DRIVER NEWS: British F4 race winner DeFrancesco graduates to Euroformula Open with Carlin for 2017

Supplied by driver’s PR.

21 NOVEMBER, 2016 – Following an impressive debut year in the world’s leading FIA Formula 4 single-seater series, Devlin DeFrancesco will graduate to the highly-competitive Euroformula Open in 2017 with top British racing team Carlin.

The 16-year-old Canadian drove for the Surrey-based squad in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered Ford this year; helping them win the Teams’ Cup and narrowly missing out on the drivers’ title despite three wins and 10 podiums.

The step up to Euroformula Open continues DeFrancesco’s progression and he is looking forward to the challenge.

“I’m really looking forward to getting going and am very happy to continue my partnership with Carlin, who have offered me a huge amount of support,” DeFrancesco said. “It will be a challenge, but I’ve been working very hard so that I’m in the best possible position when the season gets underway.”

Carlin demonstrated the qualities that have made them one of Britain’s most successful racing teams by becoming double British F4 teams’ champion and winning on four occasions in their maiden Euroformula Open campaign in 2016. DeFrancesco has no doubts that they can carry that form into next year.

“It was a very promising campaign for the boys in blue and the way they adapted so quickly to Euroformula Open demonstrates the amazingly high level this team performs at,” DeFrancesco continued. “They had an awesome second half of the year, winning four of the last eight races, and I’m sure that we’ll be at the front fighting for victories at every round in 2017.”

DeFrancesco met with Team Principal Trevor Carlin on Monday, and he is delighted to continue their winning partnership for next season.

“Devlin has been part of the team in one way or another for the past two seasons so we’re extremely happy to have him on board as the first driver announced in our Euroformula Open line up,” Trevor Carlin said. “Devlin is a fantastic asset to have in any team and will no doubt show himself well from the very start of the 2017 season as he gets to grips with a new car and a new challenge. He’s been working incredibly hard this past season in British F4 and I can’t wait to see what he is capable of in the Euroformula Open car.”

DeFrancesco and Carlin top the times in super-competitive Rockingham test

  • Carlin quartet leads the way with DeFrancesco quickest.
  • Top 15 covered by less than a second at Rockingham Motor Speedway.

ROCKINGHAM 26 AUGUST, 2016 – Devlin DeFrancesco headed a Carlin 1-2-3-4 at the top of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford timesheets today in pre-race testing at Rockingham Motor Speedway. The Canadian saved his best until late on with a lap of 1m 19.034s to put him two tenths clear of team-mate James Pull whose time of 1m 19.245s looked like it might not be beaten.

Said DeFrancesco: “I’m looking forward to the rest of this weekend. We’ve done a lot of testing here. James was my benchmark after the first session and I found a few little bits and pieces which we have now sorted on the car so everything is gelling together.

“I really need to maximise qualifying with the ten place grid penalty I have going into this weekend. We had some very good overtakes at Knockhill, especially in race one, so let’s see what we can do here [fighting through the field tomorrow].”

Added Pull: “I think the win is definitely on the cards. Knockhill was a messy weekend for everyone and at Snetterton we were unlucky too. Although at Snetterton we fixed our issues in qualifying so hopefully everything stays normal and I can do well.

“Rockingham is really hard because the surface is so different to any other track. On old tyres the time is a lot slower than usual and on new tyres it’s a lot faster, but it only really lasts for about three laps so that’s going to be important in qualifying.”

As the sun began to set on the 1.94-mile Northamptonshire circuit in the second session; teams elected to do qualifying simulations on new tyres and unsurprisingly many drivers recorded their best times of the day in thrilling fashion as the clock ticked down.

Petru Florescu ended the day third fastest overall courtesy of a very late flyer whilst championship leader Max Fewtrell looked as rock solid as ever out ending up P4.

Despite Carlin grabbing the headlines at the top, they were by no means easily clear of the field, with the majority of drivers less than a second off DeFrancesco’s time.

Chief among Carlin’s challengers was JHR Developments’ Sennan Fielding. Like Pull, his fastest time came in the first session and after making a setup breakthrough over the summer around this circuit the Chesterfield racer is sure to be a contender for top honours.

Rafael Martins and Ayrton Simmons also shone for TRS Arden, posting the sixth and seventh fastest times respectively. The latter looking particularly impressive on track as the quickest Rookie driver and is on the cusp of his first ever overall podium.

Commented Simmons: “I’m really happy. I think I could have been right up there with DeFrancesco. I’m really happy with the job that the team has done so fingers crossed for tomorrow.

“I’ve found that things have really clicked with the team, so every change we do to the car results in an improvement which is great. I think myself and the car have been outstanding today. All we need to do is carry this on.”

Aussies Zane Goddard (Double R) and Luis Leeds (TRS Arden) lit up Knockhill a fortnight ago and found themselves in eighth and ninth at the close of play. Both drivers are likely to get in on the act given their pace in testing.

Said Leeds: “Session one was good. We had a lot of pace. It’s positive because all the Arden cars had a lot of pace and we were all quicker than each other in different areas so we can build from each other’s sessions. This weekend should be pretty fun with eight of us in the championship hunt. It’s getting real.”

