DRIVER NEWS: Butel signs off 2016 with points at Brands Hatch finale

Supplied by driver’s PR.

2 OCTOBER, 2016 – The fast and furious F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered came to a close on the iconic Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. After missing out on championship points on the last few rounds, Butel signed off 2016 in style with ninth in race one and a pair of 14th place finishes.

In the previous contest at Silverstone, Butel had a solid weekend, just missing out on the top-ten at the home of British motorsport. Two weeks on and Butel faced his biggest challenge of the season – the daunting Brands Hatch Grand Prix layout.  At 2.3 miles in length the undulating mecca for motorsport would throw all weather conditions at the Channel Islander over the weekend. Heavy rain on the Friday practice day and Saturday qualifying, saw the Jersey driver initially struggle in the wet conditions in his JHR Developments prepared machine.

For the first race on Saturday Butel started from the back of the grid. On the wet but drying circuit, Butel made the most of his trademark good start to leap-up the order on the opening lap, nestling himself into 12th place. A rain shower threw an unexpected spanner into the works three laps later. The 20-year-old revelled in the changeable conditions as he carved his way into the top-ten before taking ninth on lap nine. A position the Yuasa-backed driver would hold until the fall of the flag two laps later – taking his third top-ten finish of the season in the process.

As it was the final round for the British Touring Car Championship and all of the other support categories, a large crowd packed into the Kent venue, while hundreds of thousands tuned into ITV4 for live coverage throughout Sunday. The stars of tomorrow in the form of the British F4 series runners put on a fantastic display for the thousands packed around the circuit. Starting in ninth, Butel was optimistic of moving up the order in the 20-minute shoot-out. Unfortunately for the St Saviour resident a technical gremlin hindered his progress. Racing his heart out, with a wounded machine, the former De La Salle student managed to chalk-up 14th position as the clock hit zero.

With the grid for the final race decided upon qualifying, Butel started on the back row of the grid after a troubled qualifying session. The British F4 showdown saw Butel rocket off the line once again in his turbo-charged missile, overtaking several rivals within the first lap.  Avoiding drama in front, Butel enjoyed several race long battles and took another solid 14th at the fall of the flag.

“Brands Hatch GP is so much fun to drive and I fell in love with the circuit once again.” Enthused Butel. “Race one was very interesting with the rain on slick tyres! I loved the conditions and knew I could get some points in and amongst all of the drama. It was great to be back in the top-ten.

“With a good result in race one, I thought this would be the perfect springboard to try and get a top five in the second. The mechanical issues were very frustrating as that saw us drop down the leaderboard – denying us any chance of further points. We had some good battles in the final race and I really enjoyed scrapping in the sunshine with the massive crowd trackside. It was probably the best weekend of the year. It’s such a shame it was the final round!

“I would like to thank everyone for their support in 2016. All of this wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for my dedicated family, team, coaches and sponsors. I look forward to putting plans together for 2017.”

Fewtrell finishes in style to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion

  • Lights to flag victory for Fewtrell sees him claim title in thrilling season finale.
  • Fielding gives his all to come within touching distance of championship.
  • Ayrton Simmons rounds off best weekend of his British F4 career with second place.

BRANDS HATCH 2 OCTOBER, 2016 – Max Fewtrell won the final round of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion in style, just hours after his Carlin team had become Teams Champion for the second consecutive year.

Fewtrell refused to buckle under immense pressure for the duration of a nail-biting finale which saw Ayrton Simmons and Sennan Fielding chase him home.

The Carlin racer had to overcome a three point deficit to Fielding heading into the race and was in perfect position to do so starting from pole with Fielding in sixth.

He grasped the opportunity with both hands and put on an inspiring display at the front to hold onto the lead. Showcasing not only his mental strength, but exceptional talent behind the wheel.

A clean getaway ensured he led the field into turn one and although he was unable to break away from Simmons, he had enough in hand to remain just far enough ahead to prevent Simmons from making an attack.

“I cannot really put into words just how winning the title feels at the moment,” said Fewtrell. “It’s all a bit surreal and absolutely amazing. I’m really happy for the team too. It’s been such a long season, especially with it going down to the last race.

“I knew I couldn’t let Sennan past and I thought if he got past Ayrton it could get really tricky. I just stayed really consistent and in a good place.

