- Lights to flag victory for Carlin’s Petru Florescu at Knockhill.
- No shortage of entertainment as Messrs DeFrancesco, Goddard, Caroline, Leeds, Pull and Fewtrell all fought their way up the order.
KNOCKHILL 13 AUGUST, 2016 – Petru Florescu put in a textbook performance at Knockhill to claim his sixth victory of the season and extend his championship lead in round 19 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford.
Not for the first time this year the Carlin driver put in a flawless drive from pole. He controlled the race, looking after his tyres and expertly dealt with the pressure of two safety car restarts; slowing the pack right down at the apex of the final corner and flooring the throttle to get the jump on his pursuers.
Said race winner Florescu: “I was able to handle the safety car restarts well and I planned how I would attack them in my mind. I’m also happy for my team-mate Devlin [DeFrancesco] who came third.
“The race was a normal flag to flag race for me. It was pretty straightforward. It feels really good to extend the championship lead and I hope to do well for the rest of the weekend.”
Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn chased the Romanian home, making a welcome return to the podium and ending Nicolai Kjaergaard’s run of consecutive Rookie class wins. His team-mate finding himself under attack for much of the race as title contenders DeFrancesco, Leeds, Pull and Fewtrell fought their way through the field having been caught out by the drying conditions in qualifying.
DeFrancesco was particularly impressive, overtaking both Goddard and Kjaergaard in one corner after the first safety car restart. He then set about hounding Quinn for second place in the latter stages.
However, Quinn was inch perfect in his defence to keep the Canadian at bay in an extremely tense final few laps for the Racing Steps Foundation backed youngster.
Explained Quinn: “It was really difficult to defend and attack at the same time, but I managed to pull it off. I worked out where Devlin was quick and that made me more relaxed because I knew where on the circuit I had to really push.
“Starting on pole tomorrow [in race three] means we have a good chance to win and hopefully we can do that. I’m looking forward to it. We’ve shown today that we are really quick.”
Added DeFrancesco: “It was a very hectic race. I made a mistake at the start which is unusual for me so we need to analyse that, but we had great pace. The car was fantastic.
“We were really pressuring Quinn, but he did a great job to keep me behind. I think we had the pace for second, but it was great to come through from sixth after making the mistake at the start.
“I’m now second in the championship. It was a great job by the team and all my engineers.”
Luis Leeds managed to fend off a ferocious pair of drivers in the form of title rivals Pull and Fewtrell for sixth who were all over the back of the Red Bull liveried race car towards the end. The latter posting the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap.
The sixth place for Leeds was made all the sweeter by the fact that it earns him the reverse grid pole for race two tomorrow, giving the TRS Arden racer the chance to make further inroads towards the title he craves.
Ahead of Leeds finished Double R’s Zane Goddard and Fortec Motorsports’ Jamie Caroline. Both put on spirited drives to climb several places.
Goddard’s jump up the order was particularly eye catching. The Australian making a lightning start off the line. He shot past DeFrancesco and then boldly hung around the outside of Frank Bird into turn one to take fourth behind Kjaergaard after Rafael Martins was forced to start from the pit lane due to technical gremlins.
Commented Goddard: “It was a mega start. It sort of felt like it bogged down a bit, but I think the others got a bit of wheel spin. I jumped Devlin and got around the outside of Bird which was tight, but I pulled it off.
“Devlin passed me later on, but I got Kjaergaard at the same time. I’m happy with fourth. Good points. It was a hard race, but very enjoyable. I love this track. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”
Martins wasn’t the only driver to suffer misfortune early on. Sennan Fielding’s race unfortunately brought to a premature end at Taylor’s Hairpin as a result of a mid-pack opening lap skirmish, ultimately bringing out the first safety car.
TRS Arden’s rookies Jack Martin and Ayrton Simmons rounded out the top ten, taking valuable points and another rookie class podium for their respective campaigns.
Meanwhile Falcon Motorsport’s Alexandra Mohnhaupt finished just outside the top ten after another solid and confidence boosting performance.
The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford action continues tomorrow with two races – the reverse-grid race at 1100 and then the feature race, to be screened live on ITV4 at 1625, with Quinn starting from top spot.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford
Provisional results Round 19 Knockhill 13 August 2016
20 laps / 25.3 miles
1 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 20m 44.367s / 73.30mph
2 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +0.710s
3 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +1.171s
4 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +1.560s
5 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec +3.812s
6 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +5.388s
7 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +6.292s
8 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +6.467s
9 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden +9.533s
10 Ayrton SIMMONS +10.908s etc.
Fastest lap Max Fewtrell / Carlin 50.226s / 90.81mph
Rookie class 1 Quinn, 2 Martin, 3 Simmons, 4 Kjaergaard
Grid for Round 20 Leeds – Caroline – Goddard – DeFrancesco – Quinn – Florescu – Pull – Fewtrell – Martin – Simmons etc.
Provisional championship standings
1 Florescu 230, 2 DeFrancesco 212, 3 Fewtrell 205, 4 Fielding 194, 5 Pull 192, 6 Leeds 182, 7 Quinn 140, 8 Goddard 132, 9 Caroline 125, 10 Martins 114 etc.
1 Quinn 349, 2 J. Martin 273, 3 Kjaergaard 250, 4 Simmons 205, 5 R. Martin 130