DRIVER NEWS: Sebastian Priaulx enjoys sensational podium return at Snetterton

Supplied by driver’s PR.

30 JULY, 2018 – Sebastian Priaulx has kicked off the second half of his maiden F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost season in style with a sensational pair of second place finishes at Snetterton this weekend (28/29 July).

The 1st Central Insurance driver enjoyed a fantastic return to action following the five week summer break, with a tremendous performance seeing him bounce back from a difficult qualifying session to record the third and fourth podium finishes of his F4 career so far.

Priaulx headed into the meeting in a buoyant mood following a positive two day test at Snetterton earlier this month, and his confidence was boosted further by some tremendous pace during official Friday practice, with the Guernseyman ending the day second fastest overall.

It unfortunately didn’t go his way in qualifying on Saturday however, with Priaulx missing out on the peak of his tyres as he posted the eighth quickest time, which secured him a fourth row start for the first and third races of the weekend.

The Ravenscroft supported racer wasn’t phased by that however and a great start to the opening encounter saw him rise to fifth place on the opening lap alone, before an incident ahead on lap three secured him another position.

Right onto the tail of the podium contenders, Priaulx would benefit from further drama in front of him over the next few laps to rise to a brilliant second place, which he would maintain to the chequered flag for a richly-deserved return to the podium.

That result secured the seventeen year old fifth on the reverse grid for race two, but once again he would make immediate progress on the opening lap as he slipped into second place through the Wilson hairpin for the first time.

Priaulx got his head down and posted a run of consistently quick lap-times as he almost halved the race leader’s initial two second advantage, holding the fastest lap for the majority of the race as he edged clear of the pack behind.

While a challenge for the race win was unfortunately out of his grasp, Priaulx would complete a truly faultless performance by bringing his Arden Motorsport machine home in second, a result which capped off a fantastic day of racing.

The final race of the weekend took place on Sunday afternoon in front of a huge trackside crowd and the live ITV4 television cameras, with Priaulx determined to put on a show as he looked to battle through from eighth on the grid.

It unfortunately proved to be a bruising affair though, with a dramatic clash on the pit-straight sending him airborne briefly and leading to damage to his car. With his chances of making progress therefore hampered, a mature drive would see him pick up a seventh place finish.

That result coupled with a great points haul from his two podium finishes has maintained Priaulx’s top six championship standing heading into the next rounds of the championship at Rockingham in Corby in two weeks’ time (11/12 August).

Sebastian Priaulx: “We worked hard over the summer break to put ourselves in the best position possible for the second half of the season and it’s fantastic to see all that effort come to fruition this weekend with a return to the podium.

“Qualifying didn’t go my way, but to be able to come back from that and fight through to second in both the first two races was awesome. It all clicked for us with our race pace this weekend and I really enjoyed battling through the field.

“Race three was a shame, the early contact knocked out the tow on the car and I couldn’t do much from there. That doesn’t take away from a great weekend though and we’ve picked up a really good points haul for the championship.”

DRIVER NEWS: Sebastian Priaulx makes top six return with battling Croft display

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25 JUNE, 2018 – Sebastian Priaulx has brought the first half of his maiden F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost campaign to a close with a return to the top six, as a strong race three performance provided a positive end to an otherwise challenging weekend at Croft (23/24 June).

The 1st Central Insurance driver would find himself with an uphill struggle following a difficult qualifying session on Saturday, but he responded well with some battling displays in the races to secure a hat-trick of top ten finishes.

Priaulx would produce some strong pace during an official two-day test at the circuit at the start of the month, and he further hinted at a competitive weekend ahead as he stormed to third fastest overall during the second free practice session on Friday afternoon.

Unfortunately a change in the car’s balance for qualifying the next day would stop Priaulx from maximising his potential in the session, as he came away with eighth and seventh on the grid for races one and three of the weekend, the first of which followed that afternoon.

Priaulx got a great launch off the line in his Arden Motorsport machine to rise to seventh, although it was sadly short-lived as he got run out wide across the gravel at the first corner, with the subsequent loss of momentum leaving him powerless to prevent himself dropping to tenth.

