DeFrancesco flawless on his way to British F4 victory at Oulton Park

  • Lights to flag victory for Carlin’s Canadian star.
  • Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn excels yet again in Rookie class.

OULTON PARK 4 JUNE, 2016 – Devlin DeFrancesco converted pole into his second win of the season in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford, with a flawless performance at Oulton Park for Carlin. He was followed home by team-mate Petru Florescu, Pirtek Racing Jamun’s Jamie Caroline and Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn.

DeFrancesco made a perfect getaway off the line and proceeded to build a slender lead ahead of Florescu who came under immediate siege from Jamie Caroline who had leapt past Quinn at the start. However, Florescu was wise to Caroline’s attack and remained calm as he kept the 2015 Ginetta Junior champion at bay.

Caroline was unrelenting, constantly trying to put pressure on Florescu, achieving fastest race lap in the process. Florescu had the pace to respond and as the two drivers pushed each other they ensured DeFrancesco was unable to drive off into the distance. Yet despite their pace, DeFrancesco always had just enough in hand to remain unperturbed by his challengers.

Said Defrancesco: “I want to say thanks to the team and everybody supporting me. I got a good start which was key. I saw Petru and Jamie were quick because they were catching me towards the end, but I just kept my head down and managed the gap.

“I saved the tyres well for race two. I’ll start P8 so it will be about damage limitation. Race three will be the main focus starting on the front row. We still have a long way to go in this championship. A lot of ground to cover, but things are coming together.”

Florescu was jubilant with yet another podium, but more so because he has regained the championship lead: “The car wasn’t ideal in the first part of the race, but at the end I was able to go really fast. I definitely had more grip towards the end.

“I’m happy with my result because I’m now leading the championship. That was the objective in this race, to come out at the top and I’m very happy that my team-mate Devlin was able to get a win.”

Commented third place man Caroline: “I felt like I was overdriving the car a little bit and that killed the tyres towards the end, but we clearly had the pace with the fastest lap.

“I saw Devlin pull away and I was so keen to chase him down. It was a lot harder to overtake than I thought it would be, but I think we’ll be alright for tomorrow.”

Quinn stayed in touch with leaders throughout on the way to his seventh Rookie class win of the year, backing up the strong pace he had shown in free practice and qualifying. “The race didn’t quite go as I had hoped,” said the Racing Steps Foundation driver.

“I think my lack of experience at this track didn’t help. I got away well enough, I just lost out in the first corner. It was difficult to pass in the dirty air, but our pace was still good and I think we can do really well tomorrow.”

There was drama at the start when Ayrton Simmons stalled his TRS Arden, leaving him helpless as a stampede of Ford EcoBoost-powered racers charged past him. Team-mate Rafael Martins and Double R’s Zane Goddard were promoted to seventh and eighth; whilst Carlin’s Max Fewtrell and James Pull held station for the duration in fifth and sixth respectively.

Goddard was particularly pleased with the result: “At the start it was a close call with Ayrton stalling and then I had a challenge from Billy (Monger). I caught up to Rafa, but it’s so hard to pass at this track and there was no point risking it.

“The team told me via the pit board that eighth would put me on pole and that’s why I played it safe. Hopefully tomorrow we can have a good race with a clean start to get the win. It’s going to be exciting and I’m absolutely buzzing.”

Billy Monger put in another valiant attempt to battle through the field, bouncing back from qualifying which didn’t go to plan after spinning out early on. A hard fought ninth place finish his consolation prize.

Meanwhile JHR Developments team-mate Sennan Fielding struggled to make inroads after a torrid qualifying due to an experimental change in spring setup. Nevertheless, with the championship so close, the point he earns for tenth could make all the difference when the curtain falls on the season.

Fellow championship protagonist Luis Leeds also struggled to turn things around after a difficult qualifying which saw him unable to fight for pole due to damaging a rear suspension link. Leeds had to settle for 13th with the Fortec Motorsports double act of Nicolai Kjaergaard and Frank Bird rounding out the top 15.

Another driver who was also frustrated not to break into the top 10 was Patrik Matthiesen, but he remained positive: “I had a lot of understeer so we need to work on that. I really wanted to be in the top 10 so it’s frustrating to finish 12th. It could definitely have been better, but there’s still more races to come. The team and I have learnt a lot from this race.”

With Zane Goddard and Rafael Martins starting on the front row for round 11, both will revel in the fantastic opportunity to add their name to the Ford F4 British Championship winners’ list. The race gets underway at 1257 and will be broadcast live on ITV4 with round 12 kicking off at 1740.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional results Round 10 Oulton Park 4 June 2016
15 laps / 33.39 miles
1 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 21m 2.083s / 95.24mph
2 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +1.634s
3 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun +3.112s
4 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +4.163s
5 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +7.125s
6 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +7.625s
7 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +14.125s
8 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +14.622s
9 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR +15.774s
10 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +16.029s etc.

