- Petru Florescu scores both his and Carlin’s second win of the weekend to leave Brands Hatch with championship lead.
- Alex Quinn pockets yet another Rookie Class win for Fortec Motorsports.
3 April, 2016 – It was a case of deja vu for Carlin’s Petru Florescu who bounced back from crashing out of the weekend’s second race to produce a performance that was almost a carbon copy of his race one victory.
Just as was the case in race one, the only threat to Florescu came at the start where he once again struggled off the line in comparison to the man alongside him, TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds.
Leeds found himself on the outside of Petru through the first corner, but the wily Romanian was robust in his defence and not prepared to relinquish the lead.
From there onwards the Ford British F4 returnee had sufficient pace in clear air to remain untroubled in his journey to the chequered flag.
Said Florescu: “I’m really happy because the car was so fast. At the start I almost lost my position, but I managed to hold on and then put in some really quick laps. The aim is for more wins like this because I want to bring home the title.”
Added Carlin team manager Martin Knapman: “You can’t ask for much more than that. Six podiums this weekend is brilliant for Carlin. All four drivers are pushing so hard which not only helps the team move forward, but also themselves. We need to keep pushing and we cannot underestimate the opposition.”
Despite missing out on the top step, Red Bull Junior driver Leeds recorded his best result of his fledgling career in the Ford EcoBoost powered series; fending off James Pull for the duration and setting fastest lap.
Leeds commented: “I think the most important thing from this weekend was to get a decent haul of points which we have definitely done. We’ve been working so hard during the winter. The car has been perfect and Arden are doing a great job.”
TRS Arden team manager Ben Bloomfield was full of praise: “Luis is one of the hardest workers we’ve got. He’s put in so much effort and it’s great to see that rewarded.”
Alex Quinn was a man on a mission in the final race after a brace of Rookie Class victories. He gained a place on the opening lap, only to find himself bottled-up behind the TRS Arden of Rafael Martins.
The Brazilian had to make full use of his experience in the series from last season, as Quinn darted around in his mirrors in an attempt to force a mistake.
Said Quinn: “I finally got a good start. My pace was there, but I found it hard to get past Rafa in the dirty air. With a better qualifying I’m confident we can fight at the very front in the races.”
In hot pursuit of Quinn were Max Fewtrell and race two winner Sennan Fielding. The latter taking full advantage of a better exit out of Clark Curve onto the straight to make a late lunge up the inside of Fewtrell into Paddock Hill and capture sixth place with several laps remaining.
However, his hard work was undone following the race after it was judged the JHR driver jumped the start. He was handed a time penalty which demoted him to 14th.
The titanic tussle between the four drivers proved to be Pull’s saving grace. As they squabbled amongst themselves he was able to build a gap of six seconds on fading tyres to negate a five second time penalty for exceeding track limits.
Reflected Pull: “It was a tight race with Luis. We were doing very similar times. Maybe I could have pulled off a move, but I felt it wasn’t worth the risk and I wanted to get the points on the board for my championship.
“When I saw I had a penalty it was really tough, because I had to push on tyres which weren’t at their best towards the end. I just focused on being as consistent as possible to get the gap I needed.”
Carlin’s DeFrancesco emerged the victor in a scintillating battle for what be seventh ahead of Double R’s Zane Goddard and the Allan McNish mentored Ross Martin. The racing between the trio was hard but fair and sometimes a little too close for comfort, with Martin losing part of his car’s nosecone as he sought a way past a resilient Goddard.
The next instalment of Ford EcoBoost-powered action comes on 16/17 April at Donington Park, where the likes of Pull and Fielding will look to overcome Florescu’s slender lead in the championship.
You can relive all of today’s action on 25 April by watching ITV4’s Motorsport UK on 25 April.
Provisional results Round 3 Brands Hatch Indy 3 April 2016
26 laps / 31.40 miles
1 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 20m 31.926s / 91.77mph
2 Luis LEEDS / AUS / TRS Arden +0.387s
3 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +6.537s
4 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / TRS Arden +7.435s
5 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +8.994s
6 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +9.371s
7 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +12.551s
8 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +12.850s
9 Ross MARTIN / GBR / Fortec +13.794s
10 Harry HAYEK / AUS / Jamun +14.746s etc
Fastest lap Leeds 46.693s / 93.13mph
Rookie class 1 Quinn 2 Ross Martin, 3 Jack MARTIN / GBR / TRS Arden, 4 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec
Provisional championship standings
1 Florescu 50 points; 2 Pull 45; 3 Fielding 35; 4 Fewtrell 34; 5 Leeds 32; 6 Martins 28; 7 Jamie Caroline 26; 8 Quinn 20; 9 Goddard 18; 10 DeFrancesco 7 etc.
Rookie class 1 Quinn 75; 2 Kjaergaard 48; 3 Jack Martin 42; 4 Ross Martin 33.