Florescu extends F4 British Championship lead with Knockhill victory

  • Lights to flag victory for Carlin’s Petru Florescu at Knockhill.
  • No shortage of entertainment as Messrs DeFrancesco, Goddard, Caroline, Leeds, Pull and Fewtrell all fought their way up the order.

KNOCKHILL 13 AUGUST, 2016 – Petru Florescu put in a textbook performance at Knockhill to claim his sixth victory of the season and extend his championship lead in round 19 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford.

Not for the first time this year the Carlin driver put in a flawless drive from pole. He controlled the race, looking after his tyres and expertly dealt with the pressure of two safety car restarts; slowing the pack right down at the apex of the final corner and flooring the throttle to get the jump on his pursuers.

Said race winner Florescu: “I was able to handle the safety car restarts well and I planned how I would attack them in my mind. I’m also happy for my team-mate Devlin [DeFrancesco] who came third.

“The race was a normal flag to flag race for me. It was pretty straightforward. It feels really good to extend the championship lead and I hope to do well for the rest of the weekend.”

Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn chased the Romanian home, making a welcome return to the podium and ending Nicolai Kjaergaard’s run of consecutive Rookie class wins. His team-mate finding himself under attack for much of the race as title contenders DeFrancesco, Leeds, Pull and Fewtrell fought their way through the field having been caught out by the drying conditions in qualifying.

DeFrancesco was particularly impressive, overtaking both Goddard and Kjaergaard in one corner after the first safety car restart. He then set about hounding Quinn for second place in the latter stages.

However, Quinn was inch perfect in his defence to keep the Canadian at bay in an extremely tense final few laps for the Racing Steps Foundation backed youngster.

Explained Quinn: “It was really difficult to defend and attack at the same time, but I managed to pull it off. I worked out where Devlin was quick and that made me more relaxed because I knew where on the circuit I had to really push.

“Starting on pole tomorrow [in race three] means we have a good chance to win and hopefully we can do that. I’m looking forward to it. We’ve shown today that we are really quick.”

Added DeFrancesco: “It was a very hectic race. I made a mistake at the start which is unusual for me so we need to analyse that, but we had great pace. The car was fantastic.

“We were really pressuring Quinn, but he did a great job to keep me behind. I think we had the pace for second, but it was great to come through from sixth after making the mistake at the start.

“I’m now second in the championship. It was a great job by the team and all my engineers.”

Luis Leeds managed to fend off a ferocious pair of drivers in the form of title rivals Pull and Fewtrell for sixth who were all over the back of the Red Bull liveried race car towards the end. The latter posting the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap.

The sixth place for Leeds was made all the sweeter by the fact that it earns him the reverse grid pole for race two tomorrow, giving the TRS Arden racer the chance to make further inroads towards the title he craves.

Ahead of Leeds finished Double R’s Zane Goddard and Fortec Motorsports’ Jamie Caroline. Both put on spirited drives to climb several places.

Goddard’s jump up the order was particularly eye catching. The Australian making a lightning start off the line. He shot past DeFrancesco and then boldly hung around the outside of Frank Bird into turn one to take fourth behind Kjaergaard after Rafael Martins was forced to start from the pit lane due to technical gremlins.

Commented Goddard: “It was a mega start. It sort of felt like it bogged down a bit, but I think the others got a bit of wheel spin. I jumped Devlin and got around the outside of Bird which was tight, but I pulled it off.

“Devlin passed me later on, but I got Kjaergaard at the same time. I’m happy with fourth. Good points. It was a hard race, but very enjoyable. I love this track. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”

Martins wasn’t the only driver to suffer misfortune early on. Sennan Fielding’s race unfortunately brought to a premature end at Taylor’s Hairpin as a result of a mid-pack opening lap skirmish, ultimately bringing out the first safety car.

TRS Arden’s rookies Jack Martin and Ayrton Simmons rounded out the top ten, taking valuable points and another rookie class podium for their respective campaigns.

Meanwhile Falcon Motorsport’s Alexandra Mohnhaupt finished just outside the top ten after another solid and confidence boosting performance.

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford action continues tomorrow with two races – the reverse-grid race at 1100 and then the feature race, to be screened live on ITV4 at 1625, with Quinn starting from top spot.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional results Round 19 Knockhill 13 August 2016
20 laps / 25.3 miles
1 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 20m 44.367s / 73.30mph
2 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +0.710s
3 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +1.171s
4 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +1.560s
5 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec +3.812s
6 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +5.388s
7 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +6.292s
8 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +6.467s
9 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden +9.533s
10 Ayrton SIMMONS +10.908s etc.

Fastest lap Max Fewtrell / Carlin 50.226s / 90.81mph

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

Grid for Round 20 Leeds – Caroline – Goddard – DeFrancesco – Quinn – Florescu – Pull – Fewtrell – Martin – Simmons etc.

Provisional championship standings
1 Florescu 230, 2 DeFrancesco 212, 3 Fewtrell 205, 4 Fielding 194, 5 Pull 192, 6 Leeds 182, 7 Quinn 140, 8 Goddard 132, 9 Caroline 125, 10 Martins 114 etc.