Fastest lap Jamie Caroline 1m 23.293s / 96.20mph Est Rec

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

Grid for Round 11 Goddard – Martins – Pull – Fewtrell – Quinn – Caroline – Florescu – DeFrancesco – Monger – Fielding

Provisional championship standings
1 Florescu 121, 2 Fewtrell 114, 3 Fielding 110, 4 Leeds 107, 5 Pull 103, =6 DeFrancesco 85, =6 Quinn 85, 8 Caroline 80, 9 Martins 51, 10 Monger 49 etc.

Rookie class
1 Quinn 226, =2 R. Martin 130, =2 J. Martin 130, 4 Kjaergaard 99, 5 Simmons

Full results

DeFrancesco masters Oulton Park for maiden British F4 pole

  • DeFrancesco leaves it late to win pole position battle by less than half a tenth from Carlin team-mate Florescu.
  • Thrilling qualifying session which saw Alex Quinn and Jamie Caroline take the fight to Carlin.
  • Several championship protagonists have it all to do after difficult session.

OULTON PARK 4 JUNE, 2016 – Carlin’s Devlin DerFrancesco claimed a brilliant pole at Oulton Park ahead of team-mate Petru Florescu and Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn.

In an entertaining qualifying, Quinn was the man who broke the Carlin stranglehold with six minutes remaining – their four drivers jockeying at the top of the timesheets for much of the session.

Quinn posted a 1m 22.741s to put him just under two tenths clear of Florescu and with the clock ticking down it looked as though the Racing Steps Foundation driver’s time wouldn’t be beaten, but DeFrancesco and Florescu had other ideas.

As the chequered flag fell on the session DeFrancesco posted a lightning lap of 1m 22.612s to storm his way to pole. Florescu leapt up from fourth to second to bag another front row start this season. He will also line up on pole in race three courtesy of his second fastest time being the best of the field.

Commented an ecstatic DeFrancesco: “This pole feels unbelievable. It was an unbelievable job by the team. The first few laps the car just kept on getting better and better and I knew there was more performance to come from the tyre. I really hooked up that last lap. I stayed cool, calm and collected to get the job done when it mattered. Things are coming together and we can definitely bridge the gap in the championship to be on top come the end of the year.”

Added Florescu: “It was a really tight qualifying, but I’m happy for my team-mate. The car was really quick. All the Carlins are quick. I’m looking forward to a good fight in race one and then to have pole for race three is great. With all my championship contenders behind me it’s a good chance to score more points than them.”

It looked as though Quinn might have the last laugh with his final flyer as he lit up the timing screen once more in the first part of the lap, but he was left ruing an encounter with traffic: “It was a good session. P3 is ok, but the potential was there for P1. I just got caught out by a little bit of traffic on my last lap when I was going quicker, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. I’m looking forward to the races now because we’ve got excellent pace in the car.”

Pirtek Racing Jamun star Jamie Caroline, as well as Carlin’s Max Fewtrell and James Pull were in the mix for pole throughout, all taking turns at the sharp end of the provisional grid as the session evolved. The trio ended up fourth, fifth and sixth respectively and are sure to be key players in this weekend’s races.

Next up came TRS Arden’s Ayrton Simmons and Rafael Martins. The former had a fantastic pre-race test suggesting he had every chance to be inside the top 10. He well and truly delivered. Martins was also pleased with the step the team had made overnight with the car and cast an eye on a strong showing for the remainder of the weekend.

Said Martins: “We have improved the car a lot since yesterday. We went with a setup that we weren’t quite sure how much performance it would give us, but it proved to be a good step. We will try to do a good result in race one and then build on that to get really strong finishes tomorrow.”

Arden team-mate and championship protagonist Luis Leeds had a frustrating qualifying, damaging a rear suspension link after a heavy impact with a kerb. It brought a premature end to a session in which TRS Arden team manager Ben Bloomfield was confident of a strong result for the Red Bull Junior racer: “We got off to a bit of a rough start this weekend, but we have made some big steps since yesterday.”

“I think the circuit is just highlighting the relative inexperience of our drivers. Ayrton has done a great job and we weren’t expecting him to be so quick early on. It’s a really fantastic performance. It was shame about Luis not being able to complete the session because it looked like he was going to be really strong, but I’m happy with the progress we have made as a team so far.”

Billy Monger was another whose session was cut short, spinning on oil leaking from his car and ending up in in the gravel trap.

It was a session to forget for championship leader and JHR Developments driver Sennan Fielding. An experimental spring setup change backfiring terribly, meaning he will have to start from 14th.

