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

Ford’s young stars ready to rock

  • Eight drivers still in with a realistic chance of the title as Max Fewtrell leads the way going into Rockingham meeting.

25 AUGUST, 2016 – Just nine races remain to decide the outcome of this year’s F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford. The title fight is wide open with no less than eight drivers still having a realistic shot at top honours.

Championship leader Max Fewtrell arrives at Rockingham Motor Speedway battling to defend his slender points lead after keeping cool amid the fireworks out on track at Knockhill and adding yet another valuable podium to his tally.

Fewtrell is part of the formidable Carlin quartet which includes Devlin DeFrancesco, James Pull and Petru Florescu. The squad were dominant in pre-season testing at Rockingham. Don’t be surprised to see more of the same.

During a dramatic weekend of Ford EcoBoost-powered junior single-seater racing just a fortnight ago, it was Australians Luis Leeds (TRS Arden) and Zane Goddard (Double R Racing) who came out on top with a win apiece. As others around them faltered, the Aussies were in the ascendancy and in doing so put themselves into thick of title fight; Red Bull Junior Leeds now sitting just five points adrift of Fewtrell.

Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn also made strides in the standings, finally having a weekend where he could showcase his true pace; claiming a race victory and romping further clear in the Rookie Class.

JHR’s Sennan Fielding is another serious contender for the title and despite a Knockhill weekend that didn’t quite come together, he showed flashes of speed which if unleashed consistently could prove devastating. Team-mates Billy Monger and Jack Butel have no shortage of talent behind the wheel either so are also likely to be in the mix.

Elsewhere, TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins, as well as star rookies Jack Martin and Ayrton Simmons all have the potential to compete towards the sharp end.

Jamie Caroline and Frank Bird are hungry for more strong point scoring success, with Nicolai Kjaergaard wanting to rediscover the form he showed at Snetterton last month.

Compatriot Patrik Matthiesen (JTR) returns after missing out on Knockhill and Richardson Racing’s Alexandra Marinescu re-joins the cohort of Ford EcoBoost-powered young talent.

Carrie Schreiner also returns for Double R; the highlight of her last British F4 outing a fantastic fourth place at Thruxton.

The Ford EcoBoost-powered action gets underway with two test sessions tomorrow ahead of official qualifying at 1020 and Round 22 of the Championship at 1415 on Saturday. The action then ramps up even more on Sunday with the second race of the weekend at 1050 and the final race starting at 1552 which will be screened live on ITV4.

Rockingham timetable
Friday 26 August
1205-1305 & 1655-1755 Testing

Saturday 27 August
1020 Qualifying; 1415 Race 1

Sunday 28 August
1050 Race 2; 1552 Race 3 LIVE ON ITV4

On TV – Live on ITV4 & itv.com/btcc Sunday 1552
On Radio – Listen to live circuit commentary on British F4 Radio.
Listen to interviews throughout the weekend here.

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

Red Bull Junior Leeds charges to British F4 victory as fireworks fly

  • Luis Leeds shines on his way to third British F4 win.
  • Championship leaders Florescu and DeFrancesco crash out.
  • Enthralling 13 car battle for the final podium place.

KNOCKHILL 14 AUGUST, 2016 – Luis Leeds stood on the top step of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford podium for the third time this season after a perfect drive from pole.

The Red Bull Junior star made a clean getaway off the line and had enough pace in hand to keep Double R’s fast starting Zane Goddard at bay. Goddard having leapt past Jamie Caroline who stuttered off the line due to making a false start fractions of a second beforehand.

The two Aussies sped away from the field unaware of the drama that was to unfold behind them. Leeds recording fastest lap in the process and bringing home a victory which puts him right in the thick of the championship battle.

Said a beaming Leeds: “We’ve had a tough run of things lately, but we’ve worked so hard as a team. The car feels pretty perfect this weekend. We’re really on it and really starting to get things together now so we can be a real contender for this championship.

“I was pushing hard every lap out there. I was pretty chilled out at the start. I knew what I had to do. I then just kept my head down and pushed lap after lap.

“Everyone has had their share of bad luck this season. Hopefully we’ve had all of ours and we can get this championship.

“Big thanks to Dr Marko, the Red Bull team and Arden who are behind me. Things are going really well and we just need to keep this form going now.”

Commented Goddard: “I got a good start again. Not quite as good as yesterday, but fortunately Jamie didn’t get a good start so I got past him straight away and then I was behind Luis. I was quicker than him in some parts of the track and he was quicker in others. Second is great with really good points.