JTR’s Patrik Matthiesen was another driver to finish within a second of the day’s fastest time and is hopeful of building on his pace throughout the weekend: “It’s nice to be back in the car, especially as a lot of my sponsors are here this weekend. The pace is there. We need to focus on improving in the first sector. We’re aiming for a strong qualifying. We want to get into the top ten and stay there. After that we will see how the races go.”

Fielding’s JHR team-mates Billy Monger and Jack Butel had hoped to show more in testing, having finished outside the top ten. Butel suffered from technical gremlins which prevented him from mixing it towards the front, but having missed out on Knockhill one senses that a clearly physically fitter and more focused Butel is on the hunt for some big point scores this weekend.

Alex Quinn was quickest of the Fortec Motorsports runners; breaking into the top ten late on, but it’s likely to have come as little consolation for a team who had a relatively quiet day’s running. Something that was all the more surprising given Jamie Caroline’s flashes of speed during the first session.

Explained Caroline: “We went out too early on the newer tyres in the first session when the track was still rubbering in. We then went out on old tyres in the second session and had alright pace. We then went quicker on new tyres, but everyone had a second set and found loads of time whereas we only had one set of new tyres for that session. It’s meant to be wet tomorrow and I hope it will be because I always go well in those conditions.”

Carrie Schreiner ended the day 17th for Double R, clearly still getting reacquainted with her Ford EcoBoost-powered racer, having last competed in the series in May. There is sure to be more to come from the German starlet, as is the case with Richardson Racing’s Alexandra Marinescu.

Official qualifying is set for 1020 tomorrow ahead of the 1415 start for Round 22 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford. There are two further races on Sunday, the second of which will be screened live on ITV4 at 1552.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Leading testing times Rockingham 26 August 2016 (session 1/session 2)
1 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1:19.501 / 1:19.034
2 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1:19.245 / 1:19.354
3 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:19.619 / 1:19.250
4 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1:19.385 / 1:19.257
5 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1:19.266 / 1:19.330
6 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 1:19.729 / 1:19.294
7 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1:19.410 / 1:19.309
8 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 1:19.569 / 1:19.352
9 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 1:19.528 / 1:19.421
10 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1:19.872 / 1:19.498 etc.

Full times

DRIVER NEWS: Devlin DeFrancesco determined to close points gap at Rockingham

Supplied by driver’s PR.

25 AUGUST, 2016 – Devlin DeFrancesco has his sights set on a successful return to Rockingham this weekend (August 27-28), as battle for the F4 British Championship  certified by FIA – powered by Ford hots up.

The 16-year-old Carlin driver came away from the last round at Knockhill just 13 points off the championship lead and is confident of closing the gap on his return to Rockingham, a circuit where he took pole position on his last visit in Ginetta Juniors.

“Rockingham has always been a good track for me, I’ve done quite a lot of mileage there so I’m really looking forward to the weekend,” said DeFrancesco. “Unfortunately we do have to take a ten-place grid penalty, but I love a challenge. It’s going to be an important weekend in the championship with only three rounds to go, so there’s everything to play for.”

At a shade under 2 miles, the Corby circuit is one of the few counter-clockwise tracks on the F4 British Championship calendar; however, the Canadian is feeling well prepared for the challenge.

“We’ve done quite a lot of days there in the F4 and it’s one of the really good tracks for our car I think,” DeFrancesco explained. “The start of the lap is really exciting, you have the banking and then a big heavy braking zone into turn two, which is a really good opportunity for overtaking. The rest of it is quite flat and flowing and really takes a toll on your neck. It’s quite physical, but I’ve been doing a lot of training to be ready for it.”

With a limited number of tyres to manage throughout the weekend, DeFrancesco will have to be wary of Rockingham’s famously abrasive surface, but maintains that it won’t distract him from the job in hand at this crucial stage in the season.

“It will be all about carrying a high minimum speed through the corners and nailing all the apexes, the same as any other track, but getting the peak out of the tyres in qualifying is going to be key,” DeFrancesco continued.

“I’m not feeling any pressure, every weekend you try to do the same thing, so the mentality doesn’t really change. You’re there to do one job and everyone will be counting points at the end.

“We’ve had a few issues out of our control and probably taken away one or two wins, but I’ve beaten the people in front of me before and I know I can do it again. We have just to do everything right, get that consistency nailed and we’ll be fine.”

The first race of the weekend gets underway at 14:15 on Saturday, with race two and race three starting on Sunday at 10:50 and 15:52 respectively. The latter will be screened live on ITV4.

DRIVER NEWS: DeFrancesco keeps F4 British Championship hopes alive after eventful Knockhill weekend

Supplied by driver’s PR.

17 AUGUST, 2016 – Devlin DeFrancesco added a ninth F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford podium to his 2016 tally at Knockhill last weekend (August 13-14) and moved up to third in the standings, despite a weekend of highs and lows.

The Carlin driver qualified in seventh, after challenging conditions produced a mixed-up grid for the first race at the Fife circuit.

