Quinn for the win in Ford MSA Formula at Donington

  • Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn converts pole to maiden victory.
  • Win sees Quinn take his championship challenge up a gear and pull further clear in Rookie Cup.
  • Petru Florescu performs brilliant comeback drive to hold onto championship lead.

DONINGTON PARK 16 APRIL, 2016 – Alex Quinn pulled off a fantastic lights to flag victory in wet conditions following a hail storm at Donington Park. The Rookie driver made a perfect getaway off the line, making amends for a series of difficult starts at Brands Hatch a fortnight ago, and kept TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds and Carlin’s Max Fewtrell at bay for the duration.

Said the Racing Steps Foundation backed winner: “It feels amazing to get my first win. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the weekend. It was quite tricky with the changeable weather, but I knew I could go quickly in the wet just like I did in the dry earlier in qualifying.

“I built a good gap to start with, but then I relaxed perhaps a little too much. I just didn’t want to make any mistakes and didn’t push too hard. This meant it got quite close at the end and I had to defend, but it was a really good race and I couldn’t be happier.”

The race was brought to a premature end with under four minutes remaining when a red flag was thrown because of Patrick Matthiesen’s stranded JTR at Coppice, denying spectators a thrilling three way fight for win. However, take nothing away from Quinn. This was a top drawer performance from a Rookie who has underlined his Ford British F4 title credentials.

Second place man Leeds commented: “It was hard to pass in the wet. The track was so slippery, but it was a fun race and I’m happy. Arden have done a great job to get a really good wet setup sorted.

“I was sizing up Quinn towards the end, but then the red flag came. That’s the way it goes sometimes and he deserved to win. It’s great to bring these points home and my aim is to maintain this consistency.”

Said Fewtrell of his third place: “It’s a really good result. The pace was so strong. I was able to match the guys in front, it’s just really hard to overtake in those sorts of conditions. If you’re on the wrong line it’s like driving on ice and when you are behind someone the spray makes it difficult to see.

“I’m happy to get another podium and this great haul of points. I’ll start on pole tomorrow in race three and I’m excited to see what I can do from there.”

Behind Fewtrell were team-mates James Pull and Devlin DeFrancesco, whilst Petru Florescu bounced back from last on the grid to sixth after a qualifying beleaguered by technical problems. His comeback drive enough to retain his championship lead by a single point over Pull.

Home favourite Sennan Fielding had a relatively quiet race in seventh, but will start on pole in race two tomorrow and look to add to his victory tally.

Finishing just behind the Chesterfield racer was Jamie Caroline who provided his customary instalment of on-track entertainment. An opening lap charge saw him climb from 15th to sixth, but he came undone at Redgate on the following lap as he took a trip through the gravel.

Fellow Ginetta Junior graduate Billy Monger was unable to follow-up his superb fourth in qualifying, but he’s sure to hit back later in the weekend, especially in drier conditions.

JHR’s Jack Butel came unstuck on lap three, having to retire due to a technical problem; whilst Zane Goddard was another non-finisher following a skirmish early on with TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins.

Round five of the season gets underway at 1005 tomorrow with home hero Sennan Fielding on pole, and Carlin’s quartet of drivers behind him on the grid hungry for more success. At 1510 the lights will go out on round six which will be shown live on ITV4, when Alex Quinn will aim to make another lightening start from the front row.

Ford British F4 – Certified by FIA, Powered by EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 4, Donington Park 16 April, 2016
11 laps / 27.77 miles
1 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 15m 14.253s / 85.57 mph
2 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +0.599s
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +0.790s
4 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +3.040s
5 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +13.997s
6 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +17.239s
7 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +17.849
8 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun +21.106s
9 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR +25.536s
10 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +26.320s etc
Fastest lap Pull 1:20.947 / 88.01 mph
Rookie Class 1 Quinn; 2 R Martin; 3 J Martin; 4 Kjaergaard

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Florescu 58; 2 Pull 57; 3 Leeds 50; 4 Fewtrell 49; 5 Quinn 45; 6 Fielding 41; 7 Caroline 30; 8 Martins 29; 9 Goddard 18; 10 DeFrancesco 17 etc
Rookie Class 1 Quinn 100; Kjaergaard 60; J Martin 57; R Martin 51

Ross Martin overcomes Carlin’s boys in blue in final Ford MSA Formula test

  • Allan McNish mentored Ross Martin steals Carlin’s thunder.
  • All four of Carlin’s drivers maintain ominously fast pace.