“I’ve worked so hard with the team and it’s amazing to see it all pay off.

“Winning this championship with Ford involved and the FIA is amazing. I think it’s the best junior championship to win. I’m so happy to have won it in my first year of racing in cars. It’s definitely the highlight of my career so far.”

Simmons’ race proved to be more about defensive driving than attacking after Fielding climbed several places thanks to some jaw-dropping overtakes into Paddock Hill Bend where he bravely put everything on the line in his crusade for the title.

Simmons had other ideas though and the youngest driver on the grid rounded off a year in which he has progressed at a rapid rate for TRS Arden by keeping Fielding at bay. Simmons undoubtedly proving he has what it takes to race with the very best. A hard charging Fielding arguably one of the most formidable competitors any racer will come up against.

Explained Simmons whose performance this weekend ensured he finished second in the Rookie class – a feat made all the more impressive given that he missed the first two meetings of the year due to his age: “That race was so intense. I knew I had the pace. I started catching Max towards the very end and would have liked the race to go on a little longer.

“I’m really pleased with what we have achieved this season. The team have been amazing so huge thanks to them.

“It’s been a fantastic end to the season and I’m hungry for even more success now. Hopefully we will be even stronger next year.”

Added championship runner-up Fielding: “We made a few changes to the car which didn’t quite go to plan. I gave it my all from start to finish. I don’t think there was anything else I could have done. Every gap I could have gone for I did.

“It’s disappointing for myself and the team because we have put in so much hard work, but we’ve done so well to develop the car throughout the season.

“A massive thank you to everyone at JHR and Amigos for putting me on the grid. I’m looking forward to 2017 and hopefully I can get that lucky break I deserve. I have shown I can develop a car and bring a team on.

“The team have done a phenomenal job to compete against the likes of Carlin, Fortec and Arden which just shows that JHR are a top team.

“Without a doubt even if I had all the budget in the world I would still choose JHR and do it all over again.

“Thank you to everyone at British F4 as well. It really is one of the best championships in the world.”

Saturday race winner Pull finished just outside the podium places in fourth, but put in yet another assured drive which has been commonplace this year for the Hertfordshire racer.

Behind him Luis Leeds was able to round off the season with a solid points score, with fellow Aussie Goddard in sixth for Double R Racing.

Devlin DeFrancesco made a welcome return to the points after a frustrating weekend for the Canadian ace who has shone on so many occasions in 2016. He came out on top in an entertaining tussle with Carlin team-mate Petru Florescu.

British F4’s newest race winner Jamie Caroline put in a spirited drive to make his way from last on the grid to ninth by the time the chequered flag fell, whilst Rafael Martins finished in the final points paying position.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered Ford

Provisional results Round 30 Brands Hatch GP 2 October 2016
14 laps / 34.06 miles
1 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 20m 37.529s / 99.09mph
2 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +0.339s
3 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +0.890s
4 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +1.961s
5 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +2.520s
6 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +3.006s
7 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +6.229s
8 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +6.772s
9 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec +11.472s
10 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +16.790s etc.

Fastest lap Sennan FIELDING / JHR / 1m 27.274s / 100.37mph

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

Provisional championship standings 1 Fewtrell 358; 2 Fielding 351; 3 Leeds 300; 4 Pull 291; 5 DeFrancesco 265; 6 Florescu 260; 7 Quinn 248; 8 Goddard 239; 9 Martins 205; 10 Caroline 181 etc.

Rookie class 1 Quinn 589; 2 Simmons 430; 3 Kjaergaard 400; 4 J Martin 393; 5 R Martin 130

Full results

Monger muscles his way to the top in testing

  • JHR Developments’ Billy Monger tops frenetic testing.
  • Championship leader Sennan Fielding quickest of the title contenders.
  • 13 drivers covered by less than a second.

BRANDS HATCH 30 SEPTEMBER, 2016 – Billy Monger emerged at the top of the times at Brands Hatch after a frenetic battle for supremacy in testing, ahead of the final rounds of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford.

The afternoon session saw blistering times come thick and fast. Following an opening 20 minutes which saw numerous drivers take turns at the top, Billy Monger took things up another a gear.