The 16-year-old got off to a fantastic start managing to pass two drivers immediately after an early Safety Car period to move into a podium-scoring position. The Canadian went on to cross the line in third, claiming his fifth consecutive finish on the rostrum in the process.

“Qualifying was a little frustrating, the track started drying halfway through the session and we made the tyre change too late, so I was only able to get one lap in on cold slicks,” DeFrancesco said. “Race One went really well for me though, I made some good overtakes and felt that I could have challenged for the win had things gone differently in qualifying. It was my ninth podium in the last 19 races as well, which I’m really happy about.”

Race two saw DeFrancesco locked in a battle for the final podium spot with an out of position Jamie Caroline and fellow Carlin driver Petru Florescu. Unfortunately, the two team-mates tangled and both crashed out of the race.

A track side altercation resulted in Florescu’s exclusion from the meeting and promoted DeFrancesco to second in Race One.

“I had another good start in Race Two, but found it really difficult to get past Jamie as he was weaving about defending on the straight,” DeFrancesco explained. “I felt he should have taken the penalty during the race, that way none of this would have happened. The contact was unfortunate and obviously Petru wasn’t happy about it, but sometimes these things happen and we have to try to forget about this.”

The damage to the car sustained in Race two gave DeFrancesco gearbox issues, causing him to drop down the order in the final race of the day, but he was still able to challenge in the lower reaches of the top 10. He managed to salvage a ninth place that could prove crucial at the end of the season and keeps his championship hopes alive with three meetings to go.

“The team did such a great job to get the car prepared for the final race,” said DeFrancesco. “I didn’t have a great start and we dropped down the order a bit. We had a little bit of a gearbox issue, but the consolation is that we were still able to get some points on the board.”

“Now we’re third in the standings and 18 points behind the championship leader, however with over 200 points still up for grabs, the title is far from over! I’ll continue to push and won’t give up, last weekend was a bit of a setback but we had very strong pace as ever and I know we can go on to win the title.”

Rockingham is next up on the F4 British Championship calendar for Devlin and it’s a track the Canadian is confident he will again be in contention at.

“We have good pace at Rockingham, I’m looking forward to be fighting right at the front again,” DeFrancesco said. “It’s going to be a tight one, but I’m confident of getting some good points.”

Florescu extends F4 British Championship lead with Knockhill victory

  • Lights to flag victory for Carlin’s Petru Florescu at Knockhill.
  • No shortage of entertainment as Messrs DeFrancesco, Goddard, Caroline, Leeds, Pull and Fewtrell all fought their way up the order.

KNOCKHILL 13 AUGUST, 2016 – Petru Florescu put in a textbook performance at Knockhill to claim his sixth victory of the season and extend his championship lead in round 19 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford.

Not for the first time this year the Carlin driver put in a flawless drive from pole. He controlled the race, looking after his tyres and expertly dealt with the pressure of two safety car restarts; slowing the pack right down at the apex of the final corner and flooring the throttle to get the jump on his pursuers.

Said race winner Florescu: “I was able to handle the safety car restarts well and I planned how I would attack them in my mind. I’m also happy for my team-mate Devlin [DeFrancesco] who came third.

“The race was a normal flag to flag race for me. It was pretty straightforward. It feels really good to extend the championship lead and I hope to do well for the rest of the weekend.”

Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn chased the Romanian home, making a welcome return to the podium and ending Nicolai Kjaergaard’s run of consecutive Rookie class wins. His team-mate finding himself under attack for much of the race as title contenders DeFrancesco, Leeds, Pull and Fewtrell fought their way through the field having been caught out by the drying conditions in qualifying.

DeFrancesco was particularly impressive, overtaking both Goddard and Kjaergaard in one corner after the first safety car restart. He then set about hounding Quinn for second place in the latter stages.

However, Quinn was inch perfect in his defence to keep the Canadian at bay in an extremely tense final few laps for the Racing Steps Foundation backed youngster.

Explained Quinn: “It was really difficult to defend and attack at the same time, but I managed to pull it off. I worked out where Devlin was quick and that made me more relaxed because I knew where on the circuit I had to really push.

“Starting on pole tomorrow [in race three] means we have a good chance to win and hopefully we can do that. I’m looking forward to it. We’ve shown today that we are really quick.”

Added DeFrancesco: “It was a very hectic race. I made a mistake at the start which is unusual for me so we need to analyse that, but we had great pace. The car was fantastic.

“We were really pressuring Quinn, but he did a great job to keep me behind. I think we had the pace for second, but it was great to come through from sixth after making the mistake at the start.

“I’m now second in the championship. It was a great job by the team and all my engineers.”

Luis Leeds managed to fend off a ferocious pair of drivers in the form of title rivals Pull and Fewtrell for sixth who were all over the back of the Red Bull liveried race car towards the end. The latter posting the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap.

The sixth place for Leeds was made all the sweeter by the fact that it earns him the reverse grid pole for race two tomorrow, giving the TRS Arden racer the chance to make further inroads towards the title he craves.