Rookie class
1 Quinn 349, 2 J. Martin 273, 3 Kjaergaard 250, 4 Simmons 205, 5 R. Martin 130

Full results

Florescu leaves it late for British F4 pole at Knockhill

  • Carlin’s Petru Florescu claims thrilling last gasp pole.
  • All four of Fortec Motorsports’ drivers star after team’s inspired decision to switch to slicks.

KNOCKHILL 13 AUGUST, 2016 – Championship leader Petru Florescu was in the right place at the right time at Knockhill thanks to an expertly judged last gasp switch to slicks to claim his sixth pole of the season in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford.

With a dry line beginning to emerge after a sudden downpour at the start of qualifying Carlin’s Florescu and Fortec Motorsports’ quartet of runners boldly elected to come into the pits to fit slick tyres with just minutes remaining. The battle for pole rapidly becoming all about who could get their slick tyres up to temperature and cross the line last before the chequered flag fell.

Florescu used every ounce of his experience and guile to time his run to perfection. Having crossed the line with one second to spare, he proceeded to light up the timing screens to steal pole from Fortec’s Alex Quinn with a 51.447s lap.

Said the poleman: “I managed to get two flying laps on the slicks and I almost went off on the second lap because I was pushing so hard. It was a good qualifying and now we’ll see what we can do in the race.

“I made the call to change the tyres. I saw a dry line forming, but I didn’t know how dry it was in the first sector. I thought it was still going to be wet, but I saw it was dry and just pushed.”

The Fortec Motorsports runners were the first to make the inspired switch which paid huge dividends. Racing Steps Foundation-backed star Alex Quinn going second quickest and netting pole for the final race of the weekend courtesy of his second fastest lap time.

Commented Quinn: “I’m so excited. It’s really good to be back at the front after Snetterton and I’m looking forward to the next races. To be on the front row for race one and pole for race three is what we wanted, although it would have been nice to have pole for race one but that’s how it goes sometimes.

“The track was drying and I was always wondering when it would be possible to go to slicks. It was quite difficult on the slicks in the first sector because it was so wet and it was hard to judge how much I could push because the track was drying so quickly. I think we did really well to get on top of that.”

Jamie Caroline looked like a real contender in the dying minutes, twice posting times good enough for provisional pole, only to have them removed for track limits. A clean lap finally arriving on his last attempt, but leaving Caroline ruing a case of what might have been compounded by a five place grid penalty carried over from Snetterton a fortnight ago.

Said Caroline: “It could have been even better. I didn’t have enough time to warm the tyres up properly and I feel that if I hadn’t been so close to Petru on my final lap I would have been able to get a really good time in.

“It was such a fine line between the dry line and the wet line out there. I understeered onto a wet patch on my final lap and thankfully I didn’t spin, but that moment cost me pole. I was loving it out there though on a damp track with slicks.”

Added Fortec Motorsports team manager Dan Mitchell: “We tested here last year in November and Alex had 20 minutes in the sort of conditions we had today so we knew the crossover time. As soon as we hit that time we brought the cars in for slicks.

“The mechanics did an awesome job changing the tyres. To change tyres on all four cars so quickly to get them out there and qualify so well is brilliant.”

Rafael Martins was quickest of the TRS Arden drivers ahead of Fortec’s Nicolai Kjaergaard and Frank Bird; the latter having by far his best qualifying of the season.

Explained Bird: “It feels really good and it’s a great result for the Fortec team. Hopefully we can carry this through into the race.

“I didn’t know how well I was doing out there because the lap times weren’t showing on my dashboard. When I pitted for slicks I wasn’t sure if it was the right decision, but then there was a dry line on the last few laps and it paid off.”

Championship protagonists Leeds, Fielding, Fewtrell and Pull remained on wet tyres and this proved to be their undoing as the track conditions went away from them. They will line up 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th respectively, but are sure to provide an entertaining spectacle as they try to fight through the field.

Fellow title contender Devlin DeFrancesco fared better in qualifying. He will start from the third row of the grid and look to take further points away from his rivals.

Double R Racing’s Zane Goddard’s ended up seventh fastest having been on provisional pole at various stages throughout the session. The slippery 1.27-mile track playing into the hands of Aussie who excelled in similar conditions during testing yesterday. Billy Monger also shone, at times also finding himself in P1. He will line up ninth in this afternoon’s race which gets underway at 1635.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional qualifying times Knockhill 13 August 2016
Grid order for Round 19
1 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 51.447s
2 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 51.871s
3 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 52.664s
4 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec 52.722s
5 Frank BIRD / GBR / Fortec 53.048s
6 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 53.223s
7 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 53.561s
8 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec 52.415s (5 Place Grid Penalty)
9 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR 53.627s
10 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 56.638s etc.

Round 21 grid order (based on second-fastest times): Quinn – Caroline – Leeds – Goddard – Fielding – Monger – Florescu – Fewtrell – Martins – Pull  etc.

Full times 

 

Petru powers to fifth British F4 victory of the season

  • Florescu leads home Carlin 1-2-3 and regains championship lead.
  • Kjaergaard’s excellent weekend continues with a fourth place finish and another Rookie class win for Fortec Motorsports.

