TEAM NEWS: Storming recovery at Silverstone bags British F4 ace Lundqvist top five

Supplied by team’s PR. 

•    Linus Lundqvist races superbly after nightmare qualifying.
•    Sensational Round 27 recovery secures P5 best at Silverstone.
•    Consistent Karl Massaad delivers plentiful points and P6 best.

18 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist produced one of the drives of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost season at Silverstone on Sunday, 17th September, to record a stunning top five result despite a back-of-the-grid start and enforced mid-race excursion.

Following a troublesome qualifying session on Saturday, 16th September, where the Swedish racer was unable to set a representative time after sustaining damage to his car, Lundqvist had to start the last of the weekend’s three races from 18th on the grid, but mounted a sensational performance.

His supreme drive in round 27 almost mirrored the terrific showing delivered in round 25, the Double R driver carving his way through from 15th on the grid into the top six. In round 26 on Sunday morning, a realistic podium bid was ended by contact but he fought back into ninth place.

Lebanese team-mate Karl Massaad enjoyed a very successful weekend, chalking-up a significant haul of points and posting a best finish of sixth in race two. Having started the event at Silverstone’s 1.64-mile National Circuit with 11th place in the opening encounter, Massaad then added seventh in the final contest to climb into ninth in the championship. Lundqvist retains fifth in the points standings.

“Linus and Karl both raced incredibly well this weekend, showed fantastic pace and took some good results away”, said Double R team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “Frustratingly, though, we know wins and podiums were a possibility so we’re going away from Silverstone with mixed feelings.

“After Linus topped the times in testing, we knew pole was on in qualifying but it wasn’t to be. He did a fantastic job to carve his way through, though, especially in the final race. Karl was very strong and consistent all weekend and we’re impressed with the results he achieved, very well deserved.”

Lundqvist got the weekend off to a terrific start with the fastest time of all in testing, but in qualifying he had to settle for an uncharacteristic 15th on the grid for race one after sustaining damage to his car when making contact with the pitwall. Massaad, meanwhile, enjoyed one of his strongest runs of the season to qualify seventh fastest and just 0.3 seconds shy of the front row.

Although slipping to eighth on the first lap of race one, Massaad stayed in touch with the cars ahead but the next time around he was shuffled back to 11th place. Remaining there to the conclusion on lap 21, the final couple of laps were incredibly dramatic with heavy rain lashing the circuit. Massaad, though, didn’t make any mistakes to safely finish just outside the top 10.

Following the disappointment of qualifying, Lundqvist was determined to carve his way through and he did just that with a storming drive to sixth place. Gaining four positions on lap one alone, the Swede broke into the top 10 the next time around and then grabbed ninth place on the fifth tour.

Taking eighth at mid-distance, the multiple category race winner then starred when the rain arrived and despite the rapidly diminishing levels of grip for the slick tyres, Lundqvist managed to slice his way into the top six on the penultimate tour to cap a sensational drive.

Beginning the first of Sunday’s two races, round 26, from third on the partially reversed grid, Lundqvist made a sensational start to rocket into the lead momentarily before being edged to second. Running wide at Becketts to slip to third, he then set about chasing down the top two.

At Brooklands on lap three, though, as Johnathan Hoggard tried to attempt a pass on the outside, resulting contact pitched Lundqvist into a spin and dropped him to 11th spot. Recovering into the top 10 on lap seven, he moved up into ninth soon after where he stayed to the end. On the final lap, Lundqvist just missed out on the fastest lap by a mere 0.027 seconds.

Starting race two from 11th position, Massaad maintained position on the opening lap but then moved into the top 10 on the second tour when Alex Quinn spun across the grass at Maggotts. Then, after the tangle involving team-mate Lundqvist and Hoggard on lap three, Massaad climbed into eighth and continued his rise on lap five by taking seventh.

Passing Oliver York for sixth on lap 11, the Lebanese racer then focused on trying to reel in Ayrton Simmons but he had to instead turn his attentions to repelling a resurgent York during the closing stages – the Double R driver managing to retain sixth to the flag on lap 21.

Massaad began the final race of the weekend, round 27, from ninth on the grid with Lundqvist needing to work a minor miracle to secure anything like a decent result from 18th and last. At the start both Double R drivers got away cleanly, with Massaad holding position on lap one and his team-mate gaining four places to climb into 14th position.

Taking another spot at the start of lap three, Lundqvist then closed on the battling duo ahead but at Luffield on the fourth tour he had to take to the grass on the outside in avoidance of a tangle and spinning car.

Dropping to 15th as a result, a long way down on the rest of the pack, the Double R racer fought his way back supremely into the top six after a truly stunning drive – including an ultra-close battle with Massaad along the way. Due to a time penalty for Ayrton Simmons, though, Lundqvist finished fifth.

Massaad was edged back to 10th spot on lap four but he moved back into ninth on lap five and then set about pressuring for more. On lap 17, he was passed by the recovering Lundqvist after a terrific, and very clean, wheel-to-wheel scrap but Massaad did manage to climb into eighth before the finish and was also elevated into seventh due to a rival’s penalty.

Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent, Double R Racing’s ‘home’ track, will host the final three races of the British F4 season just a fortnight from now, on 30th September/1st October.