James Hedley: “How you bounce back is the most important thing”

JHR Developments’ James Hedley stressed the importance of being resilient after ending a tough debut weekend in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost on the top step of the podium.

Hedley’s pace in the #67 was never in doubt – the reigning Ginetta Junior champion powered to pole position at the first time of asking on Saturday morning – but dropped back in the opening race to fifth at the chequered flag.

An unfortunate tangle with Arden’s Roman Bilinski on the run between McLeans and Coppice in the second race left the BRDC Rising Star minus a rear wing and, despite the red flag for two other separate incidents – the regulations forbade the team from repairing the damage during the intermission, and they elected to retire the car before the restart.

However, he responded to the disappointment in sublime fashion, taking a controlled victory by just over a second in the ITV4-televised finale to spark jubilant scenes in parc ferme, and put his championship challenge firmly back on the front foot.

The net result of all three races puts Hedley – backed by Hendy Performance, Johnston Automotive and Staffordshire Car Care, among others – third in the standings, 17 markers adrift of early leader Zak O’Sullivan.

“Overall, it was a decent visit to Donington Park,” summarised Hedley.

“It looked like it was going to be a good weekend after we came out on top of a really competitive qualifying session.

“However, race one did not go our way as I ended up finishing fifth and then in race two, we had to retire after a collision meant I had damage on the car, so it was great to get a win for the team in race three!

“I think how you bounce back is the most important thing and getting the win at the end of the weekend is just a dream, so I have to thank JHR Developments and all my sponsors.

“We have some momentum now and we’ll try to keep it going and hope for the best.”

British F4 resumes at Brands Hatch (GP) this coming weekend (08-09 August), where Hedley will be looking to repeat his race-winning form from Ginetta Juniors in 2019.