Supplied by team’s PR
• Dominant lights-to-flag victory at Croft for teenager Zane Goddard.
• Rapid Double R driver converts season-long promise into maiden win.
• Woking squad returns to winning ways in F4 British Championship.
• Podium hat-trick and three fastest laps for quick Australian.
20 JUNE, 2016 – Australian single-seater racer Zane Goddard produced a true star performance for Double R Racing at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire over the weekend, 18th/19th June, with an outstanding maiden F4 British Championship race victory in round 13 of the season sparking a hat-trick of podium finishes.
Dominating the first race of the weekend on Saturday afternoon from pole position, the 16-year-old opened up a lead of well over four seconds before a late race Safety Car period threatened to throw a potential spanner in the works.
During a final lap sprint, though, Goddard fended off a challenge by Devlin Defrancesco and went on to take the chequered flag 2.2 seconds to the good. He also posted the fastest lap of the race, a time of 1m20.978 seconds (94.47mph) – the only driver to circulate below the 1m21 second barrier.
During Sunday’s pair of contests, the Surfer’s Paradise racer set fastest lap again in round 14 and finished just 0.5 seconds shy of another win with a superb second place, from fifth on the grid, while in a rain-lashed round 15 he was second again and once more set fastest lap.
As the most successful driver across the course of the fifth event of the season, Goddard moved into the coveted championship top 10 with a haul of 61 points across the weekend – more than doubling his previous total for the first four events.
“I’m so happy to take my first win”, said Goddard, “I like the track, it’s a great track to drive and the car has been on fire here this weekend. I reckon this could be the turning point for us this season, we’ve been working really hard at it and the results have been getting better and better.
“When the Safety Car came in at the last minute [in race one], I wasn’t expecting it at all. I had a good lead before the Safety Car, everything went perfectly up to that point, but we managed to hold on and take the win so I’m really happy. Huge thanks to the team, to my dad back home and my mum here [at Croft].”
Double R Racing’s young antipodean was outstanding from the off during pre-event testing at Croft on Friday, 17th June, by setting the quickest time in session one and ending the day second fastest, before topping qualifying for the first time in his rookie season with a time of 1m20.708 seconds.
At the start of round 13 on Saturday, Goddard got away from the front of the grid very cleanly and led through Clervaux for the first time before ending the first lap 0.7 seconds clear. Reeling off a series of fastest laps, Goddard steadily increased his advantage to 4.3 seconds by the end of lap 11.
As a result of two cars coming together at Tower, though, the Safety Car was deployed in time for the start of lap 13 and at the resumption a lap later the Double R driver saw off his pursuers to chalk-up a richly deserved first success on British shores and the fastest lap of all.
Lining-up fifth on the grid for round 14 on Sunday afternoon, Goddard made a great start to climb into the top four but when Jamie Caroline locked-up and collided with leader Devlin Defrancesco at Sunny In on the first lap, Goddard leapt into second position.
After a three lap Safety Car period, the action resumed on the fifth tour with Goddard tight behind compatriot Luis Leeds. Although Leeds opened a one second advantage by the end of lap seven, Goddard reeled off a series of fastest laps – including the best of the race, a time of 1m21.935 seconds – to finish the contest just 0.5 seconds shy of another win.
For the final race of the weekend, round 15, Goddard started on pole position again but the third contest took place in wildly different conditions to the previous pair of encounters with rain and a very wet track surface providing an intense challenge.
The Double R driver did a great job at the start to hold the lead from pole but at Tower he was edged back to second by Defrancesco. Under pressure from Max Fewtrell into lap three, Goddard then picked up his pace and pulled 1.5 seconds clear of his pursuer as the race entered its second half.
With the weather and spray worsening, Goddard reveled in the conditions and on lap nine he actually set the fastest lap of the race, a time of 1m30.435 seconds, before ending the race on lap 10 in second position to complete a stunning podium hat-trick.
“It’s fantastic for Zane”, said elated Double R team boss Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “We’ve been working hard all season and although there hasn’t been much luck up to now, this weekend has been absolutely outstanding – fast in testing, two pole positions, one win, two other podiums and fastest lap in every race.
“Hopefully we can get Zane on a race winning campaign now for the rest of the season. The team has done a great job, the combination of the Mygale chassis with the Ford engine isn’t the easiest to work with and get the best from but the boys have worked so hard and it’s great to be back at the front and winning again in this championship.”
Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk will be the venue for the start of the second half of the F4 British Championship season six weeks from now, over the weekend 30th/31st July.