesome being able to slide around a bit. I got a good start, but I didn’t really know where the grip was and I didn’t want to risk too much.

“Devlin did really well out front, but I thought I would push for fastest lap even if I couldn’t get the win. It’s been a great weekend with a first and two seconds so no complaints from me.

“For the first time this season I went into the races aiming for a podium and even the top step instead of top five. We achieved that so it’s a definite confidence boost. The team and I have made a step forward this weekend. The team have done a great job. I cannot fault the car.”

Max Fewtrell once again found himself on the podium and with it extended his newfound lead in the championship to 20 points from Carlin team-mate Petru Florescu. Fewtrell executed a race devoid of mistakes, his consistency and speed making him a formidable competitor on the track and in the standings.

Fourth place man and Rookie class winner Alex Quinn was all smiles, finally having a race where he was able to avoid mid-pack skirmishes. The Racing Steps Foundation driver made a great start in his Fortec Motorsports prepared racer and looked rock solid in the tricky wet conditions.

Explained Quinn: “This weekend has been really mixed. Two of the races didn’t go to plan and were taken out of our hands. I went into this race knowing I had to come out of strongly and I did that.

“It was difficult to get close to the car in front because it was so hard to see anything with all the spray. We’re definitely in a more positive place than we were after the second race.

“We showed that we can push the guys currently leading the championship. I’m looking forward to hitting back at Snetterton and having a good second half of the season.”

Jamie Caroline made what appeared to be yet another storming start from 14th on the grid, but all was not quite as it seemed. The Pirtek Racing backed star cutting the chicane on the opening lap. It earned him a 10.5s time penalty in the process which saw him fall back in the classification from fifth to eighth.

Behind him in the top 10 came championship contenders Petru Florescu and Round 14 winner Luis Leeds. Both were unable to make major inroads towards the front of the field in the rain.

Fellow championship protagonists Sennan Fielding (JHR Developments) and James Pull (Carlin) fared much better, showcasing their talent in the wet. The former gaining three places at the start and the latter climbing five places, expertly scything his way through the field.

Nicolai Kjaergaard once again caught the eye for Fortec Motorsports, brilliantly finding a way past TRS Arden’s Ayrton Simmons and Jack Martin during the race.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional results Round 15 Croft 19 June 2016
13 laps / 21.25 miles
1 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 15m 54.569s / 80.14mph
2 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +3.496s
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +7.158s
4 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +8.390s
5 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +14.893s
6 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +15.337s
7 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +19.287s
8 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec +19.785s
9 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +20.130s
10 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +23.223s

Fastest lap Zane Goddard 1m 30.435s / 84.59mph

Rookie class 1 Quinn, 2 Kjaergaard, 3 Martin, 4 Simmons

Provisional championship standings
1 Fewtrell 184, 2 Florescu 164, 3 Pull 153, 4 Leeds 152, 5 DeFrancesco 146, 6 Fielding 134, 7 Quinn 112, 8 Martins 110, 9 Caroline 109, 10 Goddard 102 etc.

Rookie class
1 Quinn 276, 2 J. Martin 228, 3 Kjaergaard 163, 4 Simmons 143, 5 R. Martin 130

Full results