Goddard romps to British F4 victory at Silverstone

  • Goddard capitalises on storming opening lap to take lead and break clear of field.
  • Racing Steps Foundation backed Alex Quinn crowned Rookie Champion for Fortec Motorsports.

SILVERSTONE 17 SEPTEMBER, 2016 – Zane Goddard took full advantage of a superb start at Silverstone to climb from fourth on the grid to first. Seizing his opportunity as front row starters Sennan Fielding and Luis Leeds squabbled for the lead. Once out in front the Double R racer was untouchable on his way to his third F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford victory of the season; finishing over seven seconds clear of the field.

“It was a great race,” said Goddard. “It was an amazing start. I couldn’t even imagine that happening. It all just worked out so well. We got into the lead and kept on pumping in fast laps. We were able to build up a good gap.”

“I got a really good start, getting past Monger straight away. Then Luis and Sennan seemed to focus on each other on the inside and I was able to speed around the outside of them both. The car was a pleasure to drive. I’m lost for words. It was fantastic.”

There was no shortage of drama elsewhere. Championship leader Max Fewtrell and Billy Monger made contact on the opening lap forcing Monger to retire and leaving the championship leader at the back of the field. Fewtrell putting on a determined drive, recording fastest lap in the process, to try to haul himself back into the points paying positions.

As the race drew to a close Leeds was all over the rear of Sennan Fielding’s JHR prepared racer but a coming together left Leeds with a puncture and on the final lap he had to fend off a train of cars headed by Jamie Caroline. The latter had survived race long pressure from Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco, having gained three places at the start.

Commented Fielding: “Fair play to Zane, he did an excellent start. I just couldn’t get the traction off the line. We played a bit of a lottery with the car in terms of finding the right setup after a difficult day yesterday. We didn’t quite know how it was going to be so to come away with second is a great result.”

Caroline made a bid to pass Leeds’ wounded Ford EcoBoost-powered racer around the outside, but they came to grief with Leeds’ punctured tyre causing unexpected amounts of understeer resulting in contact.

DeFrancesco gained most from the drama that unfolded in front, enabling him to claim a precious podium and valuable points for his title bid. Team-mates James Pull and Petru Florescu were close behind, also making inroads on Fewtrell’s lead in the standings. Meanwhile Rafael Martins made excellent progress up the order having started in tenth to finish sixth.

Commented DeFrancesco: “It was a tough race, especially at the start. Jamie did a great job to keep me behind. In the end he was quite unlucky, but you have to take the luck when you can. He raced really well.

“I think we made a big step in performance from yesterday and I think we will be quite strong in the other two races this weekend.”

British F4’s Rookie class drivers once again put on an entertaining display of driving. Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn climbing 10 places after an out of sorts qualifying to put him in a Rookie class podium battle between team-mate Kjaergaard and TRS Arden’s Ayrton Simmons.

Simmons, the youngest driver on the grid, emerged victorious for the second time this season. A well-deserved win after climbing five places amid all the action, and by finishing second in class Quinn did enough to be crowned Rookie class champion.

Despite only finishing ninth overall, the Racing Steps Foundation backed star did it in style showcasing excellent race craft with some exceptional overtakes. A move which involved going from the outside of Kjaergaard at Brooklands to the inside for Luffield a particular highlight and display of absolute precision behind the wheel.

Explained Simmons: “Qualifying wasn’t ideal. It was quite tricky conditions, but I’m really happy with this race. I made up a lot of places from 12th and we have got a really good reverse-grid race position too.”

Added Quinn: “It was kind of like Snetterton. Having to bounce back after a bad qualifying. I pulled off a few brave moves around the outside at Brooklands. At the beginning of the season it would have been my weakness to overtake and now it’s a strength so I’m really happy with my performance.

“We had to put qualifying behind us. With a lot of the help of the team we did that and now I’ve got reverse grid pole for tomorrow so hopefully things are coming together.

“It’s a relief to finally become Rookie champion. We’ve been dominant in the class for quite a few races now. It wasn’t clear-cut when we were going to win it. We had a good chance and it’s good to get it done now, so we can focus on just winning races now.”

The British F4 racers are back on track at 0940 tomorrow for the reverse-grid race when newly crowned Rookie champ Quinn will start from pole, with the Silverstone finale to be televised live on ITV4 at 1515.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional results Round 25 Silverstone 17 September 2016
21 laps / 34.45 miles
1 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 20m 06.969s / 102.75mph
2 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +7.397s
3 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +18.530s
4 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +18.868s
5 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +19.239s
6 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +19.993s
7 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +20.171s
8 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +20.448s
9 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +20.718s
10 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec +21.758s etc

Fastest lap: Max Fewtrell / Carlin 56.820 / 103.93mph

Rookie class: 1 Simmons; 2 Quinn; 3 Kjaergaard; 4 Martin

Provisional championship standings: 1 Fewtrell 287; 2 Fielding 281; 3 Leeds 256; 4 Pull 240; 5 DeFrancesco 237; 6 Florescu 230; 7 Quinn 214; 8 Goddard 197; 9 Martins 156; 10 Caroline 146 etc.

Rookie class: 1 Quinn 492; 2 Kjaergaard 343; 3 J Martin 327; 4 Simmons 312; 5 R Martin 130

Grid for round 26: Quinn – Leeds – Simmons – Martins – Florescu – Pull – DeFrancesco – Fielding – Goddard – Kjaergaard

Full results