Settling into a rhythm from there, Priaulx closed onto the tail of the driver ahead and gave it everything he had to try and get the place, however despite his best efforts he would have to settle for tenth position at the chequered flag.

Some changes to the car overnight left the Guernseyman confident there would be an upturn in performance during races two and three on Sunday, both of which would take place live on ITV4 and in front of a huge trackside crowd.

Priaulx would make some strong progress in the opening race of the day as he climbed three places over the first half of the race, however following a short safety car period, he was unable to gain further ground and brought the Ravenscroft machine home in seventh.

The seventeen year old would start the final race from the same position and a brilliant start saw him move up to fifth place on the opening lap. Immediately pulling clear of the pack behind, his attention turned to challenging title contender Ayrton Simmons for fourth.

Unfortunately the introduction of the safety car slashed his near four second gap to those behind, and at the restart he soon found himself in the difficult position of trying to defend and attack at the same time as he fought with Simmons and team-mate Jack Doohan.

After losing out to Doohan, Priaulx would maintain the pressure on Simmons throughout the remainder of the race, however a clear overtaking opportunity would not present itself and he took the finish in sixth.

With an eighth top six finish of the season so far under his belt, Priaulx now heads into the championship’s mid-season summer break focused on ensuring he’s back fighting at the front of the field in the next rounds at Snetterton in Norfolk on July 28/29.

Sebastian Priaulx: “After showing so much promise in free practice on Friday it is obviously very disappointing that we couldn’t be battling at the front this weekend, but we pushed hard throughout and I’m pleased we could end on a positive note with a top six finish.

“Unfortunately the car felt different on Saturday and I couldn’t quite get to grips with it across qualifying and the first race, however the team worked hard to find a solution and it feels like we made some great progress with the car in the final race.

“The summer break has come at an ideal time for us. We want to be back fighting for podium finishes, so we’ve got five weeks until Snetterton to work with the team to ensure we have the best package possible to take into the second half of the season.”

DRIVER NEWS: Damage limitation for Sebastian Priaulx during bruising Thruxton weekend

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21 MAY, 2018 – Sebastian Priaulx salvaged some crucial championship points from the latest rounds of the 2018 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Thruxton this past weekend (19/20 May) after seeing contact derail his challenge in both of the opening two races.

The 1st Central Insurance supported driver secured a best finish of sixth position over the course of rounds seven, eight and nine in Hampshire, with two more top ten finishes ensuring he ended the weekend only one point shy of the championship top three.

The annual visit to the fastest circuit in the UK provides some unique challenges for drivers and teams, with a single free practice session on Friday afternoon allowing Priaulx to get reacquainted with the 2.36 mile circuit in his Arden Motorsport machine.

Unfortunately some brake problems in that session would put the Guernseyman firmly on the backfoot heading into the weekend, which would show in qualifying as a frustrating session saw him end up eleventh on the grid for races one and three.

The opening race of the weekend that afternoon would start in nightmare fashion for the Ravenscroft backed racer. A brilliant launch off the line propelled him into a gap between the two drivers in front, however there was contact.

Priaulx was left with a broken front wing and therefore had to pit for a replacement, which left him in a distant eleventh position when he returned to the action. With no-one to battle with on track, it was a lonely drive to an eventual finish of tenth place.

The seventeen year old headed into Sunday determined to bounce back strongly in races two and three, both of which were televised live on ITV4, and a strong start to the second race saw him rise from tenth to seventh on the opening lap alone.

Following a short safety car period, Priaulx’s challenge for the front would sadly unravel when a move from another driver heading through the complex sent him spinning down to the rear of the field in eleventh place.

Fortunately the reappearance of the safety car shortly after allowed him to close onto the back of the pack, and from there a strong fightback saw him rise to seventh position at the chequered flag – a confidence boosting result heading into race three.

Priaulx would produce his best performance of the weekend in the final encounter, with a mature, calculated drive seeing him overcome some continued issues with the car to climb from eleventh on the grid to a seventh top six finish of the season so far.

The weekend’s results have maintained Priaulx’s position in the top four of the championship standings heading into the fourth meeting of the season at the picturesque Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire in three weeks’ time (09/10 June).

