- Carlin stranglehold at opening race weekend of season continues.
- Petru Florescu leads home team-mates with lights to flag victory.
2 April, 2016 – Petru Florescu converted pole position into an emphatic victory at Brands Hatch in the opening Ford British F4 race of the season for Carlin. He led home a 1-2-3 for the team which included Messrs Max Fewtrell and James Pull.
It was an action-packed start to proceedings with Fewtrell’s electrifying getaway seeing him leap past James Pull and get alongside Florescu as they approached Paddock Hill Bend. However, the kart star found himself pinned on the outside of his team-mate and with tyres not up to optimal temperature thought better of trying to make a move stick.
Ultimately, this proved to be the only real challenge to Florescu’s lead. Having fended off Fewtrell the Romanian proceeded to reel off fastest lap after fastest lap. His quickest, a 46.447s, arrived on lap 11 and was not bettered by anyone in the field.
By lap 17 Petru had built a lead of almost three seconds, but it was wiped out with the emergence of the Saftey Car after Ross Martin ran into the barriers at Druids.
With his lead eroded Florescu once again had to escape team-mates Fewtrell and Pull, but this proved no trouble at all. He expertly judged the restart to complete the final lap of the race unperturbed by his Carlin comrades.
Said Florescu: “I had a bad start but I just managed to keep my position and then I put in a number of fast laps which enabled me to pull away. That was key, as was the safety car restart which I managed to do really well. I’m already looking forward to the next race where I plan to do the best I can to come through the field.”
Fast starter Fewtrell added: “The start was perfect and I very nearly had Petru off the line too. The pace of the car was great throughout the race, even as the tyres degraded. To finish second in my first ever Ford British F4 race is a fantastic result and something which I’m really proud of.”
Whilst Pull commented: “I made a mistake at the start and that’s where I lost out, but I cannot complain with third and I know where I need to improve for the next race. This 1-2-3 is a great result for Carlin and a decent points haul for me to kick-start my title ambitions.”
One of the most entertaining battles during the race took place in the midfield as Double R’s Zane Goddard was attacked by Carlin’s DeFrancesco. It forced the Australian to push hard and in turn he found himself hustling Alex Quinn who had dropped to seventh on the grid from fifth.
Despite losing two places, seventh was still enough to see Alex Quinn take the first Rookie Class victory of the season for Fortec Motorsports and the Racing Steps Foundation.
Jamun Racing’s Jamie Caroline appeared to be on the ragged edge throughout, pushing his Pirtek Racing liveried racer to the absolute limit in spectacular fashion. It resulted in overtake of the race as he scythed his way up the inside of TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins through Graham Hill Bend to take sixth.
Billy Monger also impressed, first dispatching FKS Champion Ross Martin on lap 10 and then pressuring JHR Developments driver Jack Butel into a mistake on lap 12 leaving him in eleventh place and five places higher than his starting position when the chequered flag fell.
Attention now turns the second Ford British F4 race of the season which kicks off at 17:35. With a reverse grid where Double R’s Zane Goddard will start from pole.
Provisional results Round 1 Brands Hatch Indy 2 April 2016
22 laps / 26.57 miles
1 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 19m 49.681s / 80.41mph
2 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +0.489s
3 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +0.793s
4 Luis LEEDS / AUS / TRS Arden +1.392s
5 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +1.846s
6 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun +2.424s
7 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / TRS Arden +2.684s
8 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +3.118s
9 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +3.390s
10 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +4.024s etc
Fastest lap Florescu 46.447s / 93.62mph
Rookie class 1 Quinn, 2 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec; 3 Jack MARTIN / GBR / TRS Arden.
Grid for Round 2
Goddard – Quinn – Martins – Caroline – Fielding – Leeds – Pull – Fewtrell – Florescu – DeFrancesco etc
Provisional championship standings
1 Florescu 25 points; 2 Fewtrell 18; 3 Pull 15; 4 Leeds 12; 5 Fielding 10; 6 Caroline 8; 7 Martins 6; 8 Quinn 4; 9 Goddard 2; 10 DeFrancesco 1.
Rookie class 1 Quinn 25; 2 Kjaergaard 18; 3 Jack Martin 15.