Supplied by team’s PR.
- Linus Lundqvist secures fourth podium of 2017 in wet Round 10.
- Double R ace sets fastest lap by more than half a second in race one.
- Best of P8 for Karl Massaad and highest finish of P9 for Daniel Cao.
- Round 11 red flagged and Round 12 postponed due to timetable delays .
22 MAY. 2017 – Front-running F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford racer Linus Lundqvist secured his fourth podium finish of the season at Oulton Park over the weekend, 20th/21st May, to close to within just 5.5 points of the top three in the driver standings for Double R Racing.
During an unconventional couple of days for the category, with one race postponed to a later date as a result of timetable delays and another shortened through a red flag stoppage, Lundqvist raced to a best of third place in round 10 – while also setting fastest lap – and then took fifth in round 11.
Team-mate Karl Massaad finished the opening contest on Saturday in eighth but hopes of similar in race two were dashed after contact to the rear of his car on the opening lap led to retirement a couple of laps later. Double R’s third driver Daniel Cao finished in 12th position during the opener and went on to claim his fourth top 10 points finish of the season in race two with ninth.
“We’re pleased to see Linus back on the podium, taking fastest lap in race one proves the pace we’ve got, and fantastic Daniel was able to break into the points again”, said team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “Obviously, we’re disappointed for Karl with the retirement from race two, especially after a strong start on Saturday, but we’re confident all three guys will be competitive at Croft.”
Qualifying on Saturday morning concluded with Lundqvist setting the fifth fastest time on his final lap of the session, getting within little more than 0.2 seconds of pole position, while Massaad was sixth quickest and Cao ended just outside the top 10 with the 11th best time.
Rain arrived at Oulton Park ahead of race one of the weekend, round 10, and Lundqvist made a truly sensational start to rocket into the top three. While initially taking things somewhat cautiously over the course of the first few laps, the Double R driver began to push more and more during the second half of the contest as his tyres came to him and dramatically reeled in second placed Alex Quinn.
Setting the fastest lap of the race on the final tour, Lundqvist’s time of 1m33.561 seconds was an eye-opening half a second quicker than the best anyone else could manage and he closed to within 1.3 seconds of Quinn at the finish on lap 13.
Massaad unfortunately slipped to eighth on the opening tour and then spent the remainder of the encounter there after a largely uneventful race to secure his fifth points finish of the year. Cao, too, lost ground initially after being edged back to 12th place but he regained his starting position on lap two before dropping back to 12th on lap seven. The Chinese racer then stayed there to the flag.
As a result of timetable delays on Saturday, round 11 of the season – which was scheduled to be the last race of the day – was postponed to Sunday afternoon. Round 12, therefore, was dropped off the timetable and will be contested later in the season at an alternative venue.
Lundqvist started fourth for round 11 and held position through Old Hall, maintaining the place despite significant pressure and impressively coping well with damage to the left-hand endplate on his front wing.
At the end of lap three, though, contact from Jamie Caroline pitched Lundqvist into a near-spin and although recovering he dropped to sixth. Remarkably, despite the wing damage, Lundqvist was able to post the fourth fastest lap and when Caroline crashed-out into the barriers at Old Hall at the start of lap eight the race was red flagged with Lundqvist classified in fifth place.
Massaad got away from the line cleanly at the beginning of the race and all looked good for the Lebanese driver. As the field headed into the hairpin, though, contact from behind resulted in damage to the rear of his car. While getting going again, several seconds down on the rest of the pack, Massaad went on to retire from the race at the end of lap three as a result of the incident.
Through all of the early drama Cao managed to leap into the top 10, actually slicing his way into ninth position. Staying there to lap six, the Chinese racer was edged back to 10th before the red flags were shown and was elevated into ninth again in the final result which was taken back a lap.
Double R Racing’s British F4 drivers will be back in action three weeks from now, over the weekend 10th/11th June, at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire.