- Sennan Fielding emerges victorious after one of the most thrilling races in Ford British F4 history.
2 April, 2016 – JHR Developments driver Sennan Fielding returned to the top step of the podium in a race that will be remembered as one of the most dramatic in the history of Ford British F4. He kept his cool throughout as the heavens opened during the race, finishing ahead of Jamun’s Jamie Caroline and Carlin’s James Pull.
At the start TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins and Caroline flew off of the second row of the grid to find their way past pole sitter Zane Goddard and Alex Quinn, the latter having a difficult opening lap plummeting down to ninth.
From there the on-track action escalated at a frenetic pace, Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco pirouetting gracefully down towards Graham Hill Bend, miraculously missing the oncoming stampede of Ford EcoBoost horsepower on lap two.
Caroline was far from happy to sit in Martins’ wheel tracks and engaged maximum attack mode on the outside of Druids to take the lead. However it was short-lived as he ran wide and took a cross-country route, somehow keeping the car pointing in the right direction to rejoin fifth.
The safety car then made its second appearance of the weekend courtesy of Fortec Motorsports’ Frank Bird beaching his car on the kerb at the exit of Clearways.
As the cars circulated the Kent circuit behind the safety car the light drizzle became more persistent and drivers battled to try to keep temperature in their tyres.
With Bird’s stricken car removed, Rafael Martins mastered the re-start; stealing a march on Fielding and team-mate Luis Leeds. However, the resumption of the race was short-lived with a red flag thrown due to the increasingly treacherous conditions.
It was a timely stoppage for Messrs Caroline and Martins, sparing their blushes as both ventured off the track later that lap.
The field returned to the grid shod with wet tyres ready for a thrilling eight minute finale. Fielding struggled with wheel spin off the line from second while Martins sped away in front.
Caroline and Pull had phenomenal starts which saw them climb their way to second and third in hot pursuit of Martins who they soon battled past.
It was then all eyes on Caroline who put on a defending masterclass to keep the faster Pull behind him, but as the two drivers fought amongst themselves Fielding brought himself into play.
With three laps left Fielding saw his opportunity, diving down the inside at turn one as the drivers went three abreast. It was to be the race winning move as Fielding held out for the remaining laps to take the fourth Ford British F4 victory of his career and a five point lead in the championship.
Said Fielding: “It was all about picking up the pieces at the right time. The car felt really good, especially on the slicks. When I pulled the race winning move, I remember thinking maybe I shouldn’t be attempting this, but it was worth it and I managed to pull it off. I’m now really excited to follow-up with another great result tomorrow.”
Caroline added: “It was tricky out there and it was my first time in the wet so it was thrilling stuff. I ended up going back to basics, trusting my instinct and feel for the car. It really was a fantastic race.”
The opening Ford British F4 race weekend concludes with one final race at 14:55 tomorrow which will be broadcast live on ITV4. After today’s action it’s certainly one that nobody will want to miss.
Provisional results Round 2 Brands Hatch Indy 2 April 2016
9 laps / 10.87 miles
1 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 8m 25.523s / 77.41mph
2 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun +0.566s
3 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +2.625s
4 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +3.762s
5 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / TRS Arden +4.169s
6 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +4.389s
7 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +4.573s
8 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR +4.981s
9 Luis LEEDS / AUS / TRS Arden +5.194s
10 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec +5.480s etc
Fastest lap Fielding 54.290s / 80.09mph
Rookie class 1 Quinn, 2 Kjaergaard, 3 Ross MARTIN / GBR / Fortec, 4 Jack MARTIN / GBR / TRS Arden
Provisional championship standings
1 Fielding 35 points; 2 Pull 30; 3= Fewtrell & Caroline 26; 5 Petru Florescu 25; 6 Martins 16; 7= Leeds & Goddard 14; 9 Quinn 10; 10 Monger 4 etc.
Rookie class 1 Quinn 50; 2 Kjaergaard 36; 3 Jack Martin 27; 4 Ross Martin 15.