I think the team and I have done a fantastic job to be fighting at the front against the bigger teams so all credit to Double R. This result is well deserved. Hopefully we can get another good start in the final race and be on the podium again.”

Caroline received a 10 second time penalty for his false start but in typical Caroline fashion fought tooth and nail with a plethora of cars behind. It quickly became a 13 car battle for the final podium place as a train of Ford EcoBoost-powered cars raced nose to tail around the 1.27-mile Knockhill circuit.

Carlin’s DeFrancesco and Petru Florescu were in the pound seats swarming all over the back the back of Caroline. DeFrancesco ducking and diving in his attempts to get past the Fortec racer. It was to no avail however and as the race drew ever closer to its conclusion it ended in tears for the Carlin pairing.

Caroline’s robust defence unsettling DeFrancesco at Taylor’s hairpin, allowing Florescu to move alongside his team-mate down the main straight. The title rivals made contact, sliding into the tyre barriers and blowing the title race wide open.

Following the incident the officials chose to exclude Florescu from the meeting due to a trackside altercation, whilst DeFrancesco and Caroline were handed ten place grid penalties to be taken when possible to do so.

Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn found himself surrounded by the Carlin quartet for much of the race. Petru Florescu sneaking past early on, but then found James Pull and Max Fewtrell all over him. Fewtrell eventually found a way past and the fireworks between his team-mates provided him with a valuable third place.

Said Fewtrell: “Starting eighth I knew it would hectic around a track like this. It was kind of like karting all over again. I did a few good moves to get myself up the order and then I knew it would kick off so I was just waiting, ready to pounce.

“I think I did well and I’m happy with the podium after a difficult day yesterday. You’ve always got to keep an open mind and try to place yourself in the right position to be in the right place at the right time. Sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t. Thankfully today it did.”

Despite just missing out on the podium, Quinn found consolation in claiming his 11th Rookie class win of the year. Ayrton Simmons joined him on the podium for the second time of the weekend taking sixth overall, whilst Kjaergaard made a welcome return to the rookie celebrations with third in class.

Explained Quinn: “It was a harder race compared to yesterday because we weren’t on new tyres and others were. The car has improved though, but I would like a little bit more for the race this afternoon.

“I’m starting from pole so I think we have a good opportunity to take the win, but it’s going to be all about getting a good start and building a gap which I think we can do.

“All the Carlin cars have been so strong this season so it was tough against them. I struggled with a bit of understeer in turn six which had an impact down the back straight where there is a good opportunity to overtake so I had to defend really hard, but I did my best and still got fourth.”

JHR’s duo of Sennan Fielding and Billy Monger showed flashes front running pace, fighting up the order, but found themselves bottled up behind Simmons and Martins ahead. In a full blown TRS Arden vs JHR Developments duel, it was the resplendent red TRS Arden cars which came out on top.

Falcon Motorsports’ Alexandra Mohnhaupt drove brilliantly, equalling her best finish of her fledgling British F4 career.

Provisional results Round 20 Knockhill 14 August 2016
17 laps / 21.53 miles
1 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 16m 15.334s / 79.49 mph
2 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +0.467s
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +2.257s
4 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +3.026s
5 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +3.448s
6 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +4.018s
7 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +5.343s
8 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +6.188s
9 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR +6.568s
10 Frank BIRD / GBR / Fortec +7.534s etc.

Fastest lap Luis Leeds 49.814s / 91.56 mph

Rookie class 1 Quinn, 2 Simmons, 3 Kjaergaard

Round 21 grid Quinn – Leeds – Goddard – Fielding – Monger – Fewtrell – Martins – Pull – Kjaergaard – DeFrancesco etc.

Full results

Fielding off to a flyer at Snetterton in British F4

  • JHR’s Fielding leads the way in super-close testing at Snetterton, with the majority of the field covered by less than a second.

SNETTERTON 29 JULY, 2016 – Sennan Fielding and JHR Developments got their weekend in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford off to a flying start by topping the times in testing. A time of 1m 52.254s from Fielding in the morning session proved to be enough to see him reign supreme at the end of the day’s proceedings by over two tenths of a second.

It represents a welcome return to form for a driver whose quest for the title is in need of a shot in the arm after a frustrating outing at Croft before the summer break. The Chesterfield racer looked at ease around the Snetterton 300 circuit and on the basis of today’s performance is sure to be in the thick of the fight for top honours.