24 March, 2016 – Fortec Motorsports’ Ross Martin shone in the final collective pre-season test for the Ford EcoBoost-powered series yesterday; setting the fastest time of the entire two day test at Rockingham.

Despite the continued dominance of Carlin, the day belonged to Formula Kart Stars champion Ross Martin. The young Scot appeared to find his feet around the Rockingham circuit on day two, posting his quickest time of 1:18.218 in the morning and never looking back.

Fortec team manager Dan Mitchell said: “Ross managed to get through his entire test programme in the morning and was extremely happy with the car so elected not to post a time in the afternoon.”

Snapping at the heels of Martin on the timesheets was Carlin’s quartet. The familiar face of Max Fewtrell, undoubtedly one of the stars of testing, once again played a prominent role. The 16 year-old ending the day second, just a tenth and half away from Martin.

Teammates Petru Florescu (fastest in the afternoon session) and Devlin DeFrancesco followed in the times.

TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds and JHR Developments’ Sennan Fielding joined the fray, aiming to ensure that the Carlin drivers didn’t have things completely their own way.

Leeds succeeded, posting a time of 1:18.464 in the afternoon which put him fifth overall and ahead of Tuesday’s quickest driver James Pull.

Meanwhile, Fielding was remarkably consistent throughout and found himself lying in eighth when the chequered flag fell.

Young Racing Driver Academy driver Ayrton Simmons also impressed for TRS Arden. He showed significant improvement as the day progressed, bettering his quickest time of the morning by over six tenths of a second in the afternoon.

With collective pre-season testing having concluded, all attention turns to Brands Hatch where the inaugural rounds of the Ford British F4 season will take place on 2/3 April.

Leading testing times Rockingham 23 March, 2016 (am/pm)
1 Ross MARTIN / GBR Fortec / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.218 / No time set
2 Max FEWTRELL / GBR Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.377 / 1:18.852
3 Petru FLORESCU / ROM Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.571 / 1:18.405
4 Devlin DeFRANCESCO / CAN Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.547 / 1:18.438
5 Luis LEEDS / AUS Arden / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.890 / 1:18.464
6 James PULL / GBR Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.471 / 1:18.490
7 Alex QUINN / GBR Fortec / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.823 / 1:18.800
8 Sennan FIELDING / GBR JHR / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.810 / 1:18.861
9 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR Arden / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:19.448 / 1:18.816
10 Rafael MARTINS / BRA Arden / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.865 / 1:19.132 etc.

James Pull leads the way for Carlin in Ford MSA Formula test at Rockingham

  • Carlin’s quartet dominate day one of testing at Rockingham.
  • Max Fewtrell and Alex Quinn maintain strong testing form from Donington Park.

22 March, 2016 – The penultimate day of collective pre-season testing at Rockingham circuit was dominated by Carlin’s super-talented array of drivers, with the experienced James Pull taking top spot on the timesheet.

Pull, who raced for both JTR and Fortec Motorsports in the series last season, has taken little time to settle into his new surroundings at Carlin. He put in an assured performance at the Rockingham, where he already has a wealth of experience behind the wheel of Ford EcoBoost-powered machinery.

The 16 year-old was quickest of Carlin’s driver quartet in the morning session, but it was in the afternoon where he really came into his own, posting a time of 1:18.249 that would not be beaten.

The fastest man from last week’s test at Donington Park was once again a key player in proceedings. Max Fewtrell ended the day in second, less than half a tenth off of the time set by his teammate.

Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn and TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins were the only drivers to break the Carlin stranglehold at the top; the former finishing third and the latter fifth.

When the chequered flag finally fell Martins found himself sandwiched between Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco, as well as the recently re-signed Petru Florescu.

