Goddard doubles up in F4 British Championship qualifying at Croft

  • Zane Goddard puts in flawless qualifying performance to take pole for Double R Racing.
  • Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco within touching distance of pole and Goddard’s closest challenger.

CROFT 18 JUNE, 2016 – Double R Racing’s Zane Goddard is a step closer to claiming the first F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford win of his career, having claimed pole position for rounds 13 and 15 at Croft this weekend.

The Australian appears at one with the 2.125-mile North Yorkshire circuit following standout performances in testing at the track. He was calm and collected in qualifying. While others squabbled for provisional pole, Goddard bided his time in the session.

With five minutes remaining he unleashed his phenomenal Ford EcoBoost-powered pace to post a time of 1m 20.749s. A lap of 1m 20.708s followed, and with both times clear of the field pole was sewn up for Goddard, rounding off a flawless qualifying performance.

Said a grinning Goddard: “This feels awesome. Really happy with that. It felt like I wasn’t going to get the lap in because there was a lot of traffic, but fortunately I didn’t get baulked.

“On my first lap when I should have set my best time, I was still trying to find the best track position so I didn’t get the optimum out of the tyres, but I think the car was very consistent. I was really happy with the setup.

“I didn’t put the full lap together so there is still more to come. I can’t complain though. I’m on pole and that’s what we wanted. We will see what we can do in the race. We know we are quick on used tyres.

“We haven’t had any problems really this weekend so fingers crossed that’s the way it stays. I’m really enjoying it and I’m having a really fun weekend. The team have done a fantastic job as well.”

Goddard’s main rival, as was the case in testing yesterday, was Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco. A 1m 20.833s putting him just over a tenth away from pole, but ensuring a front row grid slot and an opportunity to try to turn the tables on Goddard in the race.

Added DeFrancesco: “P2 and a good job from everybody in the team. It’s always nice to be beating my team-mates and carry my form Thruxton to Oulton, and almost all of it here too.”

“We knew Zane was going to be a big threat in qualifying and he hooked up a better lap than me. That’s the way it goes sometimes. There’s still plenty of racing to do and we will see what happens. We will be going for the win.

“If you look at most tyres, they are quite grained and that’s because of how abrasive the track surface is here. How they drop-off is going to be a key factor this weekend.”

Carlin team-mate Max Fewtrell has shone this weekend, despite missing out on one of yesterday’s test sessions. Third on the grid a just reward for a driver looking to retake the lead in the championship after a difficult couple of rounds.

Commented Fewtrell: “P3 is a good starting position for here. I think it’s going to be tricky to overtake. The first flying lap was the best lap with the tyres having most grip and I wasn’t quite able to maximise it, but I’m happy with P3. Oulton was the best weekend for me, but I’ve been working hard since then and I want to be back on the top step as soon as possible.”

Racing Steps Foundation backed driver Alex Quinn was quickest of the Rookie class qualifiers in P4, as well as the Fortec Motorsports runners; backing up the confidence he had in the car following pre-race testing. His performance was the only real positive for a Fortec team which saw its other drivers, Jamie Caroline, Nicolai Kjaergaard and Frank Bird only manage 13th, 14th and 16th respectively.

TRS Arden had a much happier time out on track; Luis Leeds, Jack Martin and Rafael Martins all well inside the top ten and showing they have the pace to fight for big points scores this weekend.

Championship leader Petru Florescu’s quiet weekend continues with the eighth quickest time. A surprise for many given his front-running form of late.

Fellow title protagonist JHR Developments driver Sennan Fielding did well to break into the top ten. Early in the session he was as high as provisional pole, the multiple British F4 race winner extracting the most out of a car which has been hindered by technical problems this weekend.

The lights will go out on this afternoon’s race at 1525 when Zane Goddard will be looking to complete his redemption having come so close to victory two weeks ago. The Australian has been on another level so far this weekend and it will be fascinating to see if he can finish the job. He’s got his work cut out however, as Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco and Max Fewtrell are major contenders for Ford EcoBoost-powered victory.

Provisional qualifying times Croft 18 June 2016
Grid order for round 13
1 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 1:20.708
2 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1:20.833
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1:21.056
4 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1:21.066
5 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 1:21.103
6 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden 1:21.131
7 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 1:21.254
8 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:21.280
9 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1:21.383
10 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1:21.384 etc.

Round 15 grid order (based on second fastest times) Goddard – DeFrancesco – Fewtrell – Quinn – Martins – Martin – Leeds – Fielding – Florescu – Simmons

Full times