Said Fielding: “The [Ford EcoBoost] engine feels very good and the car felt extremely good which gives me a lot of confidence. I think the pace we have had today being P1 in the first session and P2 in the second session shows how consistent we are which is nice. We are quick on old and new tyres which gives us a lot of confidence for the weekend.”

Fellow championship protagonist TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds also looked very at home around the three mile circuit finishing second in the timesheets. A buoyant Leeds commented: “I haven’t been in the car for a while so it’s good to be back with Arden boys and I think we can have a good weekend.

“I like Snetterton a lot because it’s a long track and it’s really technical so it makes it more about the driver. I think this weekend is a big turning point in the season because it’s the start of the second half.”

Frequent Friday star James Pull stood out once more with the quickest time in the afternoon session ending up third fastest overall. He was just three one thousandths away from Leeds, with Jack Martin proving to be quickest of the Rookie Class drivers a mere 0.025s back.

A cautiously optimistic Pull stated: “The wind was a bit strong so that made it a bit harder to get the confidence through the high speed corners, but the car felt really good. I just need to forget about today now and try to get a good time tomorrow. Whenever we have had a good Friday we have always struggled a little bit on the Saturday. It’s going to be all about getting the optimum qualifying session because half a tenth could be worth one or two places. It’s so close.”

Both Max Fewtrell and Nicolai Kjaergaard celebrated their 17th birthdays this today and both caught the eye; Fewtrell finishing fifth and Kjaergaard narrowly missing out on a top 10 time.

Explained Kjaergaard: “The first session went alright, but on used tyres in the second session we were very close to where we want to be. We were struggling a little bit on new tyres in the second session, so we need to work on that for qualifying tomorrow. To come back strong like this after the break gives me confidence that I can score good points in all three races.”

Carlin’s Petru Florescu and Devlin DeFrancesco wound up sixth and tenth; the former just under three tenths off of Fielding’s pace and clearly in good shape for the rest of the weekend.

Ayrton Simmons and Alex Quinn both found themselves inside the top ten when the chequered flag fell; Quinn showing strong pace behind the wheel of his Racing Steps Foundation backed racer in the afternoon.

“I felt really confident in the car right from the green flag this morning,” said Quinn. “It’s been a really positive start to the second half of the season and I’m looking forward to the rest of this weekend. We had really good pace in the afternoon. Qualifying is going to be really important. I think we have shown we can do well in that tomorrow and that will make the races easier.”

TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins and JHR Developments’ Billy Monger shone on old tyre runs, both running as high as fourth in the latter half of the afternoon session.

Meanwhile Croft race winner Zane Goddard, Fortec Motorsport’s Jamie Caroline and JHR’s Jack Butel had a relatively quiet day on track. However, they are sure to strike back with a vengeance when the action hots up tomorrow.

The majority of drivers posted their quickest time of the day in the morning session with only Patrik Matthiesen (JTR), Frank Bird (Fortec Motorsports) and newcomers Marinescu (Richardson Racing) and Mohnhaupt (Falcon Motrosport) finding time in the afternoon. British F4’s newest recruits improving a by a massive 1.4s and 2s respectively.

Said Matthiesen: “We’re still struggling a little bit with the lap time, but it was definitely better in the afternoon. Top ten this weekend is a realistic target. It would be nice to get some good points. I’m enjoying driving this circuit more and more. We’re working a lot on sector three. That’s the part of the track I need to improve in.”

Added Bird: “Points are definitely the aim this weekend. The summer break came at a bad time for me really because we were just starting to hit form, but hopefully we can carry it on this weekend. Snetterton is a track I like. I was struggling a bit today, but I’m sure I will get on top of it.”

With the top 13 drivers covered by less than a second all eyes are going to be on the F4 British Championship’s bumper Saturday at Snetterton. It kicks off with qualifying at 0900 ahead of rounds 16 and 17 of the championship at 1355 and 1715 respectively. The stage will be then set for a thrilling finale which will be screened live on ITV4 at 1450 on Sunday.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Leading testing times Snetterton 29 July 2016 (am/pm)
1 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1:52.254 / 1:52.777
2 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 1:52.477 / 1:53.310
3 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1:52.480 / 1:52.592
4 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden 1:52.505 / 1.53.333
5 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1:52.524 / 1:53.323
6 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:52.530 / 1:53.214
7 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1:52.531 / 1:53.587
8 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1:52.614 / 1:52.841
9 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 1:52.835 / 1:53.504
10 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1:52.895 / 1:53.133 etc.