JTR’s Patrik Matthiesen caught the eye with a series of quick laps late on to see him climb up several places and just miss out on a top 10 grid slot. However, the Dane was confident of breaking into the top positions during the weekend: “I’m happy with how qualifying has gone here. It’s getting better and better as the season progresses.

“I’m able to push the car harder and harder which is great. The key around here is being able to carry the speed through the corners. It’s something that I’ve been working on and I’m definitely getting stronger in this area.”

With the likes of Fielding, Leeds and Monger sure to battle their way through the field, while Messrs Quinn, Caroline and the Carlin quartet provide fireworks out front, the first race of the weekend at 1445 is one no will want to miss.

Provisional qualifying times Oulton Park 4 June 2016
Grid order for round 10
1 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1:22.612
2 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:22.644
3 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1:22.741
4 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun 1:22.761
5 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1:22.780
6 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1:22.982
7 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1:23.165
8 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 1:23.224
9 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 1:23.287
10 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden 1:23.361

Round 12 grid order (based on second fastest times) Florescu – DeFrancesco – Fewtrell – Caroline – Quinn – Pull – Simmons – Martins – Kjaergaard – Bird etc.

Full times

 

Oulton Park timetable and info links

OULTON PARK 3-5 JUNE, 2016 — The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford heads to the picturesque Oulton Park circuit this weekend and promises to provide another instalment of captivating junior single-seater racing. JHR Developments’ Sennan Fielding has a slender lead in the championship, with Luis Leeds (TRS Arden), Petru Florescu (Carlin) and Max Fewtrell (Carlin) all snapping at his heels in the title race. Here’s everything you need to know to stay in touch.

Ford British F4 timetable

Friday 3 June – Testing 1130-1215 & 1540-1625

Saturday 4 June – Qualifying 0930-0950; Round 10 1445,

Sunday 5 June – Round 11 1257; Round 12 1740

Live timing
Follow the live timing screen and download results via TSL Timing

Twitter
Follow us @BritishF4

Listen live
You can listen to the circuit commentary live via Ford British F4 Radio

You can also listen to the latest interviews from drivers, teams and championship personnel throughout the weekend by clicking on the link below:

DRIVER NEWS: Jamie Caroline and Pirtek Racing aim to impress at Oulton Park

Supplied by driver’s PR

1 JUNE, 2016 – Pirtek Racing’s young star Jamie Caroline will hope that history repeats itself this weekend when he heads to Oulton Park for the latest rounds of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford.

The teenager makes the journey to the stunning Cheshire circuit on the back of another impressive weekend on track at Thruxton last month, where he stormed to a second podium finish of the season at the wheel of his Jamun Racing-run car.

His results in Hampshire last time out leave Jamie seventh in the title race going into this weekend’s meeting at a circuit that has happy memories for the 17-year-old, having been the scene of a stunning double win in last season’s Ginetta Junior Championship.

Those two wins would prove to be the catalyst for his eventual championship success; kick-starting a run of five successive wins and an astonishing ten victories in the following 14 races.

A similar front-running performance this weekend would provide Jamie with the opportunity to bring himself firmly into contention for top honours in this season’s highly-competitive F4 series, which has featured six different winners already in 2016.

With hopes high that the impressive speed he has shown thus far can be translated into further success on track, Jamie will hope to become the seventh different winner as he bids to make his move up the championship standings.

“Oulton Park was the place where my championship really started last year with the double win, and hopefully it will be the same this time around,” he said. “It’s a really ‘old school’ circuit where there is no room for error, and the smallest mistake can really cost you.

“Although it was tough to end the weekend at Thruxton with a DNF, the fact I was back on the podium was great and I’m hopeful that I can at least repeat that this weekend. Qualifying will be important as Oulton Park can be a difficult circuit to pass on, although I’ve shown so far this season that I’m not afraid to make a move when I need to and am capable of making up places in the races.

“Given how much I love Oulton Park, I’m really looking forward to this weekend and can’t wait for the action to begin.”

After qualifying on Saturday 4 June at 09.30, the first of three F4 British Championship races will be at 14.45 later that day, with race two at 12.57 and race three at 17.40 on Sunday. Sunday’s races will feature in ITV4’s extensive BTCC coverage, with live timing and results from the weekend being available at www.tsl-timing.com.

Oulton Park to play host to single-seater racing at its very best with British F4

30 MAY, 2016 – The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford proved that junior single-seater racing is alive and kicking, with heart-stopping wheel-to-wheel action at Thruxton one month ago. Motorsport’s brightest young talents had everyone talking and they are sure to do the same at Oulton Park this weekend.