The Barnado’s Children’s Charity ambassador was the first man to break into the 1m 26s bracket and upon doing so proceeded to lap quicker and quicker. Morning pacesetter Rafael Martins was hot on his heels though and after a flurry of quick laps from Monger, the TRS Arden ace pumped in a 1m 26.515s which looked like it might not be beaten.

Monger was to have the last laugh; raising the bar again in the dying minutes with a 1m 26.265s lap, putting him over two tenths clear of the field and ensuring that he would end the day grabbing the headlines.

Form man Zane Goddard built on a solid morning’s work to lap within three tenths of Monger to end the day third for Double R Racing.

Meanwhile championship leader Sennan Fielding will head into the rest of the weekend happiest of the title contenders. Second fastest in the morning, fourth in the afternoon and over three tenths clear of his closest rivals Max Fewtrell and Luis Leeds; all appears to bode well for the JHR Developments man. The pace of his team-mate Monger surely coming as an added bonus, suggesting he could have a valuable ally to take points away from his rivals this weekend.

Whilst Leeds and Fewtrell could only manage 10th and 11th respectively, fellow title contenders Alex Quinn, as well as Carlin duo Devlin DeFrancesco and James Pull were within just 0.045s of Fielding.

Behind that trio could be found TRS Arden’s Ayrton Simmons who had another stellar testing showing and was frequently found towards the top of the times throughout the day.

Jamie Caroline is another who will be pleased to be in the mix for strong results this weekend after finishing inside the top ten.

Petru Florescu had to settle for 13th; his day hampered by an off-track excursion in the morning. However, the Romanian is sure to come back with a vengeance when the pressure rises tomorrow.

Ford’s EcoBoost-powered stars are back on track at 1135 on Saturday for qualifying ahead of Round 28 of the season at 1620. The championship then reaches its climax on Sunday with two further races, the last of which to be televised live on ITV4 at 1542.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Leading testing times Brands Hatch GP 30 September 2016 (am/pm)
1 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR 1:27.777 / 1:26.265
2 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 1:27.052 / 1:26.515
3 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 1:27.501 / 1:26.525
4 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1:27.153 / 1:26.697
5 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1:27.433 / 1:26.704
6 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1:27.548 / 1:26.708
7 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1:27.420 / 1:26.742
8 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1:27.411 / 1:26.880
9 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec 1:27.727 / 1:26.987
10 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 1:28.738 / 1:27.027 etc.

Full times

DRIVER NEWS: Monger eyes maiden British F4 win whilst flying flag for Barnardo’s children’s charity at Silverstone

Supplied by driver’s PR.

14 SEPTEMBER, 2016 – After a weekend full of highs and lows for JHR Developments driver Billy Monger at Rockingham, he now plans to take his newfound confidence into the upcoming meeting at Silverstone in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford.

Having led from pole, Monger controlled the final race of the Rockingham meeting in style; fending off championship leader Max Fewtrell and JHR team-mate Sennan Fielding until a technical problem cost Monger certain victory on the last lap, dropping him to third place.

“Following what happened at the last race at Rockingham initially I was devastated. I should have been happy with a podium finish, but I really wanted that win,” explained Monger.

“I worked so hard for it and was challenged by some very quick drivers. It was a tough blow to take at first, but looking back now I can only see positives from the entire experience. I cannot wait to be back behind the wheel.”

Monger has achieved multiple podiums in his maiden season in the fiercely contested F4 British Championship and is undoubtedly one to watch going into the Silverstone weekend.

Said Monger: “I am really looking forward to the challenge a demanding track like Silverstone will bring and feel like I have done enough so far this season to earn enough respect from my competitors to expect tough but clean racing this weekend. I am ready to go out and grab my maiden win in British F4!

“I have been working hard with all my sponsors Baylis and Harding, Metro Deconstruction and Reigate Environmental. I want to thank them for their support because without them I would not be able to finish the season.”

Monger has also recently become a Barnardo’s children’s charity ambassador in association with Nick Armstrong.

Commented Monger: “We have a lot of the Barnardo’s kids coming to Silverstone. I can’t wait to share my race weekend with the kids and hopefully do them proud. It will be a tough weekend and I’m sure all the drivers will want to up their game at the home of the British Grand Prix.”