Florescu provided additional excitement in the morning when carrying a little too much speed that sent him through the gravel and into a barrier at Pif-Paf, ultimately damaging the front of his car.

The day’s biggest improver was Richardson Racing’s Ben Sturge, improving upon his morning time by over a second in the afternoon. This proved to be enough to see him break into the top ten by close of play.

Testing resumes at Rockingham tomorrow with the 2016 Ford British F4 season launch also taking place. Today’s drivers will be joined by the likes of TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds and JHR Developments’ Sennan Fielding who will no doubt be eager to knock the Carlin drivers off their perch.

Testing times Rockingham 22 March, 2016 (am/pm)
1 James PULL / GBR Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.699 / 1:18.249
2 Max FEWTRELL / GBR Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:19.191 / 1:18.283
3 Alex QUINN / GBR Fortec / Ford British F4-EcoBoost/ 1:18.436 / 1:18.736
4 Devlin DeFRANCESCO CAN / Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:19.123 / 1:18.518
5 Rafael MARTINS / BRA Arden / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.992 / 1:18.706
6 Petru FLORESCU / ROM Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:19.209 / 1:18.731
7 Ross MARTIN / GBR Fortec / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:19.306 / 1:18.838
8 Zane GODDARD / AUS Double R / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:19.196 / 1:19.201
9 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN Fortec / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:20.432 / 1:19.323
10 Ben STURGE / GBR Richardson Racing / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:22.902 / 1:21.656 etc.

Torque Speed – Driver reaction from Donington Park Ford MSA Formula test

  • Fewtrell revelling in Ford British F4 experience and eager for first race of the season.
  • Goddard ecstatic with level of consistency.
  • Quinn enjoys highly productive day behind the wheel.

22 March, 2016 – After another enthralling collective pre-season test for the Ford EcoBoost-powered series, here are the thoughts of the drivers who topped the times.

The man who grabbed the Donington Park test headlines and top spot was Carlin’s Max Fewtrell:

“In the morning session I was just trying to find my feet because I hadn’t driven around the track for about five months.

“After lunch we looked at some data, made use of some new tyres and were straight on the pace right away which was really encouraging.

“It was very important to build up the temperature in the Hankook tyres properly to get the best lap time and not grain them straight away.

“I’m loving the car. I’m loving all the testing we are doing and I cannot wait for the first race.

“I feel really close to everyone in team and I’m enjoying working with everyone at Carlin. It really is a brilliant team.

“Hopefully we can maintain this momentum into the Rockingham test and beyond.”

A buoyant Zane Goddard finished the test second quickest. He was keen to underline the positives that both he and his Double R Racing team could take from away from Donington:

“We wanted to complete as many laps as possible and then see what we were capable of in the latter part of the test. The point of the day was to make sure everything with the car is in perfect order and that I fully understand the track.

“The car felt good and the team has done well. It’s now all about the little details which will no doubt make the difference with the field so close.

“P2 is a good result, although I would obviously like to go forward one more position, but we’ll hopefully do that when it really matters.

“Our consistency has been fantastic. It’s been really strong and that’s a major positive for us to take away from the Donington as we head to Rockingham. I’m really looking forward to seeing how we get on at that circuit.”

Third fastest man was Fortec Motorsports’ Racing Steps Foundation backed Alex Quinn who put into words what was a very enjoyable day behind the wheel of his Ford British F4 racer:

“The test went really well. I really enjoyed the Donington Park circuit. The first sector especially with the downhill element and Craner Curves.

“It took a little while to get the tyres in the zone, but we worked hard to prepare them properly.

“We did a lot of work with Sodemo in the morning, running the engine at 75 per cent to test some new sensors, but the Ford EcoBoost engine proved as reliable as ever.

“Then in the afternoon we really pushed the car which was a lot of fun.

“I’m really looking forward to the next test at Rockingham. It’s where the Racing Steps Foundation shootout took place so it brings back a lot of happy memories for me.”

You can find out how Alex Quinn and his Ford British F4 comrades will fare at Rockingham both today and tomorrow as the final collective test sessions of pre-season get underway.