SNETTERTON 30 JULY, 2016 – Round 17 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford at Snetterton was thrilling with action throughout the field. Whilst there was no shortage of overtaking in a rapidly evolving race, one thing remained constant; Petru Florescu powering away out front to claim his fifth win of the season and retake the lead in the standings.

An excellent start from the Romanian saw him run alongside pole sitter Rafael Martins into turn one, with Florescu boldly hanging on around the outside to take the lead. As has been the case on many occasions this year, once Florescu was out in front nobody could catch him.

Said Petru: “It was a really good comeback after the bad qualifying this morning. I feel really good about being back in the lead of the championship, but I need a good race tomorrow to stay in front.

“I didn’t really know how fast I could go around this track because in qualifying I missed my chance to push and this afternoon my fastest lap was quicker than the pole time. I’m also really happy for my team-mates with them being on the podium.

Florescu led home a Carlin 1-2-3 with James Pull and Devlin DeFrancesco completing the rest of the podium. However, the result was by no means a certainty for Carlin, their drivers taking full advantage as the drama unfolded during the race.

Commented second place man Pull: “Just one more step to go for the race win. The Arden situation at Riches helped me out a little bit, but I took the opportunity when it came. The same with passing Kjaergaard.

Up until then it was all about trying to hold off Sennan [Fielding] who was really fast, especially in sector one and sector three. I just had to hold him off, but I managed to do that.”

Added DeFrancesco: “it was a great race. Our pace has improved. It’s a step in the right direction. There are a few more things we need to work on, but we are going the right way as a team both on the driving and technical side of things. We can find more for sure. I cannot thank the team enough.

“Towards the middle of the race we were lacking a bit of pace to Sennan, but I saw my opportunity and went for it. It was the same with Kjaergaard. I got in his tow and managed to pull past him before turn one.”

Explained Carlin team manager Martin Knapman: “We thought we were struggling a little bit this morning. This result has been given to us a little by other people going off, but we just try hard and stick hard at it.

“It’s teamwork which makes the dream work. We all pull in the same direction and work hard to get the results.”

Further down the order Jamie Caroline made amends for a disastrous start in the first race of the weekend by climbing from last on the grid to 13th on the opening lap, later working his way up seventh in sublime fashion.

Another driver with a point to prove was Carlin’s Max Fewtrell. The title protagonist was his usual calm and composed self as he gradually picked his way through the field and into the points. Most notably gaining two places in quick succession on lap three, scything past Jack Butel and Frank Bird.

A couple of laps later the safety car ventured out on track to allow Jack Martin’s TRS Arden to be recovered at Agostini after it had suffered technical difficulties.

The restart was heart stopping as an unfortunate coming together between Martins and Leeds in the battle for second place scuppered their chances of the podium.

It meant Kjaergaard found himself running in second, but Pull and DeFrancesco were swift in their attack, the latter squeezing past Fielding at the restart after Fielding had got the upper hand on the opening lap.

Take nothing away from Kjaergaard though; his fourth place rounding off the best day in the Dane’s single-seater career to date as he brought home victory in the Rookie Class once more and a tidy sum of points for his Fortec Motorsports team.

Commented Kjaergaard: “The race was going well up until the safety car. My pace was getting better and better. The guys behind me pushed so hard when I was in second and I made a couple of mistakes.

“I’m proud of how I raced before the safety car. My plan was to hold my own and drive my own race and score more points for the championship. I hope to keep this level of performance up and get an overall podium soon.”

Kjaergaard’s team-mate Quinn put in another assured performance, climbing several places to come home sixth; whilst Frank Bird capped off a strong race for Fortec with all its cars finishing inside the points.

JTR’s Patrik Matthiesen was another who crossed the line pleased with his work; taking a well deserved points score in eighth having showcased some great defensive skills when in front of Fewtrell.

JHR’s Billy Monger was unlucky to finish just outside the points having started 17th. Meanwhile Richardson Racing’s Alexandra Marinescu appeared to have made a step forward following her first race of the season earlier in the day, working her way up to 12th, keeping cool amid all the drama.

Said Marinescu: “I’m really happy. I wasn’t expecting to finish 12th in my second race. I was a little bit lucky with other people going off, but I also did my best lap times in the last few laps so I’m really happy that we are improving.

“Top ten would be unbelievably great [in tomorrow’s race], but I’m trying to stay realistic. It’s really fun to be behind the wheel of the British F4 car and working with Richardson Racing.”

The finale to the F4 British Championship weekend commences at 1450 on Sunday. It will be televised live on ITV4 with Sennan Fielding starting from pole once again.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional results Round 17 Snetterton 30 July 2016
10 laps / 29.68 miles
1 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 20m 29.799s
2 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +2.741s
3 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +4.484s
4 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec +6.454s
5 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +6.578s
6 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +6.647s
7 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec +8.372s
8 Patrik MATTHIESEN / DEN / JTR +9.010s
9 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +9.209s
10 Frank BIRD / GBR / Fortec +9.782s etc.

Fastest lap Petru Florescu / Carlin 1m 52.156s / 95.29 mph

Rookie Class 1 Kjaergaard, 2 Quinn, 3 Simmons

Provisional championship standings 1 Florescu 195; =2 Fewtrell 186; =2 Pull 186, 4 DeFrancesco 179; 5 Fielding 169; 6 Leeds 162; 7 Quinn 122; 8 Caroline 115; =9 Goddard 114; =9 Martins 114 etc.