Full times

Ford’s young stars to take Snetterton by storm

  • Carlin’s Fewtrell heads to Snetterton as man to beat at the top of the standings.
  • Team-mate DeFrancesco arrives in formidable form.
  • Aussies Luis Leeds and Zane Goddard riding high.
  • JHR’s Billy Monger makes welcome return to the grid.
  • Richardson Racing and Falcon Motorsport will make their 2016 debut with Marinescu and Mohnhaupt respectively.

28 JULY, 2016 – The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford is back with a bang this weekend after its six week summer break. The UK’s finest junior single-seater stars all eager to resume battle at Snetterton.

With one race win, seven podiums and a 20 point lead, Carlin’s Max Fewtrell is in pole position to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion. Fewtrell, who turns 17 on Friday, has exhibited a metronomic level of consistency with his calm and considered approach.

However, team-mates Petru Florescu, James Pull and Devlin DeFrancesco all have him in their sights. The latter has looked formidable with wins at Thruxton, Oulton Park and Croft. Florescu is currently Fewtrell’s closest challenger with the most number of victories, whilst Pull’s high points scoring finishes give him plenty to build upon.

British F4’s Aussies went into the summer break with big smiles on their faces. Red Bull Junior Luis Leeds got his title quest back on track at Croft with another victory and podium and Double R’s Zane Goddard broke his victory duck. He was the form man throughout: qualifying on pole, posting fastest laps and never finishing off the podium.

TRS Arden’s season has been gaining momentum: Rafael Martins having claimed his maiden win in the series and Jack Martin adding another two Rookie Class wins to his name at Croft. He’ll be looking to replicate this performance in his quest for the Rookie Cup. The series’ youngest driver Ayrton Simmons is sure to put in some more inspired drives this weekend as he continues to make a name for himself.

JHR Developments are boosted by the welcome return of crowd pleaser Billy Monger. Jack Butel has undergone an intensive training programme in an effort to take the rest of 2016 by storm. Whilst Snetterton represents something of a happy hunting ground for Sennan Fielding, where he claimed a brace of fourth place finishes and a podium last season. Victories will undoubtedly be the aim this weekend as he bids to keep his title hopes alive.

Jamie Caroline is hoping to fare better than he did on his debut with Fortec. Team-mate Alex Quinn is aiming for a strong showing to propel him into the title fight. Frank Bird made a breakthrough with his first points score six weeks ago and Nicolai Kjaergaard is hungry for more Rookie Class success.

JTR’s Patrik Matthiesen is still looking to find his rhythm this year, although another point score at Croft suggests he’s heading in the right direction.

Richardson Racing and Falcon Motorsport join the fray. Alexandra Marinescu will race for the former after her 2015 campaign was cut short. Alexandra Mohnhaupt will line up for Falcon and become the first Mexican driver to compete in British F4.

The Ford EcoBoost-powered action gets underway with two test sessions tomorrow ahead of a blockbuster day for the series on Saturday, which will feature official qualifying at 0900 and then two races at 1355 and 1715. Lights will out for the final race of the weekend on Sunday at 1450 which will be screened live on ITV4.

Snetterton timetable
Friday 29 July
0900-0945 & 1340-1425 Testing
Saturday 30 July
0900 Qualifying; 1355 Race 1; 1715 Race 2
Sunday 31 July
1230 British F4 Driver Autograph Session at Ford Technical Centre
1450 Race 3
On TV – Live on ITV4 & itv.com/btcc Sunday 1450
On Radio – Listen to live circuit commentary on British F4 Radio.
Listen to interviews throughout the weekend here.

Red Bull Junior Luis Leeds heads the TRS Arden charge to British F4 victory

  • Red Bull Junior Luis Leeds soaks up pressure from Zane Goddard to take masterful win for TRS Arden.
  • Chaotic first lap as front row starters Caroline and DeFrancesco crash out.

CROFT 19 JUNE, 2016 – Luis Leeds was calm and composed out front to take a brilliant win for TRS Arden in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford. His second of the season and a huge shot in the arm for the Red Bull Junior driver’s title hopes. He took the chequered flag from this weekend’s form man Zane Goddard. Max Fewtrell crossed the line third, putting in yet another assured performance for Carlin to retake the lead in the standings.