JHR’s Sennan Fielding emerged from the high-octane Thruxton thriller with the championship lead. Oulton Park was the scene of his maiden victory in the series in 2015 and he’ll be wanting more of the same to put daylight between himself and a host of title challengers.

The closest of which is Red Bull Junior driver Luis Leeds. The Aussie broke his victory duck last time out and is riding a wave of confidence. Another in a bullish mood is Double R’s Zane Goddard who helped the team record its best result of the season at Thruxton.

Max Fewtrell is aiming for a more straightforward weekend after two DNFs; grabbing the headlines for his aerial acrobatics following a collision with team-mate James Pull. The latter knocking on the door of his first win of 2016. Carlin comrades Petru Florescu and Devlin DeFrancesco are sure to be in formidable form, each having taken a race victory at Thruxton in emphatic fashion.

Like fellow Ginetta Junior graduate Billy Monger, Jamie Caroline is eager to stand on the top step. Both have captured the imagination with heroic drives through the field and entertaining podiums.

A series of top ten finishes for JTR’s Patrik Matthiesen have seen him consistently add to his points tally and he will hope to build on this. Whilst Jack Butel will look to feature on the podium having shown flashes of front running place, belying his current position in the standings.

Alex Quinn will lead Fortec Motorsports’ assault. The Rookie Class frontrunner keen to unleash more of the devastating pace he showed at Donington Park where he claimed his maiden pole position and victory. Team-mates Frank Bird, Nicolai Kjaergaard and Ross Martin are all determined to strike back from a relatively difficult Thruxton weekend.

Quinn’s fiercest challenge may well come from Ayrton Simmons. The series’ youngest driver got his single-seater career off to a flyer with a rookie podium and victory one month ago. Don’t discount Jack Martin who also has a Rookie Class win to his name, or TRS Arden team-mate Rafael Martins who intends to kick-start his title quest.

A blockbuster week for the Ford EcoBoost-powered championship kicks off with two full days of testing at the legendary Croft circuit on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. The teams and drivers then head to Oulton Park where battle will recommence with further testing on Friday. Official qualifying gets underway on Saturday morning and round 10 of the championship in the afternoon. Two further 20-minute races follow on Sunday, with the final British F4 race of the weekend scheduled for transmission during the ever-popular live BTCC show on ITV4.

 

Oulton Park timetable
Friday 3 June
1130-1215 & 1540-1625 Testing
Saturday 4 June
0930 Qualifying; 1425 Race 1
Sunday 5 June
1257 Race 2; 1740 Race 3
On TV – Live on ITV4 & itv.com/btcc Sunday 1257
On Radio – Listen to live circuit commentary on British F4 Radio.
Listen to interviews throughout the weekend here.

Norris takes his fourth win of the season

  • Lando leads from pole position to chequered flag for Carlin
  • Ricky Collard second to maintain his championship lead
  • Incidents ahead help Sennan Fielding claim third place from 10th on the grid

OULTON PARK 7 JUNE, 2015 – Lando Norris led all the way from pole position to chequered flag this afternoon to clinch his and the Carlin team’s fourth win of Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula season. Saturday’s Oulton Park winner Ricky Collard followed the 15-year-old to the line for second place to retain his championship lead.

Collard had outgunned pole man Norris away from the startline in the first of the weekend’s races, but it was a case today of once bitten, twice shy for Lando: he made an impeccable getaway to lead Ricky into Old Hall Corner and by the end of the first lap had built a half-second lead.

It was plain sailing from there on for Norris – apart from a brief safety car period, which he handled well – and he smashed the day-old lap record for Oulton’s Island circuit on the way to a 3.7-second victory. Said Lando from the top step of the podium: “For once I got a quite decent start. I was disappointed yesterday with my start and it cost me the win so it’s pleasing to have got it right this time. The safety car was a bit of a worry but I made an OK restart, although Ricky was a little closer to me than I would have liked. I’m looking forward to the next races at Croft now because it’s the circuit where I had my first win last year.”

Collard was pleased with his weekend’s work: a win and a second place which leaves him seven points ahead of Norris in the standings as the series heads to Croft in three weeks for the championship’s mid-point meeting. “It was a good weekend; we’ve had the pace and the team has done a great job. I tried everything I could at the start but I think Lando had been looking at his data and he made a better start this time.”

Sennan Fielding was also beaming on the podium. The Chesterfield racer had no great hopes of displaying the sort of pace he showed yesterday to win Round 11, not least because he was starting from 10th on the grid. But two incidents within the opening two laps played perfectly into his hands.

The first came at the hairpin on lap one when fourth-placed Colton Herta (Carlin) locked up and cannoned into Rafa Martins’ SWB Motorsport car immediately in front; Martins was spun around but got going again, Herta’s machine was badly damaged. Post-race, Colton was penalised by race officials with a five-place grid penalty for the next race.