Sebastian Priaulx: “It’s been a really tough weekend and it quickly became apparent that it was a case of damage limitation and trying to come away with as many championship points as possible, so I was satisfied to get three top ten finishes in the end.

“We just didn’t have the performance in the car over the weekend that we expected, which meant I never really got the chance to attack in the races, but I gave it my all and I feel sixth place in race three was a solid way to end the weekend.

“Myself and the Arden Motorsport team both want to win, so we’re going to be working hard to find and solve the problems ahead of Oulton Park, so we can get back on-form and be battling at the front of the field once again.”

DRIVER NEWS: Sebastian Priaulx shines at Donington Park with British F4 podium

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30 APRIL, 2018 – Sebastian Priaulx has continued his superb start to his maiden F4 British Championship campaign with a brilliant podium finish during the second meeting of the season at Donington Park this past weekend (28/29 April).

The 1st Central Insurance supported driver headed into the weekend with confidence high following a sensational race-winning debut at Brands Hatch three weeks ago, and that certainly showed as he fought at the front of the field throughout at the Leicestershire circuit.

Priaulx showed great pace in the lead up to the event during official testing, finishing in the top five on the timesheets on both Monday and Thursday, however he would encounter different weather conditions come Saturday as the rain fell heading into qualifying.

Competing with the backing of Ravenscroft, Priaulx would get quicker as the session progressed as he acclimatised to the grip levels on circuit, eventually securing a great fourth on the grid for races one and three, the first of which followed that evening.

The decisive moment in race one would come at the start, as a fantastic launch off the line allowed Priaulx to immediately challenge the drivers ahead, before a sensationally creative move saw him storm around the outside of two cars to grab second place.

From there, Priaulx settled into a rhythm of consistently quick lap times as he pulled over two seconds clear of his closest pursuer, however that would be unfortunately slashed when the action was briefly halted by the safety car just after mid-distance.

A great restart from the Guernseyman though saw him immediately pull away from his battling rivals behind again, allowing him to comfortably bring the car home to the chequered flag to make it two podium finishes in his first four British F4 races.

In drier conditions the next morning, Priaulx lined up fourth on the reverse grid in his Arden Motorsport machine for the sixtieth start of his car-racing career so far, however it would unfortunately become a difficult encounter.

Initially rising to third position off the line, it would prove to be a bruising opening couple of laps from there as he slipped back to seventh. A strong fightback got him back to fifth at one stage, before he eventually took the finish in sixth position.

The seventeen year old bounced back well from that frustration to put in a strong display in the final race of the weekend in front of the live ITV4 television cameras, as he found himself in the middle of a close fought four-way battle for the final podium spot.

Changing positions throughout the race, Priaulx came away with a strong fifth place finish to continue his record of finishing every race so far this season in the top six, which has helped him to come away from the weekend third in the championship standings.

Sebastian Priaulx: “Donington Park has always been a tough circuit for me, so it was a case of damage limitation heading into the weekend. Therefore to come away with a trio of top six finishes, a great points haul and another podium finish is fantastic for me.

“We certainly had the pace over the course of the weekend and while I didn’t always get the chance to show it, I’m pleased with the performance we produced. Every time I get in the car I’m learning loads and my confidence is growing all the time

“We’ve been a consistent presence at the front of the field throughout the season so far and we’re going to be working hard between now and Thruxton to ensure we can be challenging for silverware once again around one of the most unique, challenging circuits on the calendar.”

Thruxton, the fastest circuit in the United Kingdom, will host rounds seven, eight and nine of the 2018 F4 British Championship season over the weekend of the 19/20 May.

DRIVER NEWS: Sebastian Priaulx stuns on Formula 4 debut with superb Brands Hatch victory

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9 APRIL, 2018 – Sebastian Priaulx enjoyed a dream start to his maiden F4 British Championship campaign with a sensational victory in only his second race in the series during the opening rounds of the season at Brands Hatch this past weekend (7/8 April).

The win would be the standout result of a hugely impressive debut outing in single-seater competition for the 1st Central supported driver, who took two more top four finishes to end the meeting second in the championship standings.

After showing superb pace throughout pre-season testing in his Arden Motorsport machine, Priaulx would carry that speed into the official two free practice sessions on Friday, with a best effort of 46.274 seconds around the 1.2 mile circuit seeing him finish fourth fastest for the day.