There were fireworks on the opening lap. In a rare occurrence this season, customary fast starter Jamie Caroline struggled off the line from pole, whilst Devlin DeFrancesco flew from second.

Caroline kept DeFrancesco on his outside into turn one, but the Canadian bravely hung on to emerge out of Clervaux in the lead. It all ended in tears though as Caroline dived down the inside of DeFrancesco at Sunny – the two drivers colliding.

There was more contact further down the order as Alex Quinn and Frank Bird came together. It brought an unfortunate end to both of their races.

The safety car was swiftly deployed following the opening lap incidents and it was Luis Leeds who found himself at the front of the pack.

After several laps behind the safety car the Ford EcoBoost stars were unleased and as the race progressed Leeds came under pressure for compatriot Goddard, who pumped in a series of fastest laps on the hunt for his second win. Leeds was having none of it though. He responded brilliantly as Goddard upped the ante, able to match his pace and control the remainder of the race.

Said a jubilant Leeds: “It was a really interesting race with what happened at the start. I had to avoid the contact and tried to maintain my gap to Zane. I tried to pull out a gap in the first two laps and knew from there I could control the pace and save the tyres a bit for the last race.

“I thought I had a really big gap to Zane, but I didn’t. Zane is really quick around this track and you cannot underestimate that. He’s a fast driver.

“Full credit to Arden though. We had a tough time at Oulton Park so to turn it around is really positive. I’m finally back up there in the championship standings and now the plan is to keep this up.”

Added Double R’s Goddard: “I’m happy to be on the podium again with second. I got a really good launch to get past Fewtrell. It was unfortunate what happened to Devlin and Jamie. Luis was quick, but I tried to close the gap. I think we did the best we could with the car. I’m looking forward to the final race of the weekend where I hope to get the win from pole.”

Max Fewtrell was another driver who was all smiles after the race despite losing out to Goddard at the start. His second podium of the weekend enabling him to regain the lead in the championship. Fewtrell once again exhibiting the kind of metronomic consistency that will no doubt pay dividends in the title race.

Commented Fewtrell: “With it being a reverse grid race I knew there would be some chaos and I just made sure I was able to capitalise on that. The pace was really good in the middle of the race and towards the end I just relaxed a bit to bring home third.

“I’ll be looking to keep increasing my lead in the championship from here on out to ease the pressure. To be in the lead now is really good.”

It was a strong race for TRS Arden who have shown strong pace throughout the weekend. Rafael Martins followed up team-mate Leeds’s victory with an excellent fourth place and at times was inches away from working his magic to find a way past Fewtrell.

Young Racing Driver Academy members Jack Martin and Ayrton Simmons capped off TRS Arden’s top performance, locking out the top two places on the Rookie class podium; whilst Nicolai Kjaergaard provided consolation for Fortec Motorsports with third in the Rookie class.

“It’s good to get another Rookie class win this weekend”, said Martin. “I made a mistake which let Fielding through and that cost me sixth, but it was still a good race and I got decent championship points in seventh so I’m pretty happy.

“This circuit is very technical and that’s where I seem to be stronger than a lot of other drivers. I can get consistent lap times around a circuit like this and that allows me to battle at the front.”

Said TRS Arden team manager Ben Bloomfield: “We’ll take that result. That’s more points in the bag and another win under Luis’ belt. He’s back in the fight so watch this space.

“Jack is still very inexperienced and you can sometimes see that when he races against more experienced drivers, but he’s learning all the time and he’s got pace. It won’t be long until he’s really making his own mark. I’m pleased with his performance and I’m pleased with Ayrton too.”

TRS Arden team principal Garry Horner echoed Bloomfield’s sentiments: “I’m delighted to see Luis get another win. We’ve got good pace and the guys in the team have done a great job.”

Key title contenders Sennan Fielding and Petru Florescu proved their mettle by battling back through the field from 14th and 15th on the grid. Fielding sneaking past Martin for sixth down the main straight with three laps remaining.

Meanwhile Florescu’s drive through the field proved that the Romanian was not going to let the championship lead slip from his grasp easily. He will no doubt look to hit back in the final race of the day at 1746.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional results Round 14 Croft 19 June 2016
13 laps / 27.625 miles
1 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 20m 28.615s / 80.94mph
2 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +0.547s
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +2.072s
4 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +2.955s
5 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +5.262s
6 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +6.789s
7 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden 1:21.131 +7.266s
8 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +9.128s
9 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +10.827s
10 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec + 13.402s etc.