Rookie Class 1 Quinn 312; 2 J Martin 240; 3 Kjaergaard 213; 4 Simmons 173; 5 R Martin 130

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.

 

Florescu takes command of Oulton Park finale and F4 British Championship

  • Perfection from Petru on his way to fourth win of the season.
  • Fortec Motorsports’ Nicolai Kjaergaard claims maiden Rookie class victory.

OULTON PARK 5 JUNE, 2016 – Carlin’s Petru Florescu put on a perfect display to win the final F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford race of the weekend at Oulton Park. It was a straightforward race for the Romanian star driver, as he cruised his way to his fourth race win of the season and a 22 point lead in the standings.

Holding off DeFrancesco at the start, coupled with clear air to pump in some fast laps out front meant that the experienced Florescu could take a commanding victory around the 2.2 mile Cheshire track. He finished ahead of team-mate DeFrancesco, who himself executed a fantastic race to keep the flying Florescu in his sights for the duration.

Said the race winner: “We had really good pace again and fastest lap as well. I just focused on trying to stay consistent and didn’t push too much. It was a lot easier to control the pace in clear air. I’m looking forward to Croft. It’s a track I like. I’m so happy with this result and this race. It’s great for my championship and I want to say a huge thanks to the team.”

Added DeFrancesco: “At Carlin we had a meeting before the race between all the engineers and drivers and we knew the race to turn one would determine the outcome so I gave it everything at the start. I had a really good launch off the line, but I probably needed just a metre more to get in front.

“We have scored very good points for the championship and made up a lot of ground. Obviously Petru is looking very strong, but we are definitely catching up to our rivals. Carlin have got the car setup perfectly. It feels almost unbeatable.”

Jamie Caroline took his second podium of the weekend courtesy of another electrifying start which saw him speed past Max Fewtrell and not for the first time this weekend was the quickest of the non-Carlin runners.

Commented Caroline: “I was the only one able to take it to Carlin in the race. I was pleased to be able to get a good start, especially as I had to get used to the new clutch so quickly after the issue we had with the old one in race two.

“I’m very surprised to get the start that I did because with every clutch the biting point varies a little bit. There wasn’t much more we could have done in the race. Looking ahead to Croft, it’s another circuit I like. We were testing there the other day and I was straight on the pace so I’m looking forward to it.”

Max Fewtrell put in another calm and considered performance in fourth to bring home a strong points haul essential in his quest for the title; whilst James Pull performed a brilliant overtaking manoeuvre for fifth on Alex Quinn at Old Hall on lap four. Quinn was to suffer further misfortune as a gearbox issue put an end to his race on the penultimate lap.

Old Hall was the scene of further action early on as Fortec Motorsports’ Frank Bird crashed out of the race having been in 11th – four places up from his starting position.

Meanwhile Patrik Matthiesen was another early casualty, having made the same mistake at Knickerbrook as Zane Goddard had in round 11. The latter claiming the final points paying position as scant consolation for a day that promised so much for the talented Aussie racer.

Race two winner Rafael Martins was the highest of the TRS Arden runners yet again in sixth; whilst Nicolai Kjaergaard put in an inspired performance to take his first Rookie class win and hold off a hard-charging Sennan Fielding for seventh place.

Explained Kjaergaard: “It was a really good race. It’s not the ideal way to take this Rookie win with Quinn dropping out, but a win is a win and I’ll take it. I knew Sennan was quick so I was a bit worried when I saw him in my mirrors, but I was able to keep him behind. Now I know that I can compete with the very best in British F4 and I will try to do the same at Croft.”

Despite having to settle for eighth, JHR’s Fielding was still able to showcase his overtaking prowess with an expertly judged pass into Old Hall on Ayrton Simmons on lap five.

Billy Monger provided some excitement late on in proceedings, making an uncharacteristic mistake by running wide and letting TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds and Jack Martin through.

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford stars will be back in action in two weeks’ time at Croft circuit. Petru Florescu is sure to be riding a wave confidence after a brilliant time at Oulton Park. Having topped the times in testing at the North Yorkshire circuit earlier this week he will be many people’s tip for further success.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional results Round 12 Oulton Park 5 June 2016
14 laps / 31.164 miles
1 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 19m 43.908s / 94.76mph
2 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +2.495s
3 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun + 6.047s
4 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +7.881s
5 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +8.883s
6 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +21.312s
7 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec +21.555s
8 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +21.892s
9 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +22.306
10 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +22.846s etc.

Fastest lap Petru Florescu 1m 23.735s / 95.70mph Est Rec

Rookie class 1 Kjaergaard, 2 Simmons, 3 Martin

Provisional championship standings
1 Florescu 158, 2 Fewtrell 136, 3 Pull 131, 4 Fielding 116, 5 Leeds 111, 6 DeFrancesco 109, 7 Quinn 100, 8 Caroline 95 9 Martins 84, 10 Monger 57 etc.

