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