In the three week break between Rockingham and Silverstone, Monger has worked with Lewis Hall’s kart team Virtus Motorsport; coaching the team’s drivers at Super One and club level in the Honda Cadet class in which Monger was British Champion.

“I really enjoy coaching the Virtus kids. It’s very rewarding watching their lap times come down,” said Monger.

“It’s a great way to promote both myself and the F4 British Championship, as well as help young aspiring racers out there. It lets me give back to the sport which has given me so much in my short career so far.

“It’s certainly going to be an entertaining weekend at Silverstone. The championship is close and so is the racing! Let the fun begin…”

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford action gets underway with official testing on Friday 16 September, followed by qualifying and Round 25 of the championship at 1030 and 1510 respectively on Saturday. The weekend reaches its climax on Sunday with another race at 0940 and the Silverstone finale at 1515 televised live on ITV4. Fans will also get the chance to meet Billy Monger and the rest of the British F4 cohort during the Driver Autograph Session at 1300 on Sunday.

DRIVER NEWS: Rockingham rumble for Jack Butel in British F4

Supplied by driver’s PR.

29 AUGUST, 2016 – Jersey driver Jack Butel was back in action in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford at Rockingham (27/28 August). Butel returned to racing after missing Knockhill to claim three solid race results with a 12th, 16th and 17th in the fiercely competitive Ford EcoBoost powered series.

Rounds 22, 23 and 24 of the FIA certified series were staged at Rockingham in Northamptonshire. The circuit is one with two characteristics with an ultra-fast, high-speed banked straight leading into a banked curve for turn one. From there a tight and technical infield offers great overtaking opportunities before the cars re-join the American style oval to complete a 1.94 mile lap around the speed-bowl. Drastically changing conditions over the weekend meant Jack and the JHR Developments team struggled to find the optimum set-up for the demanding Corby venue. After a short qualifying session, Jack notched up 17th on the grid for race one.

Lining up ahead of the first race that afternoon, the St Saviour resident was hoping to break back into the points in the torrential rain, a condition the 20-year-old thrives in. As the lights went out, Butel made his trademark start, picking up positions on lap one. Making great progress in the wet conditions, the Yuasa-backed driver had made his way into the top 10 and was challenging for a points paying position by lap seven. Disaster was to strike the Channel Islander as a spin in the wet conditions resulted in damage to his F4 single-seater. Maturely, Butel brought the car into the pits for the team to make repairs but sadly went two laps down as the team carried out their work. Jack re-joined the race to shakedown the car and make sure he was happy for the following days action with 17th the end result at the fall of the flag.

The rain of Saturday had made way for a day of sunshine on Sunday as thousands of spectators took their place in the grandstands while hundreds of thousands tuned into live coverage of the race meeting on ITV4.

The second British F4 contest was going to be a sleeves rolled up affair for Butel as he was to get stuck into the thick of the action. After another good start, the young-gun flew around the 1.94 mile Northampton layout in his Ford EcoBoost powered single-seater picking off places as the race went on. In the closing stages of the race Butel was in a train of cars jostling for position, going wheel-to-wheel – all vying for a lucrative top-ten result.  With the field being so competitive from front to back, Butel revelled in the action and gave full commitment and at the fall of the flag the Jersey-born driver claimed 12th after an action-packed contest, leaving Jack slightly disappointed not to take home more championship points.

The final race of the weekend was to be a quiet affair in comparison to the previous races. With his head held high, Butel couldn’t make the same progress as shown in the previous race in his JHR Developments turbo-charged missile, chalking up 16th as the clock counted down to zero.

Said Butel: “It was good to be in action after missing Knockhill. It was to be another mixed weekend as we had a few flashes of speed.

“I love the wet normally and I was running well – fighting in the top 10. Coming out of Gracelands corner I made a mistake as I hit the white line on the edge of the track, which is like ice when wet and the car spun and hit the wall. I managed to get it back and the team did a great job for me to get the car back out and shake it down for the rest of the weekend.

“Race two was the best of the weekend as we were flying despite technical problems. We pressed on as much as we could and 12th was a good result but I felt we could have been in the top 10 scoring points.

“I am looking forward to Silverstone as we recorded sixth there last year. This year I am fitter and more experienced and know the car a lot better so I am going to push as hard as I can to get some points next time out.”

The Northamptonshire double-header will conclude next time out at Silverstone for rounds 25, 26 and 27 where Jack Butel will be back in British F4 action on September 17/18. The JHR Developments driver will once again look to take another top-ten at the home of British motorsport.

Fantastic fifth British F4 win for Fielding at Rockingham

  • Fielding flies at the start to set up brilliant Rockingham win.
  • Championship leader Fewtrell climbs several places to claim 12th podium of season.
  • Quinn comes out on top in Rookie class battle once again.

ROCKINGHAM 28 AUGUST, 2016 – JHR Developments’ driver Sennan Fielding made it five wins for the season in style at Rockingham Motor Speedway in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford.

Starting fourth on the grid the Chesterfield racer was aggressive off the line in a bid to pass TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins and Luis Leeds, as well as poleman Nicolai Kjaergaard. He succeed in thrilling fashion.

The drivers went four abreast into the first corner and there was a heart stopping moment when Martins and Kjaergaard made contact with Fielding and Leeds diving around them. Miraculously both Martins and Kjaergaard stayed pointing in the right direction and largely unscathed, as the Ford EcoBoost stampede sped around the fearsome Rockingham Motor Speedway banking.

Fielding and Leeds were clear however, heading into Deene hairpin with Caroline profiting from the drama at the start to finding himself in third.

Caroline’s time in the podium position was short-lived however, as championship leader Max Fewtrell pulled off an inch perfect move down the inside of the Fortec Motorsports racer on the safety car restart lap following the recovery of Matthiesen’s stricken JTR car at Yentwood corner.

It then proved to be a straightforward race out front for Messrs Fielding, Leeds and Fewtrell. The three drivers were incredibly evenly matched, equidistant to each other for the duration, flying in formation to the chequered flag.

Said Fielding: “I knew it was going to be a close race and I knew we had the pace to win even though it would be challenging. I felt we had the pace for double pole yesterday, but we got stuck in traffic. So in today’s race I knew I needed a good start and aimed to pick them off.

“Once I got in front I just got my head down and pushed on for the win. With the safety car restarts I knew I had to nail them which I did thankfully because Luis was really quick.”

Added Leeds: “That race was pretty interesting. I got a shocking start. Unfortunately Rafa and Sennan just got me and then there was contact at the start which allowed me to get back and catch up to Sennan.

“We had really good pace which was good. We’ve just got to focus on getting points in every race. We’re starting 13th for the next one which is not ideal, but it will be fun. We have to keep chipping away. We are second in the championship so it should be good.

“It was a bit annoying I didn’t really capitalise on the opportunity to win that I had in that race, so something to work on for race three. It would have been nice to get ahead of Sennan.”

Commented Fewtrell: “I got a good restart and a good slipstream on Caroline so it was actually quite a straightforward overtake [for third]. I was down the inside, got the position and then started chasing the guys at the front.

“From then on I just went with them. I struggled in the hot air a bit behind Luis, but I still think the pace is good. I’m really happy with this podium from sixth on the grid.”

Caroline soon found himself under attack from team-mate Alex Quinn; providing a fascinating intra-team battle, but as the race progressed Caroline was able to gradually break clear.

As Caroline pulled away, Quinn fell into the clutches of yesterdays’ race winner James Pull who pulled off a staggering late braking move to catch the Racing Steps Foundation backed rookie by surprise into Deene to claim fifth. Despite the brilliance of the move it later transpired to be in vain. Pull was excluded from the race for overtaking under safety car boards and flags.

Pull’s team-mates and fellow title rivals Petru Florescu and Devlin DeFrancesco were very impressive. Both drivers expertly picking their way through the field from the last row of the grid in a fantastic demonstration of damage limitation.

Petru Florescu’s overtake of Martins really caught the eye and was incredibly opportunistic. With Simmons unsettling Martins as he sneaked his way past his team-mate in a well-crafted move, Florescu pounced and scythed his way past in quick succession.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional results Round 23 Rockingham 28 August 2016 
14 laps / 27.16 miles
1 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 20m 31.095s / 79.42mph
2 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +0.535s
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +1.013s
4 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec +5.855s
5 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +7.293s
6 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +8.929s
7 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +9.923s
8 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +11.212s
9 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +11.667s
10 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R + 13.214s etc.

