R2: Dimitrov leads home debutante McLeod for Arden 1-2 finish

Georgi Dimitrov claimed his second victory of the season after leading home an Arden Motorsport 1-2 finish in the reverse grid F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race at Silverstone.

The British-Bulgarian racer made a level start with pole-sitter and team-mate Cameron McLeod, then hung on around the outside of Becketts on the opening tour of the 1.6-mile Northamptonshire venue to annex the race lead.

Although he had to stand firm after the Australian teenager fought back, two safety car periods truncated their battle up front, and Dimitrov was able to extend his advantage after the final stoppage to take the chequered flag some 1.476 seconds clear.

It marks his first trip to the winner’s circle for the Banbury-based team, and for McLeod, the runner-up spot also means he leaves his debut weekend in Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series with some silverware to show for his efforts.

Initially, the final spot on the podium was occupied by their team-mate, David Morales, but contact on the inside apex at Becketts with Carlin’s Dougie Bolger, then fourth, sent the two off-track and forced Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak (Carlin) behind to take avoiding action over the grass.

Morales resumed, but then went straight on into the gravel at Brooklands, causing the second safety car stoppage, the race having been neutralised earlier for Eduardo Coseteng’s stranded Phinsys by Argenti challenger.

James Hedley seized the opportunity to move into third spot amidst the chaos, but quickly came under fire from his Carlin team-mate Kai Askey. He resisted the pressure until the final five minutes, when Askey was able to send a Dimitrov-esque move around the outside at Becketts to take the position.

That left Hedley defending from a rapid Joseph Loake, the JHR Developments racer eventually going on to take fourth, a gain of seven positions from his starting spot. Loake was in inspired form and, with another lap, might even have scored a podium finish, taking the chequered flag a tenth shy of Askey with the bonus point for the Motul Fastest Lap.

Inthraphuvasak recovered from his excursion off-track to round out the top five, with Hedley eventually finishing sixth. Oliver Gray was next in the leading Fortec Motorsport challenger, with eighth-placed McKenzy Cresswell (JHR) the highest of the title contenders, the rest of whom endured a character-building race.

Championship leader Matias Zagazeta came together with Arden’s Zak Taylor at Woodcote, pitching the Arden challenger into a half-spin and damaging the front wing on the #8 machine. The Peruvian was forced to pit, re-emerged at the back and finished 11th behind team-mates Marcos Flack and Aiden Neate.

However, with Matthew Rees and Joel Granfors both retiring from the race with their own dramas, Zagazeta’s lead in the standings actually increases to 17 points with one more race left to run this afternoon at 16:15 (BST).

Provisional Result – Round 23:

Pos. Name Team Time
1 Georgi DIMITROV Arden Motorsport 19 laps
2 Cameron McLEOD Arden Motorsport +1.476s
3 Kai ASKEY Carlin +2.009s
4 Joseph LOAKE JHR Developments +2.154s
5 Tasanapol INTHRAPHUVASAK Carlin +2.890s
6 James HEDLEY Carlin +4.270s
7 Oliver GRAY Fortec Motorsport +5.445s
8 McKenzy CRESSWELL JHR Developments +5.807s
9 Marcos FLACK Phinsys by Argenti +6.071s
10 Aiden NEATE Phinsys by Argenti +7.618s
11 Matias ZAGAZETA Phinsys by Argenti +54.446s
12 Zak TAYLOR Arden Motorsport +1 lap
DNF Joel GRANFORS Fortec Motorsport +1 lap
DNF Matthew REES JHR Developments +5 laps
DNF Dougie BOLGER Carlin +13 laps
DNF David MORALES Arden Motorsport +15 laps
DNF Eduardo COSETENG Phinsys by Argenti +19 laps