At the same spot next time around, and with yellow flags still waving to denote danger, Double R driver Matheus Leist tried an up-the-inside manoeuvre on third-placed Jack Barlow (MBM) and the pair collided, with Barlow an instant retirement and Leist able to continue. He was later excluded from the results.

All the drama played perfectly into Fielding’s hands; the first helped promote him to fifth on lap one and the second boosted him to third, which position he held to the flag for his third podium of the season. “I wasn’t expecting to finish on the podium,” said Sennan, “especially here where it’s so hard to overtake. But everything came together and I was in the right place at the right time; the incidents were unfortunate for those involved but fortunate for me. I didn’t have fresh tyres, so I played it safe.”

Leist’s car sustained a badly bent front wing in the clash but the Brazilian was able to fight the resulting understeer to the end to cross the line, fending off the attentions of Petru Florescu (Carlin) in the mid stages and towards the end those of Fortec’s Dan Ticktum, who had passed Florescu for fifth, and the Rookie class lead, on lap 11. With Leist’s exclusion, Ticktum was classified fourth and Florescu fifth.

Championship newcomer Toby Sowery enjoyed a strong run for Fortec from 11th on the grid to sixth at the line, passing JTR’s James Pull on lap six, with Tarun Reddy also finding a way past Pull for seventh on the penultimate lap. Pull and his team-mate Dan Baybutt finished eighth and ninth, with Josh Smith (Fortec) claiming his best finish of the weekend in 10th.

TRS Arden team-mates Enaam Ahmed and Sandy Mitchell finished in line astern for 11th and 12th, with Louise Richardson overcoming the pain of her badly blistered hands to secure 13th for Richardson Racing. Martins, whose strong prospects from third on the grid were dented by Herta’s first-lap assault, came home 14th.

Jessica Hawkins (Falcon) racked up the third finish of her debut MSA Formula weekend to take 15th, ahead of Jack Butel’s SWB car and Ollie Pidgley, whose Richardson Racing car survived a lurid late-race spin and grassy moment. Darius Karbaley (Falcon) had to take swift action to avoid collecting Pidgley; he finished 18th. JTR’s Ameya Vaidyanathan joined Herta and Barlow in retirement.

Today’s Oulton Park race is to be screened ‘as live’ tonight on ITV4 from 2200.

Provisional results Round 12 Oulton Park 7 June 2015
13 laps / 28.94 miles
1 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin 20m 00.554s / 86.77mph
2 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden +3.751s
3 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +8.060s
4 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec +12.599s
5 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +12.889s
6 Toby SOWERY / GBR / Fortec +13.469s
7 Tarun REDDY / IND / Double R +13.816s
8 James PULL / GBR / JTR +14.392s
9 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +15.145s
10 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec +15.523s etc

Fastest lap Norris 1m 22.482s / 97.15mph Rec

Rookie class 1 Ticktum, 2 Florescu, 3 Baybutt, 4 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec, 5 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden, 6 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden, 7 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB, 8 Darius KARBALEY / GBR / Falcon

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Collard 175 points; 2 Norris 168; 3 Ticktum 149; 4 Leist 134; 5 Mitchell 89; 6 Fielding 87; 7 Pull 83; 8 Colton Herta 73; 9 Jack Barlow 66; 10 Martins 59 etc.
Rookie class 1 Ticktum 238; 2 Baybutt 165; 3 Mitchell 151; 4 Martins 140; 5 Florescu 131; 6 Ahmed 122 etc

Fielding claims his maiden MSA Formula race victory

  • Sennan Fielding battles through from third on the grid to nab a decisive Oulton Park win for JHR Developments
  • Matheus Leist second for Double R as Dan Ticktum takes the Rookie honours

OULTON PARK 6 JUNE, 2015 – Just as Ricky Collard proved earlier this afternoon, a fast start is what you need for success at Oulton Park and in this evening’s reverse-grid race it was Sennan Fielding who underlined the point. Fielding’s JHR Developments machine made a rocketship getaway from third on the grid to slice between front-row men Dan Baybutt (JHR) and Dan Ticktum (Fortec) to seize the lead into the first turn.

Fielding kept the hammer down to emerge at the end of the opening lap with a handsome three-second lead over Baybutt, and though his leading pursuer soon became Double R’s Matheus Leist, who broke the hours-old Oulton Park lap record as he chased, Fielding was not to be denied his and his team’s maiden MSA Formula victory, and with it the Ford £1000 winner’s cheque.

“I made an extremely good start,” said Sennan, “and I wasn’t really expecting to… Everything just came together for me and I managed just to get away and by the time I got to Cascades I already had a big lead. After that I knew I had just not to make any mistakes and keep the lap times steady. We put new brake discs in the car after race one and I wasn’t sure how long they would take to bed in; I had to work them quite hard to get them working well.”