Fastest lap
Luis Leeds 1m 19.760s / 87.56mph

Rookie class 1 Quinn; 2 Simmons; 3 Kjaergaard

Provisional championship standings
1 Fewtrell 262; 2 Leeds 251; 3 Fielding 245; 4 Pull 235; 5 DeFrancesco 216; 6 Florescu 208; 7 Quinn 202; 8 Goddard 172; 9 Caroline 146; 10 Martins 140; etc.

Rookie Class
1 Quinn 449; 2 Kjaergaard 316; 3 J. Martin 300; 4 Simmons 269; 5 R. Martin 130

Full results

Zane Goddard blitzes British F4 field for Knockhill win

  • Goddard in a league of his own as he flies to second British F4 win of the year.
  • Quinn makes it a hat-trick of Rookie class victories at Knockhill.
  • Leeds pulls off stunning overtake on his way to second in the race and the standings.

KNOCKHILL 14 AUGUST, 2016 – Zane Goddard claimed an emphatic win in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford feature race at Knockhill. He led home compatriot Luis Leeds and Racing Steps Foundation backed Alex Quinn.

Goddard had been exceptional off the line in the preceding British F4 races this weekend and it was the same story for Round 21 of the Championship, as he flew past Leeds for second place into turn one.

The Australian then set about Quinn who led from pole. The breakthrough came sooner than he perhaps imagined. Quinn locked up on tyres that weren’t quite up to optimal temperature into Taylor’s Hairpin and Goddard needed no encouragement to scythe his way up the inside.

His Double R-prepared race car looked like it was on rails around the 1.27 mile Fife track; the team clearly having set the car up perfectly. Goddard maximised the Ford EcoBoost-powered machinery at his disposal and was simply untouchable, unsurprisingly recording fastest lap on the way to his second British F4 victory.

Said Goddard: “I was super consistent. It felt perfect. The whole race played out perfectly. It couldn’t have been any better. I’m really happy. Huge thanks to the team and the fans. They’ve been great and cheering me on as I crossed the line.

“The car was so good it was hard to actually do anything wrong in it. The car was hooked up and fantastic.

“The starts have been so good lately. We keep nailing them and hopefully we can keep this up in the future.”

“Knockhill is a track where there isn’t too much braking which means you’re pushing the car quite hard most of the time and to the limit which is tricky to do, but it’s rewarding when it works out.

Despite losing out to Goddard at the start there was no let-up from Leeds who focused on getting past Quinn and he did so with arguably the overtake of the weekend.

The Red Bull Junior ducking to the outside of Quinn into Taylor’s Hairpin forcing him to cover and then making a split-second switch down the Fortec racer’s inside under braking without locking up. A beautiful move, showcasing extremely fair and respectful driving from both drivers who exhibited true class.

Explained Leeds: “We had a lot of pace. This weekend started off pretty average in qualifying when we were unfortunate not to be on slicks at the right time, but we didn’t lose our focus.

“We got pole for race two and turned things around from there. We’re pretty close to leading the championship now and we must keep moving forward.

“This morning I was 48 points off the lead and now I’m only five away which is the beauty of this sport.

Speaking about his epic overtaking manoeuvre: “I learnt that move from Daniel Ricciardo when he did something very similar to Vettel at Monza when they were team-mates and I really hope he gets to watch my move today.

“I saw Alex make a mistake and I was originally going to go around the outside, but I thought I would make it look cool and switch to going down the inside. It looks pretty cool on camera I think.”

Quinn was solid in third and rounded out a strong weekend with yet another Rookie class victory. His 12th of the campaign.

Said Quinn: “I lost the lead to Zane on the opening lap and I think that was just down to tyre temperature which we have been struggling with all weekend, but I’m still really happy with this. A win (following’s Florescu’s exclusion from the meeting) and a podium is not a bad thing to be coming out of the weekend with.

“I’m really happy with my performance and the team’s performance. It’s definitely been a step higher after the summer break. It’s great to be back at the top here and I’m looking forward to the next round.”

A cracking battle for fourth emerged as the race progressed as JHR’s Sennan Fielding found himself fending off Max Fewtrell, Rafael Martins and James Pull. The latter having already pulled off superb move to overtake Kjaergaard.