Ahead of Leeds finished Double R’s Zane Goddard and Fortec Motorsports’ Jamie Caroline. Both put on spirited drives to climb several places.

Goddard’s jump up the order was particularly eye catching. The Australian making a lightning start off the line. He shot past DeFrancesco and then boldly hung around the outside of Frank Bird into turn one to take fourth behind Kjaergaard after Rafael Martins was forced to start from the pit lane due to technical gremlins.

Commented Goddard: “It was a mega start. It sort of felt like it bogged down a bit, but I think the others got a bit of wheel spin. I jumped Devlin and got around the outside of Bird which was tight, but I pulled it off.

“Devlin passed me later on, but I got Kjaergaard at the same time. I’m happy with fourth. Good points. It was a hard race, but very enjoyable. I love this track. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”

Martins wasn’t the only driver to suffer misfortune early on. Sennan Fielding’s race unfortunately brought to a premature end at Taylor’s Hairpin as a result of a mid-pack opening lap skirmish, ultimately bringing out the first safety car.

TRS Arden’s rookies Jack Martin and Ayrton Simmons rounded out the top ten, taking valuable points and another rookie class podium for their respective campaigns.

Meanwhile Falcon Motorsport’s Alexandra Mohnhaupt finished just outside the top ten after another solid and confidence boosting performance.

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford action continues tomorrow with two races – the reverse-grid race at 1100 and then the feature race, to be screened live on ITV4 at 1625, with Quinn starting from top spot.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional results Round 19 Knockhill 13 August 2016
20 laps / 25.3 miles
1 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 20m 44.367s / 73.30mph
2 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +0.710s
3 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +1.171s
4 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +1.560s
5 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec +3.812s
6 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +5.388s
7 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +6.292s
8 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +6.467s
9 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden +9.533s
10 Ayrton SIMMONS +10.908s etc.

Fastest lap Max Fewtrell / Carlin 50.226s / 90.81mph

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

Grid for Round 20 Leeds – Caroline – Goddard – DeFrancesco – Quinn – Florescu – Pull – Fewtrell – Martin – Simmons etc.

Provisional championship standings
1 Florescu 230, 2 DeFrancesco 212, 3 Fewtrell 205, 4 Fielding 194, 5 Pull 192, 6 Leeds 182, 7 Quinn 140, 8 Goddard 132, 9 Caroline 125, 10 Martins 114 etc.

Rookie class
1 Quinn 349, 2 J. Martin 273, 3 Kjaergaard 250, 4 Simmons 205, 5 R. Martin 130

Full results

Quinn quickest in British F4 testing at Knockhill

  • Racing Steps Foundation backed Quinn beats Fielding to testing honours by 0.038s.
  • Fielding and DeFrancesco’s fine form continues.
  • Three tenths of a second covers the top 10 runners in British F4.

KNOCKHILL 12 AUGUST, 2016 – Fortec Motorsports rookie Alex Quinn wasted no time in acclimatising to the 1.27-mile Knockhill circuit and shone when conditions were at their best to round off an impressive testing performance with the day’s quickest time.

However, with the top ten runners separated by just three tenths of a second there is sure to be no shortage of challengers for top honours this weekend. Sennan Fielding and Devlin DeFrancesco looking like strong candidates to feature on the podium throughout the weekend, much like they did at Snetterton a fortnight ago.

The first blow of the weekend was struck by Fielding who went quickest in the morning session. The JHR Developments driver bided his time before venturing out on the damp circuit, but worked his way to the top of the timesheets just before a red flag was thrown due to an off track excursion for Quinn.

Carlin’s Max Fewtrell and Double R Racing’s Zane Goddard spent much of the first part of the session leading the field. Along with Fielding, Quinn, Pull and DeFrancesco they were the only drivers to break into the 54 second bracket; separated by less than three tenths. Whilst Fortec Motorsports’ Frank Bird had a late flurry of quick laps to go faster than Monger.

Fielding picked up where he left off in the dry second session, but Quinn and DeFrancesco had other ideas, both drivers leapfrogging the Amigos backed star with about 15 minutes remaining. Quinn’s time of 50.086s would prove to be the quickest of the day, but only by 0.038s as Fielding responded late on to end up P2, demoting DeFrancesco to third.

Championship leader Petru Florescu and Pull joined DeFrancesco in the top five for much of the session until TRS Arden’s Rafael Martin’s and Ayrton Simmons got in on the act to go fourth and fifth respectively. Meanwhile Aussies Luis Leeds and Goddard left it late to climb up to sixth and seventh.

The rain returned for the final test session of the day and it was frequent Friday flyer Pull who came to the fore ahead of Fewtrell and Goddard. The latter revelling in the slippery conditions, just as he had in the morning. Fortec Motorsports’ Jamie Caroline also made steady progress up the timesheets during the session, finishing just three-hundredths off of Florescu.