The Ravenscroft backed racer would encounter a different challenge come qualifying the follow morning though, with a sprinkling of rain just before the session got underway meaning that the field would be greeted by a damp circuit.

Priaulx would acclimatise to the tricky conditions in typically strong fashion though, with his two fastest times during the twenty minute session placing him fifth on the grid for race one of the weekend, and sixth for race three.

The seventeen year old would start his debut race in the championship in style as a fantastic launch off the line saw him immediately move into fourth place, before he quickly closed on the top three as he lapped as the fastest driver on the circuit.

Once he latched onto the rear of the drivers ahead, Priaulx would unfortunately not see a clear opportunity to make further progress present itself, with a mature drive from there ensuring he took the chequered flag in fourth..

That result meant the Guernseyman would start the second race of the day from the same position on the reverse grid, with another brilliant getaway seeing him sweep into third position heading around Paddock Hill Bend for the first time – a move that would prove to be crucial.

The two drivers ahead of him would quickly be issued with ten second time penalties for jumping the start, meaning that Priaulx would assume the position of race leader as he ran third on the road, in close proximity to the cars ahead.

Maintaining a consistent gap to his closest rivals behind, Priaulx would hold his position to the chequered flag for what he believed was a third place finish, before he entered parc ferme to the welcome surprise that he had in fact secured a superb first victory.

With the win naturally filling him with confidence, Priaulx headed into the final race of the weekend on Sunday afternoon hoping to produce another standout performance in front of the live ITV4 television cameras.

In tricky wet conditions, the reigning Ginetta Junior vice-champion would produce another great launch off the line to storm into fifth position heading into Paddock Hill Bend, a place he would go on to hold for the first half of the race.

Following a short safety car period, Priaulx would capitalise on a mistake from a driver ahead at the restart to slip into fourth place. While he went on to put pressure on the podium contenders in the closing laps, he would have to settle for fourth at the flag.

That result capped off a fantastic maiden F4 British Championship meeting for Priaulx, who sits nineteen points off the top of the standings heading into the next three rounds of the championship at Donington Park in three weeks’ time (28/29 April).

Sebastian Priaulx: “I really couldn’t have asked for much more from my first weekend in single-seater racing. The F4 British Championship is a really hard series to win in, so I’m immensely proud to have done so in only my second race!

“I honestly had no idea that I’d won until I pulled into parc ferme and they directed me to the P1 board. To find out I’d taken my first victory was amazing – it’s something I really didn’t think would happen so soon in the season and hopefully it’s just the start.

“That was the highlight of what was a really positive weekend all round. While the changeable conditions in qualifying put us lower on the grid that hoped, I was able to fight through to fourth in both those races which I’m really pleased about.

“This weekend was a huge learning curve and to come away from it with the results we did, having kept our nose clean and made no mistakes, is really positive and I’m looking forward to taking this momentum into Donington Park.”

DRIVER NEWS: Priaulx gearing up for 2018 with 1st CENTRAL Insurance

Supplied by driver’s PR. 

4 APRIL, 2018 – Sebastian Priaulx’s preparations for the 2018 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost are in top gear as he gets ready to begin his first season in single-seater competition this weekend (07/08 April) with the continued support of 1st CENTRAL Insurance.

Priaulx’s partnership with 1st CENTRAL Insurance, one of the fastest growing car insurance providers in the United Kingdom, started last season as the seventeen year old secured seven victories and finished runner-up in the Ginetta Junior Championship.

1st CENTRAL Insurance have grown a reputation for nurturing young talent since their launch in 2008, and the long-term sponsorship agreement with Priaulx will continue this season as they target success together in the ultra-competitive F4 British Championship.

Sebastian Priaulx: “I’m delighted to be working alongside 1st CENTRAL Insurance once again this year and I truly can’t thank them enough for their support as I aim to progress in my motorsport career.

“Without their backing and that of Ravenscroft GB, I wouldn’t be on the grid this year and we’re determined to enjoy a successful season together in the F4 British Championship.”