Rookie class
1 Quinn 251, 2 J. Martin 163, 3 Kjaergaard 136, 4 R. Martin 130, 5 Simmons 95

Full results

Carlin’s fantastic four dominate British F4 pre-race test

  • Carlin puts in ominous pre-race testing performance at Oulton Park.
  • Romanian Petru Florescu ends the day top of the pile.

OULTON PARK 3 JUNE, 2016 – Carlin got its Oulton Park race weekend off to the perfect start by dominating both practice sessions. All four of their drivers locked out the top spots on the timing sheets. Of the Carlin quartet it was Petru Florescu and James Pull who really stole the show, the former recording the fastest time of the day.

Having spent free practice one experimenting with his setup, it was in the second session where Florescu set out to dial his car in for qualifying. An entertaining skirmish at the top of times ensued between himself and Pull who had been the morning’s standout performer with the quickest time.

At the halfway stage of free practice two it was Pull who led proceedings, but with just over 10 minutes remaining Florescu set about reeling in his team-mate; eventually getting within seven hundredths of Pull. However, Pull responded by increasing his margin at the top with a 1m 22.685s, only for Florescu to flash across the line moments later with a 1m 22.615s lap to put him top of the pile.

Said pacesetter Florescu: “In the morning I tried some different setups. I’m really happy with my pace and to be P1. I really like this track and I’m pleased that I was able to put a lot of fast, consistent laps together. I’ve worked so hard over the last year and the car feels so good out on track. For the rest of the weekend the key will be to concentrate and not make any mistakes.”

Commented Pull: “It’s been a really good day. I love the track. It suits my driving style and Carlin are so dominant here. I didn’t optimise my best run of the day because I did a couple of mistakes on my new tyres so I know there is more in the bag for qualifying. It’s so close at the front and that’s what makes British F4 so exciting.”

Devlin DeFrancesco, rounded out Carlin’s fantastic four at the top, just over a tenth slower than Max Fewtrell. Racing Steps Foundation star Alex Quinn was next up in fifth. The Fortec Motorsports driver not only finding himself in his customary position of quickest rookie, but also quickest of the non-Carlin runners and confident of taking the fight to the reigning champion team.

Meanwhile, TRS Arden’s Ayrton Simmons was all smiles having posted a top 10 lap time and showing the kind of pace which suggests he could challenge Quinn in the Rookie class this weekend.

“We were quite quick. The car feels really good and I improved throughout the day. We’ll analyse the data tonight to make another step forward,” explained Simmons.“It’s nice that we are battling at the front of the Rookie class, but we are focused on what we are doing and trying to get the best out of the car. The results will come. We’re up against some of the best drivers in the UK so to be high up the order shows that the hard work is paying off.”

Championship leader Sennan Fielding had a solid day in his JHR Developments car; posting the seventh fastest time around the circuit where he recorded his maiden British F4 victory in 2015. He finished just two tenths off of championship rival Luis Leeds.

Aussies Leeds and Goddard were both pleased with their performances as they got to grips with the 2.2 mile Cheshire track for the first time. Said Goddard: “I’ve been really looking forward to this weekend. Today has been all about getting used to a new track, but I’m happy. There are little aspects we need to improve upon, but they will come.”

Pirtek Racing Jamun’s Jamie Caroline wound up closest to the Carlin runners in the morning, only to fall away in FP2. “I’m unable to get the most out of the new tyres at the moment and I don’t know why. On old tyres our pace is really good, but we’re just not finding the lap time gain on new tyres. I think the track will be less rubbered in tomorrow for qualifying so there will be less grip which plays to my strengths and our race pace is absolutely mega.”

With the top 10 drivers from today’s F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford pre-race test covered by less than a second, Carlin are unlikely to have things their own way. All the signs suggest that there will be a fiercely contested Ford EcoBoost-powered battle for both pole and the podium places tomorrow.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Leading testing times Oulton Park 3 June 2016 (FP1/FP2)
1 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:23.441 / 1:22.615
2 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1:23.259 / 1:22.685
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1:23.283 / 1:22.830
4 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1:23.445 / 1:22.974
5 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1:23.653 / 1:23.049
6 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 1:24.068 / 1:23.206
7 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1:24.077 / 1:23.453
8 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun 1:23.509 / 1:23.465
9 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1:23.684 / 1:23.488
10 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 1:24.165 / 1:23.493 etc.

Full TSL timesheets

Florescu reigns supreme on second day of British F4 test at Croft

  • Petru Florescu keeps Carlin out front at Croft.
  • Zane Goddard puts in emphatic testing performance.

CROFT 1 JUNE, 2016 – The phenomenal pace exhibited yesterday throughout the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford field showed no signs of letting up today; with a number of drivers consistently lapping quicker than last year’s pole time. Nonetheless, the plaudits go to Carlin’s Petru Florescu whose time of 1m 20.591s was not only the quickest of the day, but of the entire test.

It was another fantastic display from Florescu, who currently has the most victories and pole positions to his name in 2016 and will undoubtedly look to build on a fantastic two days of testing when racing resumes at Oulton Park.

The man who grabbed yesterday’s headlines, Devlin DeFrancesco, was hot on the Romanian’s heels with a time of 1m 20.616s. It put him second fastest overall, capping off an incredibly positive 48 hours for British F4’s most recent race winner.