Leist, who from P6 also made a brilliant start, crossed the finish line two seconds behind Fielding and the Brazilian was pleased with his progress and the result, which takes him to within three points of the championship top three: “It’s really great to start P6 and finish second,” said Matheus. “The car was good – we made some changes after the first race – and now the championship is looking good for me too.”

Having been passed by Leist on lap two, Baybutt clung to third for a further two laps before being overcome by Ticktum and dropped to fourth. Said Baybutt: “It’s not that I made a bad start but the guy behind me got an exceptional one… I struggle on cold tyres; once they warm up and get going I’m fine.” Ticktum’s third place gave him his seventh Rookie class win of the year.

Petru Florescu might have been Carlin’s highest-placed finisher; the Romanian ran fifth up to lap five, when he was summoned to the pit lane for a drive-through penalty having been deemed to have anticipated the start. MBM’s Jack Barlow inherited fifth, leading a gaggle of closely matched cars for the duration, with Carlin man Colton Herta sixth ahead of SWB’s Rafael Martins, Lando Norris (Carlin) and race one winner Ricky Collard (Arden).

Tarun Reddy completed the top 10 for the Double R team, ahead of Sandy Mitchell’s Arden car and Darius Karbaley for Falcon. James Pull put behind him his first-race crash to secure 13th for JTR, with Toby Sowery (Falcon) 14th ahead of the penalised Florescu.

Josh Smith (Fortec) and Enaam Ahmed (Arden) made contact on the opening lap; Smith retired but Ahmed was able to continue after repairs to finish 20th. Ameya Vaidyanathan (JTR) failed to make the grid after a fuel line problem.

Provisional results Round 11 Oulton Park 6 June 2015
15 laps / 33.39 miles
1 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 20m 58.718s / 95.49mph
2 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R +2.032s
3 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec +10.379s
4 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +16.076s
5 Jack BARLOW / GBR / MBM +17.719s
6 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin +18.463s
7 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB +19.009s
8 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin +19.491s
9 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden +20.203s
10 Tarun REDDY / IND / Double R +20.777s etc

Fastest lap Leist 1m 22.807s / 96.77mph Rec

Rookie class 1 Ticktum, 2 Baybutt, 3 Martins, 4 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden, 5 Darius KARBALEY / GBR / Falcon, 6 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin, 7 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Collard 157 points; 2 Norris 142; 3 Ticktum 137; 4 Leist 134; 5 Mitchell 88; 6 James Pull 79; 7 Herta 73; 8 Fielding 72; 9 Barlow 66; 10 Martins 58 etc
Rookie class 1 Ticktum 212; 2 Baybutt 150; 3 Mitchell 143; 4 Martins 134; 5 Florescu 113; 6 Ahmed 112 etc

Fast-starting Collard sprints to victory at Oulton Park

  • Ricky Collard overhauls pole man Lando Norris to claim his second win of the season
  • Carlton Herta third for his maiden podium finish
  • Rafael Martins the Rookie class victor for the first time

OULTON PARK 6 JUNE, 2015 – Ricky Collard delivered as he promised after qualifying a ‘Collard special’ start to take control from the outset of the 10th round of the Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula Championship this afternoon. The TRS Arden driver outgunned pole man Lando Norris (Carlin) to lead into Old Hall corner; though Norris tried his hardest to find a way past him it was Collard still in front after 13 laps of dicing.

Ricky crossed the line four-tenths ahead of Lando to collect his second win of the season and extend his championship lead. The Hampshireman was delighted with his victory, not least because he had to cope with a lengthy safety car period and subsequent restart: “The Collard start is back again. That went perfectly and I knew that once I had got in front it would be so important to use my experience. I pushed really hard and built a gap, and then the safety car came out, which was a bit of a shame. The restart was really good though and while Lando caught me towards the end and I made a couple of mistakes, they weren’t big enough to let him get back past. Someone has to challenge Carlin and I think we are doing a pretty good job.”

Norris’s Carlin team-mate Colton Herta pulled off the overtake of the race to secure third, his maiden podium finish of the year. The American – youngest driver in the race – held fourth behind SWB Motorsport’s Rafael Martins up to the ninth lap, and lined the Brazilian up perfectly to slot ahead of him on lap 10. Colton went on to set the fastest lap in his pursuit of the leading duo, crossing the line a second behind victor Collard.

Said Herta: “I had some good runs at Martins but couldn’t take advantage of them. Finally I got him when he didn’t think I was going to do it; I got him under braking and he couldn’t defend. I’m not disappointed that it has taken me this long to make the podium because I think it shows how much I have grown. I have been working hard at it.”