Andy James – Chief Commercial Officer of 1st CENTRAL: “Seb is quickly pulling ahead in his career and we are thrilled to continue our support as he takes on his biggest challenge yet in the 2018 F4 British Championship.

“At 1st CENTRAL we firmly believe in the importance of nurturing young talent, both within our business and beyond. Seb performed brilliantly in 2017 and this achievement shows he is driven to succeed. We hope 2018 is every bit a success for Seb and have no doubt that he will go on to achieve great things.”

Following the Christmas break, Priaulx has got plenty of testing miles under his belt during a number of official pre-season championship tests, in which he has been able to assess his pace alongside the remainder of the 2018 grid.

Producing encouraging speed in mixed conditions over the last two months, Priaulx kicked it off by finishing second fastest overall around the Brands Hatch Indy circuit and then continued to mix it towards the top of the timesheets at Donington Park, Rockingham and Snetterton.

Priaulx’s focus has now turned to the opening three rounds of the season around the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent this weekend, where he will take to the grid in his 1st CENTRAL and Ravenscroft GB machine prepared by Arden Motorpsort in front of a huge trackside crowd and the live ITV4 cameras.

Sebastian Priaulx: “I’ve been really pleased with our progress over the course of our winter testing programme, especially during the official tests since Christmas. We’ve been towards the top of the timesheets in each test, which has been really encouraging.

“I’ve had a lot to learn when it comes to driving a ‘slicks and wings’ car, but I feel I am adapting very quickly with the support of Arden Motorsport, APSM and iZone. We’re feeling confident that we can be fighting for victories from the season opener onwards.”

Provisional Timetable – Brands Hatch Indy

Saturday 7th April:
Qualifying: 09:00 to 09:20
Race One: 14:15 – 20 mins
Race Two: 17:40 – 20 mins

Sunday 8th April:
Race Three (Live on ITV4): 15:05 – 20 mins

DRIVER NEWS: Sebastian Priaulx teams up with Ravenscroft for 2018 British F4 campaign

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24 JANUARY, 2018 – 1st Central racing driver Sebastian Priaulx is delighted to announce a new sponsor. Stockbroker and investment manager Ravenscroft has agreed a three year sponsorship with Priaulx ahead of his maiden campaign in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost.

Founded in 2005, Ravenscroft is an independently owned group which provides stockbroking, investment management and corporate finance services to private and institutional clients across the Channel Islands and the UK.

Ravenscroft is supporting Priaulx into 2018 and beyond as the 17-year-old aims to challenge for the FIA British F4 title with leading team Arden Motorsport, with whom he showed hugely promising pace during an extensive testing programme prior to Christmas.

The reigning Ginetta Junior Championship vice-champion will get more time behind the wheel during a number of official pre-season tests, before unveiling his new car livery at the championship’s media day at Rockingham on Tuesday 13th March.

Sebastian Priaulx: “I’m delighted to be welcoming Ravenscroft on-board for what is sure to be an exciting 2018 season. They are a great company in the Channel Islands and I look forward to a prosperous partnership. I’m determined to challenge for the title this season and am hugely grateful to both 1st Central Insurance and Ravenscroft for making this season possible.”

Mark Bousfield – Ravenscroft Group Managing Director: “Sebastian, like his father, grandfather and great-grandfather before him, has shown incredible natural talent and huge determination to be successful in motorsport. Ravenscroft is a passionate supporter of the communities within which we operate and every year we help sports men and women like Sebastian fulfill their potential. This is an exciting time for Sebastian and so we have come together with a number of Ravenscroft friends who all wanted to provide some financial support and be part of the next stage of his career.”

The exciting news comes as Priaulx prepares for the Channel Islands Sports Awards 2017, for which he is nominated for the Rising Star award, which looks to recognise a local young sportsperson with outstanding potential.

The awards ceremony takes place this Thursday (25th January) and will be televised live on ITV Channel TV across two special programmes at 20:30 and 22:30.

Sebastian Priaulx: “I’m really looking forward to the Channel Islands Sports Awards. It’s a pleasure to be nominated for the Rising Star awards and I’m up against some huge competition. It will be a great evening celebrating the best of the Channel Islands sport, and I’m pleased to be having representatives from 1st Central Insurance and Ravenscroft there with me.”