Both Florescu and DeFrancesco’s quickest times arrived with just under two hours of the afternoon session remaining, deposing long-time leader Zane Goddard. Max Fewtrell and Luis Leeds soon got in on the act, posting times which would see them end the day fourth and fifth respectively.

Despite dropping down the order in the afternoon, Goddard is likely to leave North Yorkshire with a smile on his face. After a strong showing yesterday the Double R racer upped his game even further, recording the fastest time of the morning and third fastest of the test.

Rookie Ayrton Simmons’ rapid rate of development shows no sign of letting up. His time of 1m 20.985s just under half a second quicker than his best on Tuesday, leaving him as fastest Rookie in the morning.

James Pull also improved by almost half a second. However, the biggest improver over the entire two day test was Fortec Motorsports’ Frank Bird, who found a staggering eight tenths.

TRS Arden’s Jack Martin built upon an eye-catching performance yesterday with a 1m 20.910s to go sixth fastest overall and claim the title of quickest Rookie.

Jamie Caroline made an appearance for Pirtek Racing Jamun, having not attended yesterday and was quickly up to speed in the morning; ultimately winding up tenth on the timesheet. A respectable result given he was up against opposition who already had a day’s running under their belts.

Attention now turns to rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford, which will take place at Oulton Park this weekend. The drivers will hit the track for pre-race testing on Friday 3 June, all eager to perfect their setup around the Cheshire circuit.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Leading testing times Croft 1 June 2016 (am/pm)
1 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:20.865 / 1:20.591
2 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1:20.917 / 1:20.617
3 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 1:20.713 / 1:21.063
4 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1:21.093 / 1:20.842
5 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 1:20.997 / 1:20.906
6 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden 1:21.234 / 1:20.910
7 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1:21.061 / 1:20.985
8 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1:21.522 / 1:21.015
9 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1:21.689 / 1:21.074
10 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun 1:21.406 / 1:21.224 etc.

Full TSL timesheets

Petru powers to British F4 pole with Ford EcoBoost at Thruxton

  • Florescu leads Carlin top three in qualifying.
  • The Romanian driver doubles-up with pole for round nine courtesy of his second fastest time.

THRUXTON 7 MAY, 2016 – Petru Florescu hit back with a blazing pole lap at Thruxton following a frustrating outing at Donington Park several weeks ago. Carlin team-mates Devlin DeFrancesco and Max Fewtrell will line up second and third, whilst JHR’s Sennan Fielding was the leading non-Carlin charge in fourth.

Championship leader Fewtrell was first of the Carlin cohort to stake his claim for pole with a 1m 13.781s to put him less than five one hundredths ahead of Florescu.

However, the Romanian responded with just over half the session remaining with a 1m 13.609s that would see him take the second Ford EcoBoost-powered pole of his career.

At the same time Sennan Fielding finally ventured onto the circuit for his qualifying assault. The JHR Developments driver was in fine form yet again and posted the fourth fastest time.

Commented Fielding: “I’m going to try my best to take the fight to Carlin. We only used one set of tyres and waited in the pits for quite a while. Around here it’s not necessarily about being on the front row. With the slipstream down the back straight anything is possible.”

DeFrancesco and Billy Monger were be particularly pleased with their efforts as both were able to maintain the strong pace they showed in testing at the 2.3 mile Hampshire circuit a month ago.

Said front row qualifier DeFrancesco: “This is a great way to show our speed and bounce back from Brands Hatch and Donington. A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes. I really cannot thank my family, my sponsors and the team enough. There’s a few bits and pieces to work on before the race, but we’re in a very strong position.”

Added fifth place man Monger: “P5 is a good way to start the weekend. I would obviously like to be P1, but I was struggling with the balance of the car slightly which meant I wasn’t actually expecting to finish so high up the grid.

“I’m sure the team will be able to sort out the balance for the races this weekend and we can definitely aim for podiums and wins. I love this circuit so I’ve been really looking forward to this weekend since testing last month. I’m buzzing to be here.”

One man who couldn’t carry his performance in testing through to qualifying was Rafael Martins who ended up 17th, meanwhile TRS Arden’s fastest man Luis Leeds could only manage tenth, with British F4 debutant Ayrton Simmons 16th and Jack Martin 18th.

Said TRS Arden team manager Ben Bloomfield: “We’re not really sure at this point what caused the lack of pace. We potentially didn’t get the best laps in during the optimum window with tyres which was the first four or five laps. We’ll look into it to try to come out on top in the races.”

As has been commonplace during the season, Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn was quickest of the Rookies in seventh: “We’ve got good pace and we can definitely do well from where we are on the grid. The tyres are in really good condition too so I’m really happy heading into the rest of the weekend.”

Quinn will line up alongside Double R’s Zane Goddard who put in his best qualifying display of the year to go eighth ahead of Jamie Caroline; clearly enjoying the warmer track conditions akin to his experience of racing in the Australian F4 Championship.

With the three leading protagonists in the championship at the sharp end of grid, round seven of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford at 1505 this afternoon promises to be an enthralling affair.