Martins felt there was something amiss with his car: “I think for sure there was something wrong with the left rear.” Nonetheless he held on for fourth at the line and with it his maiden Rookie class win, and with it Ford’s £500 cash prize.

Matheus Leist (Double R) and Jack Barlow (MBM) held fifth and sixth places respectively all the way from opening lap to chequered flag. Dan Ticktum (Fortec) would have finished behind them for seventh but for a technical issue on the final lap which cost him two places. Carlin’s Petru Florescu nipped ahead of Ticktum for seventh (and second in the Rookie class) and Sennan Fielding took advantage also to secure eighth for the JHR Developments squad.

Dan Baybutt survived an opening-lap punt from behind at the hairpin, and subsequent understeer, to take 10th place and with it pole position for this afternoon’s reverse-grid sprint race. The top 15 was completed by Tarun Reddy’s Double R machine, Josh Smith in the Racing Steps Foundation-backed car, Sandy Mitchell (Arden), Louise Richardson (Richardson Racing) and Enaam Ahmed (Arden), who battled through from penultimate place on the grid. Championship debutant Jessica Hawkins claimed 19th for Falcon.

The other newcomer, Toby Sowery, spun off on the second lap, his Fortec car coming to rest in a dangerous position, which prompted the safety car call. JTR’s James Pull was a lap-one spinner and retiree.

Provisional results Round 10 Oulton Park 6 June 2015
13 laps / 28.94 miles
1 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 20m 56.608s / 82.90mph
2 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin +0.447s
3 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin +1.028s
4 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB +4.033s
5 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R +4.664s
6 Jack BARLOW / GBR / MBM +7.440s
7 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +9.585s
8 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +9.805s
9 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec +9.828s
10 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +10.116s etc

Fastest lap Herta 1m 23.195s / 96.32mph Est Rec

Rookie class 1 Martins, 2 Florescu, 3 Ticktum, 4 Baybutt, 5 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec, 6 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden, 7 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden, 8 Darius KARBALEY / GBR / Falcon, 9 Ameya VAIDYANATHAN / IND / JTR.

Grid for Round 11 Baybutt – Ticktum – Fielding – Florescu – Barlow – Leist – Martins – Herta – Norris – Collard etc

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Collard 155 points; 2 Norris 138; 3 Ticktum 122; 4 Leist 115; 5 Mitchell 87; 6 James Pull 78; 7 Herta 65; 8 Barlow 56; 9 Martins 52; 10 Fielding 47 etc
Rookie class 1 Ticktum 186; 2 Baybutt 132; 3 Mitchell 131; 4 Martins 119; 5 Ahmed 106; 6 Florescu 105 etc

Qualifying double top for Lando Norris and Carlin at Oulton Park

  • Norris claims his maiden qualifying top spot of the season
  • Best-yet performance also from championship leader Ricky Collard, who takes P2
  • Brazil’s Rafa Martins third on the grid

OULTON PARK 6 JUNE, 2015 – After qualifying in second spot for the first three meetings of the season, 15-year-old Lando Norris went one better at Oulton Park this morning to secure pole position for not one but two of the weekend’s three Ford EcoBoost-powered rounds of the championship.

After dominating yesterday’s timed test sessions, Carlin man Norris found yet more pace when it counted to set a lap time six-tenths of a second better than any of his rivals could achieve. And despite a red flag interrupting the final stages of the session, Lando came out fighting for the final five minutes of qualifying to set the leading second-best time by a margin of one-tenth; he will thus start from top spot in this afternoon’s 10th round and also in Sunday’s Round 12.

“I was a bit caught out by the red flag,” said Lando, “and before that I went off on what was going to be a good lap – just on the grass a little – so obviously I’m pleased to have got two poles. Hopefully I can make a break in the race…”

The red flag – caused by championship newcomer Toby Sowery rotating off the track at Druids, wiping off the front and rear corners of his Fortec machine – destroyed any hopes of Norris’s rivals that they might displace him from pole. Nonetheless Ricky Collard, who will line up P2 both this afternoon and tomorrow, was delighted with his best qualifying showing of the season so far: “What I am really happy about is that I am improving my qualifying performance. It’s been a weakness of mine. My goal was the front row and if I can get a Collard-type start I should be in a strong position because our race pace is good and tyre wear better than most. It’s a difficult track for overtaking and hopefully my experience should count.”

There were season-best qualifying showings also from SWB Motorsport’s Rafael Martins, Carlin man Colton Herta and MBM’s Jack Barlow: third, fourth and sixth respectively. Said Rafa, the leading Rookie class qualifier: “In pre-season testing Oulton Park was my favourite track, and the car is going well. We made some improvements since testing yesterday so it’s all good.”

