Zagazeta fends off Granfors to seal lights-to-flag triumph in Knockhill finale

Phinsys by Argenti racer Matias Zagazeta soaked up race-long pressure from Fortec Motorsport’s Joel Granfors to round out the weekend at Knockhill with an emphatic lights-to-flag win in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost.

The Peruvian made another solid getaway to fend off Granfors on the opening tour, and from there the gap between the pair swung back and forth; at it’s peak, Zagazeta enjoyed a near-one second advantage, Swedish rising star Granfors coming to within 0.25s at the other end of the scale.

The two set near-identical lap times for the duration, taking the chequered flag separated by just 0.526s. It marks a third win of the season for Zagazeta, a first ever brace on a single weekend for his Argenti team, and propels the 16-year-old into third in the title race.

At the championship summit, a somewhat lonely run to the final spot on the podium for JHR Developments’ Matthew Rees ensured that, with erstwhile points leader James Hedley (Fortec) non-scoring, he would assume the lead by 5 markers heading into the second half of the season.

Rees secured third on the opening tour of the 1.2-mile Fife circuit, a bold move to the inside of Aiden Neate (Phinsys by Argenti) elevating him up the order. Carlin’s Dougie Bolger and Rees’ JHR team-mate Abbi Pulling also followed him through into fourth and fifth respectively.

Bolger and Pulling’s battle raged on throughout the 20-minute contest, and was only decided on the final lap after a slight off-track excursion for Bolger at Duffus Dip enabled Pulling to place the car on the apex at MacIntyre and annex the position.

Bolger was then left to fend off the attention of Neate, who finished an equal career-best sixth, netting a maiden Rookie Cup podium in the process.

Neate’s Argenti team-mate Eduardo Coseteng was seventh to cap off a solid weekend, with Carlin’s Kai Askey eighth on the road. McKenzy Cresswell (JHR) enjoyed another battling drive from further down the field after a difficult qualifying, the race two winner able to rise through the order to ninth.

Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak (Carlin) rounded out the points finishers, with Granfors collecting the bonus point for the Motul Fastest Lap.

It was a case of close, but not close enough for Hedley, the BRDC Rising Star making up five positions from last on the grid to claim 11th, but agonisingly just short of a points-paying finish.

Marcos Flack took the flag in 12th with a near-six second buffer over the next car, Arden’s David Morales, with Zak Taylor (Arden) rounding out the finishers after being tagged early on by JHR’s Joseph Loake at the Hairpin.

With Oliver Gray – a late retirement from the contest – charging on the inside line, Taylor’s sweep around the outside went perhaps un-noticed by Loake, who found himself in the middle of a three-wide fight into the braking zone.

Contact was made between Loake and Taylor on the apex of the right-hander, the Red Arrow pitched into a spin before both cars came to rest nose-to-nose. Taylor was able to continue, but Loake had to bit with front end damage and retired from the contest six laps from the end.

The F4 British Championship heads next to the high-speed Thruxton in Hampshire for it’s second visit of the campaign on 28-29 August.

Provisional Result – Round 15:

Pos. Name Team Laps
1 Matias ZAGAZETA Phinsys by Argenti 25 laps
2 Joel GRANFORS Fortec Motorsport +0.526s
3 Matthew REES JHR Developments +4.527s
4 Abbi PULLING JHR Developments +9.516s
5 Dougie BOLGER Carlin +10.705s
6 Aiden NEATE Phinsys by Argenti +11.090s
7 Eduardo COSETENG Phinsys by Argenti +12.741s
8 Kai ASKEY Carlin +13.231s
9 McKenzy CRESSWELL JHR Developments +18.447s
10 Tasanapol INTHRAPHUVASAK Carlin +18.699s
11 James HEDLEY Fortec Motorsport +21.261s
12 Marcos FLACK Phinsys by Argenti +22.753s
13 David MORALES Arden Motorsport +28.620s
14 Zak TAYLOR Arden Motorsport +29.808s
DNF Oliver GRAY Fortec Motorsport +2 laps
DNF Joseph LOAKE JHR Developments +6 laps