Provisional qualifying times Thruxton 7 May, 2016
Grid order for Round 7
1 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1m 13.609s
2 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1m 13.739s
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1m 13.781s
4 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1m 13.837s
5 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR 1m 13.962s
6 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1m 14.071s
7 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1m 14.092s
8 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 1m 14.135s
9 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun 1m 14.177s
10 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 1m 14.197s etc

Round 9 grid order (based on second-fastest times)
Florescu – Fewtrell – Fielding – DeFrancesco – Monger – Quinn – Pull – Caroline – Leeds – Goddard etc

Full times

Fielding flies to second Ford MSA Formula victory of 2016

  • Sennan Fielding storms his way to second success of season.
  • Incident packed race with a number of high profile non-finishers.

DONINGTON PARK 17 APRIL, 2016 – Sennan Fielding drove a textbook race from the front of the grid to record his second Ford EcoBoost-powered victory of the season and a very popular home win ahead of Petru Florescu and Max Fewtrell.

An incident filled raced saw several key protagonists fail to finish including Carlin’s Pull and DeFrancesco, as well as TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds.

Starting from pole, Fielding made a perfect getaway to immediately break away from the clutches of Carlin’s quartet of drivers behind. With clear air ahead he proceeded to pull away from the pack, but the race and his lead was neutralised when the safety car joined the track several laps in as a result of a collision between Fortec’s Ross Martin and Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco.

By the time the stricken cars were cleared, only seven minutes of the race remained. Fielding kept as cool as ever, mastering the restart and putting sufficient daylight between himself and Petru Florescu.

At the restart Florescu was passed by James Pull who pulled off a perfectly judged move into Redgate, but promoted back to second a lap later when his team-mate was forced to retire with damage to his front wing.

Said Fielding: “I got the perfect traction off the line with no wheel spin which meant I was well ahead into the first corner and then I knew had to get my head down and put in some quick laps. I built a good gap, but then the safety car came out.”

“The marshals did a great job to recover all the cars that went off during the race and then when the safety car went in I knew I had to push again to rebuild the gap. I think it was a fantastic race for Ford British F4.”

“With it being my home circuit it gives the weekend added meaning. All my friends and family are here this weekend. I cannot thank enough all my sponsors, Amigos Beer, CBS, Bluebell Wood and obviously the JHR team. Without them I wouldn’t be here. It just shows that you can race in this championship on a tight budget and be the best. “

Florescu hit back in the latter stages recording fastest lap as he closed in on Fielding but it was too late in the race.

Said Florescu: “It was a good race and a great way for me to recover from my difficult qualifying. It’s brilliant to follow up my strong performance in race one yesterday with this podium and fastest lap. This gives me confidence to fight up through the field in race three.”

Team-mate Max Fewtrell brought home yet another podium and big points haul for his championship bid: “It was quite tough at the beginning and tricky to overtake. The safety car didn’t come out at an ideal time for me.

“I had built up a good gap to the cars behind and with the race settling down I was planning to make my attack on the cars in front. The pace wasn’t too bad, but I locked up my front tyre earlier in the race and I just kept on hitting that flat spot in the braking zone.”

JHR’s Jack Butel put in his best performance so far this season, making his way from last on the grid to seventh to score the first points of his campaign. While in eighth place TRS Arden’s Jack Martin was the best of the rookies to bring home his first Rookie Class win of the year.

Said Martin: “It feels great to get this first Rookie win on the board. I’m here to take the fight to the Fortec Motorsports’ rookies and today’s result is a clear demonstration of that. I’m starting eighth in the race this afternoon so hopefully I can move forward and do the same again.”

Another who scored his first points of the year was JTR’s Patrik Matthiesen who pulled off some resolute defensive driving to keep race one winner Alex Quinn behind him for much of the race after Quinn dropped down the order due to a trip through the gravel.

Frank Bird and Harry Hayek were the last of the finishers, but unlucky not to score points having kept their cool in such an eventful race.

There was a thrilling battle for ninth which saw Double R’s Zane Goddard under attack from Nicolai Kjaergaard, but it ended in tears with a spectacular collision between the two; the former catapulting over the Danish rookie’s car as a result of the contact at Old Hairpin. The same corner claiming a victim early on in the form of yesterday’s podium finisher Luis Leeds.

Rafael Martins steered clear of the drama to progress from tenth to fourth for TRS Arden and he was followed home by Jamun’s Jamie Caroline and Billy Monger, the latter picking up a couple of places from his starting position.

Just as he did in race one, Caroline once again put in a spirited drive to climb back up the order having fallen to 13th early on.

Provisional results Round 5, Donington Park 17 April, 2016
15 laps / 29.69 miles
1 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 20m 26.414s / 87.02 mph
2 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +1.486s
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +2.606S
4 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +3.042s
5 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun +7.355s
6 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR +8.009s
7 Jack BUTEL / GBR / JHR +10.862s
8 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden +14.938s
9 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +18.728s
10 Patrik Matthiesen / DEN / JTR +18.977s etc

Fastest lap Florescu 1:08.755 / 103.62 mph

Rookie Class 1 J Martin 2 Quinn

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Florescu 56; 2 Fielding 66; 3 Fewtrell 64; 4 Pull 57; 5 Leeds 50; 6 Quinn 47; 7 Martins 41; 8 Caroline 40; 9 Goddard 18; 10 DeFrancesco 17 etc

Rookie Class 1 Quinn 118; J Martin 82; Kjaergaard 60; R Martin 51

 

Another Brands Hatch win for Ford flyer Florescu

  • Petru Florescu scores both his and Carlin’s second win of the weekend to leave Brands Hatch with championship lead.
  • Alex Quinn pockets yet another Rookie Class win for Fortec Motorsports.