Commented Fielding: “We made quite a drastic change to the car before the race which didn’t seem to work so I did well to get fourth. I’ve not felt too well in myself all weekend so I think this is one of those weekends you just have to brush under the carpet.

“We could have capitalised more on what happened this weekend [to other title rivals]. We had good pace in the car, but I know we have good pace in the car for Rockingham too and we were quick there last year. We’ve made a lot of improvements since then and I know we can do a really good job.”

Meanwhile Caroline and DeFrancesco resumed battle after the day’s earlier race as they jostled for eighth in entertaining fashion.

Kjaergaard rounded out the top ten claiming a well-deserved point and closing the gap to Jack Martin for second in the Rookie class, with Martin crossing the line less than three tenths behind the Dane.

Said Kjaergaard: “It’s been a tough weekend really. We’ve struggled with the setup of the car and I haven’t managed to adapt to this track as well as I would have hoped. I still managed to keep some of the rookies’ behind me though which has given me good points for the rookie championship.”

Ayrton Simmons and Frank Bird also showcased their wheel to wheel prowess with an enthralling battle for much of the race, whilst Monger was unfortunate to spin having been as high as sixth.

Provisional results Round 21 Knockhill 14 August 2016
24 laps / 30.4 miles
1 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 20m 18.396s / 89.84 mph
2 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +5.815s
3 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +8.354s
4 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +11.276s
5 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +11.593s
6 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +12.092s
7 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +12.533s
8 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec +21.287s
9 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +21.603s
10 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec +26.364s etc.

Fastest lap Zane Goddard 50.232s / 90.80 mph

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

Provisional championship standings
1 Fewtrell 232, 2 Leeds 227, 3 DeFrancesco 214, =4 Fielding 210, =4 Pull 210, 6 Florescu 202, 7 Goddard 178, 8 Quinn 174, 9 Martins 128, 10 Caroline 122 etc.

Rookie class
1 Quinn 399, 2 J. Martin 288, 3 Kjaergaard 283, 4 Simmons 236, 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: Jack Butel makes progress at sunny Snetterton

Supplied by driver’s PR.

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford burst back into life at sunny Snetterton on 30/31 July. Jersey driver Jack Butel along with his team – JHR Developments had found a turn of speed over the six-week break with the Yuasa-backed driver claiming two 13th, place finishes and a 14th in the fiercely competitive one-make single-seater series.

The 2.97-mile, Snetterton 300 layout played host to rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the Ford EcoBoost powered series and with summer sunshine, this attracted a sizeable crowd over the two-day race weekend.

20 year-old Butel was eager to turn his season around in the second half of the year and right from the off he showed his intent with one of his best qualifying results to date, just outside the top-ten in 12th. The Channel Islander has notoriously struggled with qualifying in the past and was buoyant after his improvement.

On the Saturday afternoon, Jack lined up for the first of his three races. A trademark fast-start from the St Saviour resident put him into the mix from the off. As the race settled down, Butel slipped back to a disappointing 14th at the fall of the flag, but due to the competitive nature of the serious, Jack was only 13 seconds behind the overall winner in the long train of cars.

The second race of the weekend was to be the final race of the Saturday track action. It was to be a rollercoaster for Jack on the lap charts. Starting from 16th, the JHR Developments driver launched off the line to gain a place from the off. In the thick of the action, Butel got shuffled to the back of the pack and had to regroup. On lap six, the single-seater exponent began his charge, picking up positions lap after lap as his rivals faulted. As the clock hit zero, the Jerseyman just missed out on a points paying position with 13th on the results sheet.

The British F4 series supports the hugely popular British Touring Car Championship and the final contest of the weekend was to be held in front of a packed crowd and hundreds of thousands more in homes across the country watching live coverage on ITV4. The Hankook-shod driver had a largely uneventful race and enjoyed a long battle with JHR teammate Billy Monger with Butel taking another 13th at the end of the weekend.

Reflected Butel: “We had good pace in qualifying and everything clicked –I just got my head down and went for it. There was a red flag towards the end of the session which effected our plans as I think we could have snatched a top ten.

“Our target as always is the top ten and we were flying in the second race of the weekend. Somebody dropped a lot of oil on track and I couldn’t avoid it, which sent me off onto the grass. I got back on and got the bit between my teeth, but couldn’t quite make up enough places for some points today.”

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