Official qualifying is set for 1105 tomorrow ahead of a 1635 start for the championship’s 19th round. There are two further races on Sunday, the second of which will be screened live on ITV4 at 1625.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Leading testing times Knockhill 12 August 2016 (sessions 1/2/3)
1 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 54.886 / 50.086 / 55.047
2 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 54.718 / 50.124 / 54.658
3 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 54.967 / 50.194 / 54.637
4 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 55.403 / 50.258 / 55.586
5 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 55.444 / 50.279 / 55.426
6 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 55.257 / 50.291 / 55.099
7 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double 54.742 / 50.328 / 54.570
8 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 54.862 / 50.331 / 54.460
9 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 55.259 / 50.349 / 54.977
10 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 54.739 / 50.404 / 54.564 etc.

Full times

DRIVER NEWS: DeFrancesco looks to continue strong form at Knockhill

Supplied by driver’s PR.

12 AUGUST, 2016 – Carlin driver Devlin DeFrancesco is aiming for maximum points in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford race weekend at Knockhill (August 13-14), as he looks to continue his fine run of form.

The Canadian star sits third in the championship and is just eight points off the lead after taking four podiums, including a win, in the last four races.

Knockhill is a circuit that the 16-year-old knows well having raced at the 1.3 mile circuit in the Ginetta Junior series in 2015, as well as taking part in a Formula 4 test there earlier this year.

“It’s a track that I know fairly well having driven here a few times,” said DeFrancesco. “I like the circuit a lot, it’s quite unusual in the way it’s laid out, almost like a big kart track! There are a lot of high-speed areas and undulations; it’s quite challenging but also a lot of fun. I’ve just got to make sure I listen to my engineers and hit all my targets.”

Having closed in on his championship rivals, DeFrancesco believes that he can overturn his eight-point deficit into the championship lead if things go his way in Scotland.

“I was more than 70 points behind the lead a few races ago and now I’ve cut it down to just eight,” DeFrancesco explained. “I know that by the end of this weekend I have a fairly good chance of being in the lead of the championship, but that’s not what I’m thinking about right now.

“I’m going into this weekend like I would any other. I’m just aiming to win every race, like I do ahead of every round and if that so happens to put me at the top of the standings then that’s just a bonus.”

Being a part of the famed Carlin Motorsport operation, Devlin said that he has learnt a lot about how a professional team works. They currently lead the Teams’ standings, with four of the top five championship contenders driving for the Surrey-based outfit.

“I have been very impressed by the work that the Carlin team are doing,” DeFrancesco added. “You can see how much effort is being put in by the fact that all of us drivers are in the top-five of the championship. The thing I’m most impressed about is their work ethic. It’s just non-stop, which is incredible.”

Fantastic Fielding unstoppable at Snetterton in F4 British Championship

  • Fielding doubles up with Snetterton victories for JHR Developments.
  • Fortec Motorsports’ Nicolai Kjaergaard claims a hat-trick of Rookie Class wins.

SNETTERTON 31 JULY, 2016 – Following his flawless qualifying performance and lights to flag victory yesterday, many touted Sennan Fielding for the win once more. The JHR Developments driver didn’t disappoint from pole.

The Amigos backed star has been in the ascendancy all weekend and victory in Round 18 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered Ford capped off a stellar 48 hours for the driver.

Said the weekend’s double race winner: “I had a great first lap and I was hoping to build a good lead, but when the gap got under a second the tow was big down the straights. I worked out where DeFrancesco was quicker and where I was quicker and used that to my advantage.

“It was a great race and it’s been a great weekend for us. The team have done a fantastic job and thank you to everyone who has been here this weekend. All the marshals and everyone who has given their spare time to make it possible for us to go racing. A massive thanks to everyone at JHR and Amigos.”

Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco and Fewtrell were in close pursuit of Fielding throughout with TRS Arden’s Red Bull Junior star Luis Leeds getting in on the act too, lapping quicker than anyone else for a large part of the race in fourth.

Explained Leeds: “We had a lot of good pace. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me for the rest of this year to come out on top, but I’m looking forward to the last four race weekends and I will be working as hard as I can to win this championship.

“I don’t expect anything to come easy. It’s a great championship because all the drivers in it are so good. It’s what makes it tough, but it’s also what makes it one of the best championships in the world.”

DeFrancesco did well to leap past team-mate Fewtrell at the start, his second place making him the only driver to finish on the podium in all three races this weekend.

Commented DeFrancesco: “We had a good pace in the race, just not in the right places. We were all over Sennan in sector two in the tight and twisty bits, but there were a few other places where he was a bit better than me.

“I’m really looking forward to the rest of the year though. I think we did the maximum we could this weekend even though we didn’t get the win. I have made a massive gain in the championship.”

It was also a welcome return to the podium for Fewtrell, who endured a difficult Saturday, but bounced back brilliantly ensuring that he is only four points off the championship lead.

Added Fewtrell: “I think this podium softens the blow following the first race. I didn’t get a great start so Devlin got me off the line and then we just stayed in formation. I think the pace was fine and I’m looking forward to Knockhill now to get some better results. There is still a long way to go.”

Fastest lap of the race was snatched away from Leeds by fifth place man Petru Florescu on the penultimate lap. Championship leader Florescu went into the race seeking a strong points finish to ensure he left Norfolk at the top of the standings and he duly delivered.

