Pull triumphs in the rain at Rockingham

  • Pull scores maiden British F4 victory at Rockingham.
  • Quinn takes top honours in Rookie class for 13th time this year.
  • Fewtrell extends championship lead.
  • Caroline thrills with astonishing drive from the last row of the grid.

ROCKINGHAM 27 AUGUST, 2016 – James Pull converted pole to victory for Carlin in spectacular fashion as the rain fell at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Round 22 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford.

Pull was made to work hard for his maiden victory in the series by a hard charging Racing Steps Foundation backed Alex Quinn who flew off the line in his Fortec Motorsports’ prepared machine, ensuring that the two drivers were side by side going into the first corner.

Pull emerged from Deene hairpin in front however; keeping Quinn on his outside. There was no let-up from Quinn though. The 15-year-old hustled and hounded Pull during the opening laps, but the Carlin racer was able to gradually build a gap of five seconds on the way to the chequered flag, clearly growing increasingly confident in the slippery conditions.

Said a jubilant Pull: “I had the inside line going into turn one and I was able to hold Quinn off; even after that I had to defend a couple of times because he was right up there with me. I just kept hitting my marks and focusing. I then managed to get in the zone and pull a gap.

“It’s taken a long time to get this first win. I’m sort of speechless at the moment. I have got to thank the team for fantastic car and ADD Motorsports for preparing me for this. This victory feels twice as good knowing how hard I have worked. The hard work has paid off.”

Added Quinn following his 13th Rookie class win of 2016: “The start was amazing. I got alongside [Pull] into turn one and then I wasn’t quite able to get past around the outside of the hairpin, but we were pressuring [Pull] a lot in the first few laps. I think we were quick at the beginning and he was quick towards the end. I’m really happy with second and this rookie win. Hopefully we can carry this on tomorrow.

“I knew we would be really quick in the first part of the race. I’m really happy we are always at the front now. When it matters we seem to be able to do it. I just hope we can come through in tomorrow’s reverse grid race. As we have seen today anything can happen so we will wait and see.”

Max Fewtrell rounded out the podium, making amends for being beaten off the line by Billy Monger which dropped him to sixth. The championship leader fought his way to a superb third which included some daring high speed wheel to racing in treacherous conditions with JHR’s Sennan Fielding. It proved to be an extremely valuable podium for Fewtrell allowing him to extend his slender lead in the standings.

Commented the championship leader: “I was a bit disappointed with qualifying. I definitely had the pace for pole, but I focused on the race. I got a bit of wheel spin off the line and Billy got me around the outside of turn one. Slowly, lap by lap I was overtaking my way back up the order from then on, getting past Sennan and then closing up to Alex and James late on.

“I think this is now my time to try to take hold of the championship. I’ll keep doing the best I can. It was a really good result today. I think both the car and I really clicked out there which was great.”

After a below par qualifying that left him 18th on the grid, British F4’s rainmaster Jamie Caroline probably had the biggest smile of anyone on the way to a soaked grid.  A storming start saw him fly through the field in the drag around the banking on the run down to Deene hairpin, boldly hanging on around the outside to pass several cars. As the Fortec Motorsports driver flashed across the line to conclude his opening lap he had climbed an astonishing ten places.

The Caroline show wasn’t over though; the Pirtek Racing star passing another four cars on his way to fourth and pulling off the move of the race going around the outside of Sennan Fielding at Tarzan to the amazement of spectators.

It was a jaw-dropping overtake, but testament to the quality of driving from both Caroline and Fielding. The latter was robust in his defence, but fair and classy, giving Caroline just enough room to squeeze past.

Explained Caroline: “I overtook about six or seven cars off the line and then did a few more around the outside of the hairpin too. It was a pretty ballsy move because if anyone had spun off they probably would have collected me so it was very risky, but thankfully it worked.

“On the first lap everyone was still trying to find the grip and I was able to just go flat out. I was able to find all the grip straight away while everyone was trying to find it.

“Respect to Fielding for giving me the room to go around the outside of him. He could have quite easily squeezed me on the exit. We shook hands afterwards. We might have just touched wheels, but it was fair racing from Sennan. I didn’t think I was going to do the move. I thought I braked a little bit late, but I found so much grip on the outside.”

Behind Fielding could be found the TRS Arden duo of Rafael Martins and Luis Leeds, with Nicolai Kjaergaard in eighth, earning the reverse grid pole for race two this weekend.

Carrie Schreiner had a sterling performance in the rain for Double R; scoring points in her first race behind the wheel of her Ford EcoBoost-powered racer since May following a five second time penalty for Patrik Matthiesen for overtaking under yellow flags.

It was a race to forget for title protagonists Devlin DeFrancesco and Petru Florescu. The former succumbing to contact with Goddard who received three penalty points on his licence and a five place grid penalty following the contact. Meanwhile Florescu came unstuck as a result of incidents on the opening lap which hampered his race and despite the Romanian’s perseverance ultimately contributed to its premature end.

The British F4 racers are back on track at Rockingham at 1050 tomorrow for the reverse-grid race with the Rockingham finale, in which JHR’s Billy Monger will go from pole, to be televised live on ITV4 at 1552.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional results Round 22 Rockingham 27 August 2016
13 laps / 25.22 miles
1 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 20m 25.263s / 74.10mph
2 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +5.072s
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +5.907s
4 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec +15.962s
5 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +19.799s
6 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +20.499s
7 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +26.996s
8 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec +28.113s
9 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +30.064s
10 Carrie SCHREINER / GER / Double R +39.625s etc.

Fastest lap James Pull 1m 33.026s / 75.07mph

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

Grid for Round 23 Kjaergaard – Leeds – Martins – Fiedling – Caroline – Fewtrell – Quinn – Pull – Schreiner – Simmons etc.

Provisonal championship standings
1 Fewtrell 247; 2 Pull 236; 3 Leeds 233; 4 Fielding 220; 5 DeFrancesco 214; 6 Florescu 202; 7 Quinn 192; 8 Goddard 171; 9 Martins 136; 10 Caroline 134 etc.

Rookie Class
1 Quinn 424; 2 Kjaergaard 301; 3 J. Martin 300; 4 Simmons 251; 5 R. Martin 130

Full results