Fastest lap Zane Goddard 1m 21.935s / 93.36mph

Rookie class 1 Martin, 2 Simmons, 3 Kjaergaard

Provisional championship standings
1 Fewtrell 169, 2 Florescu 162, 3 Leeds 151, 4 Pull 145, 5 Fielding 124, 6 DeFrancesco 121, 7 Caroline 105, 8 Martins 104, 9 Quinn 100, 10 Goddard 84 etc.

Full times

 

Goddard drives to redemption with victory at Croft in F4 British Championship

  • Double R Racing’s Zane Goddard claims brilliant maiden win in F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford.
  • Frantic final lap sees plethora of wheel-to-wheel action and sublime overtaking.

CROFT 18 JUNE, 2016 – Zane Goddard bounced back in style at Croft; making up for missing out on a maiden F4 British Championship victory a fortnight ago with a superb drive from pole for Double R Racing.

Despite dominating the race, Goddard’s victory was put in jeopardy when the safety car peeled into the pits with one lap remaining. It set up a thrilling final lap battle for top honours as Devlin DeFrancesco went into maximum attack mode.

DeFrancesco chose to make his move at Clervaux, but as the two drivers ran side by side in a heart-stopping moment Goddard was resolute in his defence. It was hard, but it was fair. The Australian clearly unwilling to see victory escape his grasp once more.

Until the final lap Goddard had been in a league of his own. After a clean getaway he settled into a rhythm and proceeded to rattle off fastest lap after fastest lap. The race victory a fitting reward for a driver who has shown flashes of brilliance all year and this weekend appears to have found another level of performance.

Said an ecstatic Goddard: “That was a hectic race. I got a good enough start and then I nearly went off at Sunny because I thought the tyres had more temperature in them. I got the gap up to about four seconds. I tried to manage the life in the tyres by not pushing too hard, but I was still able to pull away.

“Then the safety car came out and I thought we were going to finish under it. I didn’t expect it to come in and then so much happened at turn one. I left Devlin as much room as I could. I just managed to hold him off.

“I’m so stoked and absolutely buzzing now I have got my first win. Oulton was tough, but I’ve come back strong this weekend. There are still two more races to go so let’s see what we can achieve.”

Carlin’s DeFrancesco has been the only man to consistently take the fight to Goddard this weekend and did so in the race. A strong start from the Canadian wasn’t quite enough to see him take the lead, but when the safety car came in with one lap remaining it provided him with an opportunity for a last gasp assault.

As usual DeFrancesco was bold and brave, but was unable to pull off a race winning move. Instead he was forced to take evasive action through Hawthorn which ultimately saw him lose out to Luis Leeds and Max Fewtrell.

Red Bull Junior Luis Leeds arrived at Croft with a point to prove and on a mission to get his title challenge back on track. This determination was evident at the race start when he leapt past Max Fewtrell and kept his cool on the hectic final lap to avoid contact with DeFrancesco.

Said Leeds: “It’s great to be on the podium after a tough time at Oulton Park. I had a really good start to get up to third. The safety car came in really late and I knew that was my opportunity to move forward. I saw Devlin and Zane have a real go at each other at the first corner and was lucky to avoid Devlin. I had a real good battle with Max too who was on my tail throughout.”

Fewtrell is another who has the F4 British Championship title in his sights. Despite losing out to Leeds off the line he put in an assured performance to claim yet another podium this season and close the gap to Petru Florescu at the top of the standings.

Added Fewtrell: “I didn’t get a great start. Luis did a really good job braking late into turn one. Towards the middle of the race I started to come back at him quite a lot and I was quite pleased with the pace. Then the safety car came out and there was a bit of chaos in turn one.

“I’m glad to get this podium after the start which wasn’t so good. Overall the race pace was really good and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

After the race it was deemed that Leeds gained an unfair advantage by cutting the chicane on the final lap and he was given a 0.200s time penalty. Enough to see Fewtrell move up to second in the final classification.

Florescu’s race ended almost before it even began. The Romanian an unlucky victim of a mid-pack skirmish at the first corner. Fellow championship contenders James Pull and Sennan Fielding didn’t fare much better. The former colliding with Ayrton Simmons at the final corner on lap one and the latter forced to retire due to damage to his car.

James Pull fought back valiantly however. He profited from Kjaergaard and Butel’s collision at Tower Bend on lap 11 which triggered safety car, but then showed his class to overtake both Matthiesen and Bird on the final lap.

JTR’s Matthiesen put in a stellar performance to race comfortably inside the top ten for the duration of the race, whilst Bird was also a very popular point scorer. Tenth place his best result of the season and evidence of the progress that this young Fortec Motorsports talent is making in a fiercely competitive series.

From 13th Jamie Caroline put in a trademark lightning start to make his was up to seventh on the opening lap. He found himself fending off TRS Arden’s Jack Martin for the majority of the race. However, on the final lap stage two of the Caroline comeback sparked into life as he found a way past Rafael Martins and Alex Quinn.

Contact between Martins and Quinn was sufficient to end Quinn’s race and meant that Jack Martin emerged victorious in the Rookie class – the second rookie win of the year for the driver. It was a welcome win for a driver who loves racing at Croft and has been in fine form this weekend.

Commented Martin: “I think Alex Quinn was a little unlucky, but this is a great result. The team have done a great job setting up the car and I was able to get the maximum out of it. I think we can perform even better in the remaining races. We have made a big step forward.”

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford action continues tomorrow with Round 14 commencing at 1317. Jamie Caroline will start from pole and look to be the second newcomer to the Ford EcoBoost-powered winners’ club this weekend in the live televised race on ITV4. Meanwhile Goddard will want to replicate today’s performance to add another victory to his name in the final race at 1746.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional results Round 13 Croft 18 June 2016
14 laps / 29.75 miles
1 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 20m 9.253s / 88.56mph
2 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +2.402s
3 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +2.427s
4 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +2.760s
5 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec +5.583s
6 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 1:21.254 +6.391s
7 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden 1:21.131 +6.856s
8 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1:21.383 +7.116s
9 Patrik MATTHIESEN / DEN / JTR +7.710s
10 Frank BIRD / GBR / Fortec +8.267s etc.

Fastest lap Zane Goddard 1m 20.978s / 94.47mph

Rookie class 1 Martin, 2 Simmons

Grid for Round 14 Caroline – DeFrancesco – Leeds – Fewtrell – Goddard – Martins – Martin – Pull – Matthiesen – Bird etc.

Provisional championship standings
1 Florescu 158, 2 Fewtrell 154, 3 Pull 135, 4 Leeds 126, 5 DeFrancesco 121, 6 Fielding 116, 7 Caroline 105, 8 Quinn 100, 9 Martins 92, 10 Goddard 66 etc.

Rookie class
1 Quinn 251, 2 J. Martin 188, 3 Kjaergaard 136, 4 R. Martin 130, 5 Simmons 113

Full results

Front-running Florescu the man to beat as British F4 heads to Croft

  • Petru Florescu goes into the weekend as favourite for more victories.
  • Sennan Fielding, Luis Leeds and Zane Goddard all arrive at the 2.125-mile North Yorskshire circuit with points to prove.
  • Rafael Martins looking to build on breakthrough win for TRS Arden.
  • Jamie Caroline aiming for positive debut with Fortec Motorsports.

16 JUNE, 2016 – The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford title battle rolls onto Croft and all eyes are on Carlin’s Petru Florescu. With four wins, five pole positions and having been the quickest man in testing at this circuit just over a fortnight ago, it would be a brave person who bets against him extending his championship lead.

However, don’t be fooled into thinking that the Romanian is going to have things all his own way. The title fight is still wide open. Leading protagonists include his team-mates Max Fewtrell, James Pull and Devlin DeFrancesco. The latter has put together a run of form in recent rounds which has propelled him up the standings.

Sennan Fielding (JHR Developments) and Luis Leeds (TRS Arden) both have something to prove after a difficult time at Oulton Park. Fielding’s team-mate Jack Butel is also aiming to score big points this weekend and is relishing the chance to compete at a circuit which suits his driving style.

Double R’s Zane Goddard will strike back with a vengeance after coming tantalising close to his first British F4 victory a fortnight ago and having been a leading player at Croft in testing. He will try to emulate TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins who at the 41st time of asking claimed his maiden victory. Meanwhile Martins’ team-mates Jack Martin and Ayrton Simmons will look to shine.

Jamie Caroline arrives as a Fortec Motorsports driver having previously raced for Jamun. It is a move that could prove pivotal for his title ambitions and everyone will be keen to see if this new partnership gets off to a flying start. He will race alongside Fortec’s super-talented rookie line-up: runaway Rookie class leader Alex Quinn; Frank Bird and Nicolai Kjaergaard.