Said the Romanian: “It was a good race. I managed to gain three positions and do the fastest lap on old tyres. I’m really happy to leave this weekend back in the lead of the championship. I think if qualifying had gone better we could have fought for more wins.”

Nicolai Kjaergaard made it a clean sweep of Rookie Class wins courtesy of an assured drive to sixth for Fortec Motorsports. The Dane has been a revelation following the summer break and has sent a message that he’s force to be reckoned with for the remainder of the season.

“I’m really happy,” said Kjaergaard. “I tried to get a good start off the line and be consistent and we did that. I gained three positions so it was a good race. I am confident behind the wheel. I have had consistency in my races without many mistakes and that’s how I can keep my positions and also gain some. I hope to carry on this good form at Knockhill.”

Fellow Dane Patrik Matthiesen has also enjoyed the best weekend of his season so far, finally achieving his target of finishing the points in all three races. A top ten finish a just reward for a driver who has been tireless in efforts to improve his performance and work his way up the grid with JTR.

Said 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and JTR team owner Nick Tandy: “It’s the best weekend we’ve had all year so far in the championship and the pace in the race looked good. We didn’t qualify well, but Patrik was able to run with the pack in front which shows good progress.

“It’s nice to be scoring points and getting in the top ten. We don’t want to be hanging out at the back. As long as we see improvement and we are going in the right direction we can be positive. If we keep going in this direction we will be knocking on the door of podiums.”

Double R Racing’s Zane Goddard endured a far from ideal Saturday, but put in a battling drive to climb four places and finish seventh.

Stated Goddard: “It was an interesting race. The start was good. I managed to get past a few people, but I would have liked to have got a few more. Seventh is not too bad points wise, especially after yesterday. That’s a positive, but as a race driver you always want to be higher up.

“It’s a bit annoying qualifying went the way it did because it would have helped being further up the grid. At Knockhill I think we will be on the pace and hopefully we can get some top results like we did at Croft.”

TRS Arden’s rookie double act of Ayrton Simmons and Jack Martin put in strong performances to finish inside the top ten and fulfil the promising pace they had shown in testing on Friday.

Said Simmons: “We finished in the points and it’s been a good result after yesterday. I’m really happy with the team effort in recent weeks. I want to say thanks to Arden for giving me such a great car over the weekend and I’m sure we will be even stronger at Knockhill. If we can get a good qualifying there we can do really well and I’m pretty sure we will arrive with good pace in the car.”

Added Martin: “It’s good to be back on the Rookie podium. It’s nice to end on a high after a frustrating weekend and recover some points in the Rookie class standings. I had really good pace on Friday and I think what the team have done over the summer break has been really good.”

Team-mate Rafael Martins was extremely unlucky to finish just outside the points and will look to feature at the sharp end in two weeks’ time at Knockhill.

The same can be said of JHR’s Billy Monger and Jack Butel who had an entertaining battle for 12th after Monger unfortunately fell back through the order having taken evasive action to avoid a heavy braking Leeds and Pull. His lightning reactions coming in handy, but scant consolation for a driver who has had the pace to be fighting for the podium.

“We’ve been fast enough to be on the podium battle in every race, but things haven’t turned out great for us this weekend. Hopefully we can bounce back and show our true pace.

“My sponsors Metro deconstruction, Reigate Environmental Services, as well as Baylis and Harding and Barnado’s children’s charity which I’m an ambassador for have been brilliant in supporting me.”

Newcomers Marinescu (Richardson Racing) and Mohnhaupt (Falcon Motorsport) finished their weekends with further solid performances in their Ford EcoBoost-powered racers.

Said Marinescu: “Our lap times were even quicker today so that was good. I’m really positive I can do better in the next races. It’s been really fun and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Added Mohnhaupt: “It was a good race. We have improved a lot. I have learned so much with the help of the Falcon Motorsport team and I think Knockhill will be better. The highlight has been seeing my lap times get better and better.”

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional results Round 18 Snetterton 31 July 2016
8 laps / 23.75 miles
1 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 15m 14.464s
2 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +0.400s
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +1.162s
4 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +1.662s
5 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +4.915s
6 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec +11.530s
7 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +11.990s
8 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +12.203s
9 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden +12.899s
10 Patrik MATTHIESEN / DEN / JTR +14.059s etc.

Fastest lap Petru Florescu / Carlin 1m 52.690s / 94.84 mph

Rookie Class 1 Kjaergaard, 2 Simmons, 3 Martin, 4 Quinn

Provisional Championship standings
1 Florescu 205, 2 Fewtrell 201, 3 DeFrancesco 197, 4 Fielding 194, 5 Pull 186, 6 Leeds 174, 7 Quinn 122, 8 Goddard 120, 9 Caroline 115, 10 Martins 114 etc.

Rookie Class
1 Quinn 324, 2 J Martin 255, 3 Kjaergaard 238, 4 Simmons 191, 5 R Martin 130

Full results

Flawless Fielding scores superb British F4 win at Snetterton

  • Fielding claims commanding third win of the season for JHR Developments.
  • Carlin achieves its 800th podium thanks to DeFrancesco and Pull.

