- Lights to flag victory for Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn.
- Max Fewtrell battles through field in bid to cling on to championship lead.
SILVERSTONE 18 SEPTEMBER, 2016 – Alex Quinn celebrated being crowned Rookie class champion by winning Round 26 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford in textbook fashion.
A flawless start from pole saw him stay ahead of fellow front row starter Luis Leeds, with the Racing Steps Foundation ace then proceeding to break away from the field. His progress was halted just under halfway into the race when the safety car was deployed to recover team-mate Kjaergaard’s stricken car. Quinn wasn’t fazed however, mastering the restart and pulling out a gap to Rafael Martins.
Said a jubilant Quinn: “I cannot express my feelings. I’m so happy. I need to say a huge thanks to the Racing Steps Foundation and Fortec because without them I wouldn’t be here, let alone at the front.”
“I’m really happy with the car and the performance of myself. I pushed as hard as I could to get the win. I’ve shown this weekend that I can race through the field and lead from the front which is great.”
Martins had looked strong all weekend and after an excellent sixth place finish yesterday was full of fight today, leaping past TRS Arden team-mate Ayrton Simmons off the line and then scything past Luis Leeds on the following lap at Becketts.
“I think it was quite a good race on the first few laps for me,” said Martins. “I couldn’t catch Alex. He did a great job. I thought after the safety car I could have a chance, but he did a great job at the restart.
“I think in the beginning I was quicker than Luis and then towards the end he was a bit quicker, but I had it under control. Since Friday we have been quick. Qualifying we struggled a little with the mixed weather, but we are doing a great job this weekend.”
Leeds was understandably cautious in the early stages; not completely sure of the car underneath him following his puncture and damage sustained in the first race of the weekend, as well as being mindful of preserving tyres. However, as the race progressed his confidence behind the wheel came back in full force as he hounded Martins for second until the end.
Explained Leeds: “I got good points in the championship and scored more points than any of the other contenders although it wasn’t my greatest of races.
“With the puncture I had yesterday we didn’t have the best of tyres for this race. Two tyres were scrapped so we had to use some new tyres, but I had to preserve them for the race this afternoon when we start from pole.”
JHR’s Sennan Fielding made impressive progress up the order throughout the race, from eighth up to fourth. One of his victims was Ayrton Simmons who was under attack for much of the race, but put on a credible defensive display suggesting the youngest driver on the grid can mix it with the best. A spirited battle with Carlin’s Max Fewtrell a particular highlight.
Said Simmons: “It was pretty exciting. The first five laps especially. I had quite a lot of cars behind me. I managed to keep with the fast guys. I had a good battle with Fewtrell. It was a great experience racing up the front. Hopefully next time we start at the front we can do an even better job.”
There was no stopping Fewtrell however. The championship leader going into the race had it all to do starting from the penultimate row of the grid and he picked his way through the field expertly. His move around the outside of Simmons at Brooklands thrilling spectators. It set up an entertaining battle between himself and team-mates DeFrancesco and Pull, as well as Fielding and Goddard.
Pull was awarded a five second penalty for exceeding track limits costing him a points finish, but team-mate DeFrancesco fared better. A move down the inside of Goddard as they headed towards Becketts earning him fifth and the chance to take the fight to Fielding.
Fielding wasn’t prepared to relinquish fourth to his title rival, holding off the Canadian to bring home enough points to become joint leader of the championship with Fewtrell heading into Round 27.
Double R’s Carrie Schreiner put in another great performance to break into the top 10 and add another championship point to her tally for the season, whilst Jack Martin made a welcome return to the Rookie podium.
Billy Monger suffered a spin early on having been one of the fastest cars on track, but struck back to get up to 11th place at the fall of the chequered flag, tantalisingly close to the points.
Petru Florescu’s race was thwarted before it even began with a technical gremlin rearing its head on the formation lap and resulting in the Romanian losing ground in the standings.
Lights go out for the Silverstone finale at 1515 which will be screened live on ITV4.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford
Provisional results Round 26 Silverstone 18 September 2016
20 laps / 32.8 miles
1 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 20m 41.423s / 95.14mph
2 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +1.215s
3 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +1.876s
4 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +4.639s
5 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +4.858s
6 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +5.163s
7 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +5.655s
8 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +6.333s
9 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec +9.362s
10 Carrie SCHREINER / GER / Double R +9.751s etc.
Fastest lap: Max Fewtrell / Carlin 57.221 / 103.20mph
Rookie class: 1 Quinn; 2 Simmons; 3 Martin
Provisional championship standings: =1 Fewtrell 293; =1 Fielding 293; 3 Leeds 271; 4 DeFrancesco 247; 5 Pull 240; 5 DeFrancesco 237; 6 Quinn 239; 7 Florescu 230; 8 Goddard 205; 9 Martins 174; 10 Caroline 148 etc.
Rookie class: 1 Quinn 517; 2 Kjaergaard 343; 3 J Martin 342; 4 Simmons 330; 5 R Martin 130