3 April, 2016 – It was a case of deja vu for Carlin’s Petru Florescu who bounced back from crashing out of the weekend’s second race to produce a performance that was almost a carbon copy of his race one victory.

Just as was the case in race one, the only threat to Florescu came at the start where he once again struggled off the line in comparison to the man alongside him, TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds.

Leeds found himself on the outside of Petru through the first corner, but the wily Romanian was robust in his defence and not prepared to relinquish the lead.

From there onwards the Ford British F4 returnee had sufficient pace in clear air to remain untroubled in his journey to the chequered flag.

Said Florescu: “I’m really happy because the car was so fast. At the start I almost lost my position, but I managed to hold on and then put in some really quick laps. The aim is for more wins like this because I want to bring home the title.”

Added Carlin team manager Martin Knapman: “You can’t ask for much more than that. Six podiums this weekend is brilliant for Carlin. All four drivers are pushing so hard which not only helps the team move forward, but also themselves. We need to keep pushing and we cannot underestimate the opposition.”

Despite missing out on the top step, Red Bull Junior driver Leeds recorded his best result of his fledgling career in the Ford EcoBoost powered series; fending off James Pull for the duration and setting fastest lap.

Leeds commented: “I think the most important thing from this weekend was to get a decent haul of points which we have definitely done. We’ve been working so hard during the winter. The car has been perfect and Arden are doing a great job.”

TRS Arden team manager Ben Bloomfield was full of praise: “Luis is one of the hardest workers we’ve got. He’s put in so much effort and it’s great to see that rewarded.”

Alex Quinn was a man on a mission in the final race after a brace of Rookie Class victories. He gained a place on the opening lap, only to find himself bottled-up behind the TRS Arden of Rafael Martins.

The Brazilian had to make full use of his experience in the series from last season, as Quinn darted around in his mirrors in an attempt to force a mistake.

Said Quinn: “I finally got a good start. My pace was there, but I found it hard to get past Rafa in the dirty air. With a better qualifying I’m confident we can fight at the very front in the races.”

In hot pursuit of Quinn were Max Fewtrell and race two winner Sennan Fielding. The latter taking full advantage of a better exit out of Clark Curve onto the straight to make a late lunge up the inside of Fewtrell into Paddock Hill and capture sixth place with several laps remaining.

However, his hard work was undone following the race after it was judged the JHR driver jumped the start. He was handed a time penalty which demoted him to 14th.

The titanic tussle between the four drivers proved to be Pull’s saving grace. As they squabbled amongst themselves he was able to build a gap of six seconds on fading tyres to negate a five second time penalty for exceeding track limits.

Reflected Pull: “It was a tight race with Luis. We were doing very similar times. Maybe I could have pulled off a move, but I felt it wasn’t worth the risk and I wanted to get the points on the board for my championship.

“When I saw I had a penalty it was really tough, because I had to push on tyres which weren’t at their best towards the end. I just focused on being as consistent as possible to get the gap I needed.”

Carlin’s DeFrancesco emerged the victor in a scintillating battle for what be seventh ahead of Double R’s Zane Goddard and the Allan McNish mentored Ross Martin. The racing between the trio was hard but fair and sometimes a little too close for comfort, with Martin losing part of his car’s nosecone as he sought a way past a resilient Goddard.

The next instalment of Ford EcoBoost-powered action comes on 16/17 April at Donington Park, where the likes of Pull and Fielding will look to overcome Florescu’s slender lead in the championship.

You can relive all of today’s action on 25 April by watching ITV4’s Motorsport UK on 25 April.

Provisional results Round 3 Brands Hatch Indy 3 April 2016
26 laps / 31.40 miles
1  Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 20m 31.926s / 91.77mph
2  Luis LEEDS / AUS / TRS Arden +0.387s
3  James PULL / GBR / Carlin +6.537s
4  Rafael MARTINS / BRA / TRS Arden +7.435s
5  Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +8.994s
6  Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +9.371s
7  Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +12.551s
8  Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +12.850s
9 Ross MARTIN / GBR / Fortec +13.794s
10 Harry HAYEK / AUS / Jamun +14.746s etc
Fastest lap Leeds 46.693s / 93.13mph
Rookie class 1 Quinn 2 Ross Martin, 3 Jack MARTIN / GBR / TRS Arden, 4 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Florescu 50 points; 2 Pull 45; 3 Fielding 35; 4 Fewtrell 34; 5 Leeds 32; 6 Martins 28; 7 Jamie Caroline 26; 8 Quinn 20; 9 Goddard 18; 10 DeFrancesco 7 etc.
Rookie class 1 Quinn 75; 2 Kjaergaard 48; 3 Jack Martin 42; 4 Ross Martin 33.