SNETTERTON 3O JULY, 2016 – Sennan Fielding’s fine form at Snetterton this weekend continued in round 16 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford; the JHR Developments star converting pole position to victory in style.

The race was far from short of drama. Caroline trying to make a move and unfortunately hitting the pit wall.

The safety car was called upon whilst Caroline’s stricken Pirtek Racing liveried Fortec was removed from the pit straight. Fielding wasted no time at the restart. The experienced driver left the field trailing in his wake as the safety car peeled into the pits.

However, Fielding’s breakaway was shortlived as the safety car almost immediately made another appearance following Fewtrell going off.

By the time the safety car returned to the pits once more there were only several laps remaining. Fielding was calm and composed out front however, keeping his Carlin pursuers Devlin DeFrancesco and James Pull at bay until the chequered flag.

Said the race winner: “It was a great restart. The second one was a little bit more difficult because the guys behind knew what I would likely do so I tried to mix it up a little bit. It was a fun race. It was good to get the first win of the weekend and we need to carry this on.

“I felt very comfortable out there. Credit to the team, they’ve made the car amazing so huge thanks to them. I think in the second half of the season we are really going to show what we can do and get our championship back on track.”

DeFrancesco and Pull’s podiums had added significance for Carlin as they secured its 800th podium since the team’s inception. A phenemonal achievement for a team that has been pivotal to careers of so many of motorsport’s leading lights, a number of whom having driven in British F4.

Commented DeFrancesco: “Sennan has been really quick all weekend. He’s really found his rhythm around here. We really struggled in FP1 and FP2 yesterday so we’ve made a great comeback as a team. We were cathching Sennan at some points of the race. There are some things we need to analyse for race two and three.

“It’s amazing to get 800 podiums for Carlin. They are such a great team and a major name in motorsport which makes me very proud to race from them.”

Added Pull: “It was a shame there were so many safety cars. I was just trying to pick up as many points as I could so third place is good. I cannot complain. 800 podiums for Carlin now so that’s a great milestone to achieve and hopefully we can do even better in the next races.”

Zane Goddard was a standout performer at the start, seizing the initiaitive jumping from tenth to sixth on the opening lap, and later working his way up to fourth for Double R Racing.

Nicolai Kjaergaard put in his best performance of the season to finish sixth for Fortec. The Dane has returned from the summer break reinvigorated and after a strong showing in qualifying took no prisioners on his way to a Rookie Class win.

Said Kjaergaard: “I think going away over the summer and coming back has helped me. I have confidence in the car to lean on the tyres in the corners and I can just go for it now. It will be difficult to catch Alex [Quinn] in the Rookie Class. He’s a really good driver, but I will do my best.”

Team-mate Alex Quinn had it all to do starting last after a frustrating qualifying and he put in a determined drive to finish ninth. The highlight of his race coming in the final two laps. He opportunistically snuck past Simmons as the TRS Arden racer tried to pass Matthiesen, and then proceeded to bravely pass Matthiesen on the outside of Riches who held off Simmons for tenth.

Stated Quinn: “It was a fun race. It was really good battling, but obviously I would prefer to be doing that at the front. I think it’s shown that we have really good place coming from 19th to ninth so I’m happy with this. Hopefully we can move up a bit more in the next race starting from a bit higher up. We will try to take as many opportunites as we can.”

Ahead of Quinn finsihed Petru Florescu and Rafael Martins in seventh and eighth respectively. The latter earning the reverse grid pole in the process and the former taking valubale points out of Fewtrell’s championship lead.

Newcomers Marinescu (Richardson Racing) and Mohnhaupt (Falcon Motorsport) rounded out the finishing classification, both drivers putting on an entertaining battle and seperated by just 4 tenths of a second as they crossed the line.

Lights go out on round 17 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford at 1715 this afternoon. TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins will be hoping take full advantage of pole to claim his second win of the season.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional results Round 16 Snetterton 30 July 2016
9 laps / 26.72 miles
1 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 21m 4.243s
2 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +0.532s
3 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +1.707s
4 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +2.778s
5 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +3.116s
6 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec +4.382s
7 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +4.836s
8 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +5.432s
9 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +9.808s
10 Patrik MATTHIESEN / DEN / JTR +10.428s etc.

Fastest lap James Pull / Carlin 1m 52.668s / 94.86 mph

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

Grid for round 17 Martins – Florescu – Kjaergaard – Leeds – Goddard – Pull – DeFrancesco – Fielding – Quinn – Matthiesen

Full results

Fielding out in front after British F4 qualifying

  • JHR’s Sennan Fielding increased his stranglehold on the British F4 Snetterton race weekend with a stunning qualifying performance.
  • Carlin’s DeFrancesco and Pull shine throughout the session to qualify second and third.
  • Caroline strikes back for Fortec Motorsports after difficult Friday, whilst Kjaergaard is quickest rookie.

