Fortec Motorsport’s Luke Browning completed a superb hat-trick after keeping James Hedley at arm’s length in the final F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race at Oulton Park.
The pair made a level start from the front row and the gap hovered around a second for the duration; Hedley consistently set the quicker first sectors, but Browning responded around the rest of the 2.23-mile lap to retain the upper hand.
On a circuit where overtaking is notoriously tough, Hedley was ultimately forced to settle for the runner-up spot as Browning took the chequered flag 0.520 seconds clear to extend his newly-attained championship lead to 22 points over Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan, who was third.
O’Sullivan had plenty of defending to do from a hard-charging Roberto Faria (Fortec) for most of the race, but a lock up from the Brazilian into Island Hairpin with five minutes on the clock afforded O’Sullivan some breathing space, and the Brit made no mistake from there to round out the rostrum.
Faria managed to close to within half a second of O’Sullivan by the end but had to settle for fourth, comfortably clear of Alex Connor (Arden) behind in fifth.
The two swapped positions early in the race, Faria getting a better exit from Druids on the opening tour before completing the move down the inside of Connor at Lodge, but fifth restores Connor to third overall in the standings.
Abbi Pulling (JHR) made a superb move on Arden’s Roman Bilinski into Hislops to secure sixth in the ITV4-televised final race; Bilinski had re-ignited his on-circuit duel with Argenti’s Casper Stevenson earlier in the race, but an attempt to repeat Bilinski’s move around the outside of Lodge from earlier in the day put the scholarship winner on the grass and dropped him back to ninth.
Stevenson responded well, clocking two fastest laps in quick succession to bring himself on to the tail of Christian Mansell (Carlin) ahead. He applied the pressure, but ultimately had to stay behind the Australian, who added a fourth Rookie Cup win of 2020 to his tally to open up a 38-point lead in the class standings.
The final points-paying position was hotly-contested between Nico Pino (Argenti) and Matias Zagazeta (Carlin) for the race duration, the pair also battling over second and third in class, with the spoils going the way of the Chilean.
Argenti’s Reema Juffali put in another solid performance and beat Frederick Lubin to twelfth, the two-time Rookie winner from earlier in the weekend making contact with JHR’s Nathanael Hodgkiss at Island Hairpin on the first lap.
The contact mid-corner caused Hodgkiss to spin and come to rest against the barriers, and he was forced to retire.
The F4 British Championship resumes at Knockhill, Fife, next weekend [29-30 August].
Race Result – Round 09
|1||Luke BROWNING||Fortec Motorsport||15 laps|
|2||James HEDLEY||JHR Developments||+0.520s|
|4||Roberto FARIA||Fortec Motorsport||+3.879s|
|5||Alex CONNOR||Arden Motorsport||+7.933s|
|6||Abbi PULLING||JHR Developments||+10.283s|
|7||Roman BILINSKI||Arden Motorsport||+11.936s|
|9||Casper STEVENSON||Argenti Motorsport||+15.087s|
|10||Nico PINO||Argenti Motorsport||+20.549s|
|12||Reema JUFFALI||Argenti Motorsport||+28.759s|
|13||Frederick LUBIN||Arden Motorsport||+52.765s|
|DNF||Nathanael HODGKISS||JHR Developments|