Supplied by team’s PR.
• Double R’s Lundqvist ends British F4 season P5 in standings.
• Swedish star takes fifth win at Brands Hatch GP on final weekend.
• Triple top 10 for Massaad as rookie F4 season draws to a close.
• Lebanese ends maiden car racing campaign P9 in championship.
2 OCTOBER, 2017 – Sweden’s Linus Lundqvist wrapped-up his maiden season in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, 30th September/1st October, with his fifth victory of 2017 – ending the year in the series top five for Double R Racing.
Signing-off his first campaign outside Scandinavia with the win during round 28 on Saturday, before adding his 11th podium of the season with second place in round 30 on Sunday afternoon, the rapid youngster also posted fastest lap in each of those contests to underline his very real title potential.
Despite a championship campaign hampered by misfortune, the Lundqvist and Double R partnership still shone through as potentially the quickest combination in the category throughout the season – a point proven by the tally of nine fastest race laps across the year, more than any rival.
Karl Massaad concluded his rookie season in single-seater car racing ninth in the standings after a strong and very consistent final weekend at Double R’s ‘home’ track, the Lebanese racer chalking-up a hat-trick of top 10 finishes. Along with two podiums earlier in the season, Massaad also claimed top 10 points results on 13 other occasions.
“It’s great to take another win with Linus on the final weekend of the season, and it’s also a reminder of how competitive we’ve been this year – without the bad luck we’ve had I’ve got no doubt we could have challenged for the title”, said Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, Double R Racing team principal.“Linus is a fantastic driver, incredibly quick and definitely a star in the making.
“Karl finished his rookie year off very strongly, three results in the points is great and it’s obviously fantastic for the team to have them both end the year inside the championship top 10. Overall, it’s been a good year in British F4 for Double R, onward and upward to next season now.”
In qualifying on Saturday, Lundqvist only just missed out on pole position by a mere 0.1 seconds but a front-row start for round 28 meant his plans to challenge for a fifth win of the season were very much on course. In the sister Double R car, Massaad was little more than a tenth of a second shy of the top 10, securing 11th on the grid for the first of the afternoon’s two races.
Making a tremendous start, Lundqvist surged into the lead around the outside at Paddock Hill Bend and after an early Safety Car he set about building a gap at the front. Leading by more than a second by the end of lap five, another Safety Car then undid the Swede’s hard work but after the re-start on lap nine he soaked up significant pressure and also set the fastest race lap en-route to a great win.
Massaad enjoyed a strong first lap to climb through into the top eight and although edged back to ninth after the initial cautionary period, he then held position. On lap five, though, he was shuffled back to 10th place and after the second Safety Car intervention he slipped to 11th position. On the final lap, however, problems for Harry Dyson enabled Massaad to move back into the top 10.
On the partially reversed grid for round 29 later in the day, Lundqvist lined-up seventh on the grid and moved into the top six on lap one but was edged back to seventh again at the start of lap two after a late wheel-locking move into Paddock Hill Bend by newly crowned champion Jamie Caroline.
Putting the Double R racer offline, and losing crucial momentum in the process, the race one victor went on to end lap two in eighth position, just ahead of Massaad who had moved into ninth from a starting slot of 10th position, but the contest was soon red flagged after a multi-car incident.
The race was re-started over a duration of just 11 minutes and Lundqvist went on to end the encounter in eighth position, after some robust action, with Massaad running ninth for the bulk of the race until being edged back to 10th place late on.
For the final race of the season, round 30, on Sunday afternoon, Lundqvist lined up on the front row in second position with Massaad in 12th place. Determined to try and make it half a dozen wins for the year, Lundqvist certainly delivered the pace required – again setting fastest race lap – but he ultimately had to settle for the runner-up spot and his 11th podium of the season.
Starting well, Lundqvist swarmed all over pole qualifier Alex Quinn’s car and after an early Safety Car period the battle resumed. Pulling well clear of the chasing pack, Lundqvist stayed in touch with Quinn before eventually settling for second position.
Massaad maintained his starting slot early on and although shuffled down to 14th place early in the second half of the encounter, the Lebanese hit back to climb into the top 12. Keeping a good pace, the Double R driver benefited from dramas for a couple of rivals to move up into the top 10 with four laps to go and took the flag just 0.2 seconds shy of the next car.