SNETTERTON 30 JULY, 2016 – Sennan Fielding built upon his fine form in testing around the three mile Snetterton 300 circuit yesterday with a commanding pole position in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA powered by Ford. The JHR Developments driver left it late however, posting a time of 1m 52.396s on his final flying lap to put him over three tenths clear of Carlin’s DeFrancesco in second.

Fielding and DeFrancesco provided an entertaining last gasp battle for pole in the dying seconds of the session. Whilst DeFrancesco recorded the quickest middle sector on his final lap, it was Fielding who had the upper hand in sectors one and three. This proved to be enough to see him claim his second pole of the year with the added bonus of second fastest lap earning him another pole for race three of weekend.

Said a jubilant Fielding: “I was starting to doubt myself in the first half of the season. We didn’t really have any good qualifying sessions, but today is a great result. The team have done a fantastic job so a massive thank you to all of them.

“We only did one test day during the six week break and that was to make sure the car was running well and that the team had bolted it together correctly, but they’ve done a fantastic job. I would just like to say thank you to all of them.”

“We need to continue this form into the races. There is plenty of hard work ahead. We started well yesterday and we just need to keep this momentum going.

“I think the team are proving that they can take it to the likes of Carlin, Arden and Fortec. Those are teams with more resources that race all the way up the single-seater ladder to GP2. So I think for JHR who are only in their second season in single-seaters, to be competing against teams like this is an incredible. I think that shows how British F4 is a great place to be and that you can compete in this series on a limited budget.”

It was a tricky session for the Ford EcoBoost-powered young stars who were confronted with a damp and greasy circuit following a thunderstorm last night. Several drivers were caught out with Goddard, Quinn and Martins all succumbing to the gravel trap at Riches; Quinn and Martins’ respective offs enough to bring out the red flags.

However, it provided Goddard with an opportunity to trundle back to the pits. After a superb effort from his Double R team’s engineers who replaced his damaged front wing in rapid time, the Aussie was able to join the rest of the field for a thrilling final five minute shootout for pole on a drying track. A top ten grid slot was to be Goddard and Double R’s reward for their determination.

Sticking with the theme of bouncing back, Fortec Motorsport’s Jamie Caroline put in an excellent performance after a difficult day of testing yesterday to line up fourth on the grid.

Said Caroline: “I’m a little bit happier today. I lost quite a bit of time on my fastest lap, but fourth is not bad. We have a really good car and I wasn’t on the pace yesterday because of little mistakes I was making because I hadn’t been in the car since Croft. I’ve got back to grips with though. We have shown we have got the pace. I have got to thank my engineer Lego. He’s the man.”

Said Caroline’s engineer who goes by the moniker of “Lego” in the F4 British Championship paddock: “It’s great to see Jamie up there. You spend all day, every day at work smashing it out. You do it to be at the top and here we are. It’s been a long time coming to get Jamie towards the top, but we’ve made it.”

James Pull was particularly pleased with his second row grid slot, finally converting a strong showing on Friday into a qualifying success having been provisional pole sitter early on.

“Nearly on pole. We got a bit unlucky with the red flag I think. We were really fast in the first part of the session. We predicted the dampness of the track quite well and the car felt great. There are a lot of positives to take.

“I got a bit unlucky on my last flying lap as a driver in front of me went off at the last corner which meant I had to go around the outside through the water. I arrived into turn one on cold tyres so my fastest lap wasn’t ideal. P3 is still ok though. We’ve definitely broken the curse of good Fridays and bad Saturdays.”

Championship leader Max Fewtrell will line up sixth in the first of the day’s races after another solid performance behind the wheel of his Carlin prepared racer, with title rival Luis Leeds just one place ahead of him.

Fewtrell will be particularly pleased with his second fastest lap time however, netting him second on the grid for the tomorrow’s live televised race. Team-mate Florescu had a session to forget after only managing the 11th quickest time and will look to put his race craft to good use this afternoon.

Fortec Motorsport’s Nicolai Kjaergaard was another who delivered following his Friday testing form, qualifying eighth and finishing the session as quickest in the Rookie driver.

Newcomers Marinescu (Richardson Racing) and Mohnhaupt (Falcon Motorsport) drove well in the difficult conditions. They will line up 17th and 18th respectively.

Mohnhaupt said of her first F4 British Championship qualifying: “It was tough out there. The track is a tricky one and the drivers in British F4 are so strong, but I’m looking forward to races. It was a little bit wet out there so the key thing was to get temperature in the tyres. We are improving a lot on every single lap, so I think we can do well in the race.”

Round 16 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA –powered by Ford gets underway at 1355 this afternoon followed by round 17 at 1715.

Provisional qualifying times Snetterton 30 July, 2016
Grid order for Round 16
1 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1m 52.396s
2 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1m 52.743s
3 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1m 52.806s
4 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec 1m 52.851s
5 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 1m 52.871s
6 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1m 53.225s
7 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR 1m 53.310s
8 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec 1m 54.079s
9 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1m 54.206s
10 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 1m 54.308s etc.
Round 18 grid order (based on second fastest times): Fielidng – Fewtrell – DeFrancesco – Leeds – Pull – Monger – Caroline – Florescu – Kjaergaard – Simmons

Full times