Barlow nipped into sixth on his penultimate lap: just in time, as his car suffered a rear suspension failure on its final tour. “I felt it go loose and then spun,” said Jack, “but fortunately I just spun on to the grass without hitting anything. It was a shame because I think my last lap would have been my quickest.”

Matheus Leist was fifth fastest for Double R, with Fortec’s Dan Ticktum a disappointed seventh: “Very average. We have some problems with the handling in the first sector of the track. The car is not as I like it and we have some changes to make.”

The top 10 was completed by Sennan Fielding (JHR), Petru Florescu (Carlin) and James Pull (JTR). Pull and Arden’s Enaam Ahmed (16th fastest) will start the first Oulton Park race from further back due to a five-position grid penalty applied to each for driving standards misdemeanours at Thruxton last month.

Sowery recorded a time good enough for 12th before his crash – “Rookie error: the back end got away from me,” said Toby. Richardson Racing’s Louise Richardson battled through with badly blistered hands to 19th place, just ahead of championship newcomer Jess Hawkins (Falcon), who was pleased to be gaining speed with every lap completed.

Round 10 follows at 1420.

Provisional qualifying times Oulton Park 6 June 2015
Grid order for Round 10
1 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin 1:22.143
2 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 1:22.777
3 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB 1:22.939
4 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin 1:22.968
5 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R 1:23.002
6 Jack BARLOW / GBR / MBM 1:23.075
7 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec 1:23.125
8 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1:23.201
9 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:23.208
10 James PULL* / GBR / JTR 1:23.227
11 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR 1:23.321 etc
*Five-place grid penalty

Round 12 grid order (based on second-fastest times): Norris – Collard – Martins – Herta – Barlow – Leist – Florescu – Ticktum – Pull – Sennan Fielding (JHR) etc

Full times

Ford-powered Lando lands a test-session double at Oulton Park

  • Norris quickest by four-tenths for Carlin in exciting pre-event practice
  • Dan Ticktum runs Norris closest with championship leader Ricky Collard third fastest overall

OULTON PARK 5 JUNE, 2015 – Lando Norris was the pacesetter in both of today’s pre-race weekend MSA Formula test sessions, the Ford EcoBoost-powered Carlin racer ending the day quicker by four-tenths of a second than his closest rival.

Norris adapted quickly to his UK-spec FIA F4 chassis after a weekend at Monza racing in the Italian junior series. The 15-year-old Somerset lad was quickest by 0.188s in the morning and saved his best for the afternoon session to lap the 2.2-mile Cheshire track in 1m 22.238s on fresh Hankook slick tyres.

“I got back into it quite quickly after being in the Italian F4 car,” said Lando. “The cars are very different but it didn’t take long to readjust. I like Oulton Park: I went well here in the wet last year in the Ginetta. We made a few improvements between sessions which worked well.”

Championship leader Ricky Collard ran Norris closest in the morning but had to settle for third-best time in the afternoon behind Norris and Dan Ticktum’s Fortec machine. Said TRS Arden driver Collard: “Our pace on old tyres is really good and I think our long-run pace is good also, but I didn’t quite find that little bit extra on new tyres. I’m going to have a good long sleep on it and will make sure I extract the most from the car in qualifying.”

Colton Herta followed team-mate Norris’s lead, the youngest driver in the field making it two Carlin cars in the top four, ahead of Double R’s Brazilian ace Matheus Leist, with MBM’s Jack Barlow sixth fastest overall.

Carlin’s third man, Romanian Petru Florescu, was next up: “Finally, two good sessions for me. At first I didn’t like this circuit but once I got into a rhythm I was OK with it.”

Rafael Martins (SWB), James Pull (JTR) and Sandy Mitchell (TRS Arden) completed the top 10, with championship debutant Toby Sowery next up for Fortec, just two-hundredths of a second outside the top 10.

Saturday’s schedule is a hectic one for the MSA Formula competitors, with official qualifying in the morning and two races, rounds 10 and 11 of the championship, in the afternoon. The final race of the Oulton weekend follows on Sunday afternoon.

Leading testing times Oulton Park 5 June 2015 (am/pm)
1 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin 1:23.523 / 1:22.238
2 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec 1:23.897 / 1:22.648
3 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 1:23.711 / 1:22.844
4 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin 1:23.995 / 1:22.943
5 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R 1:23.802 / 1:22.987
6 Jack BARLOW / GBR / MBM 1:24.491 / 1:23.126
7 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:23.994 / 1:23.126
8 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB 1:24.508 / 1:23.133
9 James PULL / GBR / JTR 1:24.373 / 1:23.317
10 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden 1:24.165 / 1:23.465 etc

Full times