JTR’s Patrik Matthiesen has had a frustrating couple of races, but with the Dane becoming increasingly accustomed to his Ford-EcoBoost-powered machinery it’s just a matter of time until he starts featuring towards the sharp end of the grid.

The Croft weekend gets underway with two test sessions on Friday when drivers will want to refine their setups ahead of official qualifying and round 13 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA –powered by Ford on Saturday. The Ford EcoBoost action ramps up further on Sunday with two more races, the first of the day at 1317 to be screened live on ITV4.

Croft timetable
Friday 17 June
1030-1110 & 1500-1540 Testing
Saturday 18 June
1050 Qualifying; 1525 Race 1
Sunday 19 June
1030 British F4 Driver Autograph Session at Ford Race Centre
1317 Race 2; 1746 Race 3
On TV – Live on ITV4 & itv.com/btcc Sunday 1317
On Radio – Listen to live circuit commentary on British F4 Radio.
Listen to interviews throughout the weekend here.

 

DeFrancesco leads the way in British F4 testing at Croft

  • Devlin DeFrancesco maintains rich run of form to top the timesheets.
  • Alex Quinn fastest in the morning session with late flyer.
  • Electrifying pace from much of the field, as majority covered by less than a second.

CROFT 31 MAY, 2016 – Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco set the pace in an entertaining first day of testing at Croft in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford. The test saw nine drivers lap the 2.125-mile North Yorkshire circuit quicker than last season’s pole time of 1m 21.369s. It underlined the depth of talent on this year’s grid, as well as the performance gains made by Ford with its EcoBoost technology and Mygale with the British F4 chassis.

DeFrancesco wasted no time in trying to seize the initiative, just over three weeks after his popular maiden victory at Thruxton. Despite his best efforts in the morning the Canadian wound up fourth fastest, but it was in the afternoon where he really excelled.

There was a tussle for supremacy shortly after Carlin team-mate Petru Florescu staked his claim at the top, with DeFrancesco and TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds deposing the Romanian from top spot with 40 minutes left on the clock.

Leeds posted his quickest time of the day, a 1m 20.791s to put him fractionally ahead of DeFrancesco’s first flyer. However, DeFrancesco made his second attempt count with a blistering 1m 20.671s which would see him end up outright fastest.

It was a good day for British F4’s Aussie contingent with both Leeds and Double R’s Zane Goddard topping the times at various stages. Leeds’ eye-catching afternoon performance was backed up by third fastest in the morning, whilst Goddard recorded an impressive 123 laps on his way to seventh. A tally second only to JHR’s Jack Butel, who racked up a staggering 125 laps.

Racing Steps Foundation driver Alex Quinn stamped his authority on the morning session to go quickest with just four minutes remaining. Although he was unable to better his time in the afternoon, the Rookie class leader is sure to be pleased with his day’s work, finishing just a quarter of a second off of DeFrancesco’s time.

Like Quinn, Carlin’s Max Fewtrell was another who couldn’t better his morning’s effort which saw him head into the lunchbreak second. The 16-year-old having to settle for fifth overall, just behind team-mate Petru Florescu.

Championship leader Sennan Fielding had a relatively quiet day in sixth, but is sure to have plenty more in his locker having shown flashes of front running pace, particularly in the morning.

Fortec Motrosports’ Nicolai Kjaergaard showed the greatest rate of improvement, bettering his morning time by nearly six tenths of a second with a flying lap late in the day.

Finally, Jack Martin put in one of his best testing performances of the season so far to be fastest Rookie class driver in the afternoon and finish the day comfortably inside the top ten.

Day two of testing at Croft commences at 0900 tomorrow and with the Ford EcoBoost-powered field so evenly matched, it’s going to be fascinating to see who ends the test on top.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Leading testing times Croft 31 May 2016 (am/pm)
1 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1:21.082 / 1:20.671
2 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 1.21.066 / 1:20.791
3 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1:20.921 / 1:21.343
4 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:21.207 / 1:20.940
5 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1.20.951 / 1:21.246
6 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1:21.150 / 1:21.395
7 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 1:21.371 / 1:21.212
8 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden 1:21.486 / 1:21.213
9 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 1:21.682 / 1:21.248
10 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1:21.482 / 1:21.572 etc.

Full TSL timesheets