Privateer Matt Bell has won the inaugural BRDC Formula 4 race at Silverstone today (Saturday), after an enthralling battle on the Grand Prix circuit. Jake Hughes claimed second for Lanan Racing with Seb Morris third for Hillspeed.
A total of 21 cars took to the home of the British Grand Prix, with Lanan Racing’s Hughes starting from pole ahead of Mark Godwin Racing’s Jake Dalton with Bell starting third.
Dalton made a strong getaway from second place on the grid to lead into Copse corner on the first lap, out-dragging pole man Hughes with Bell slotting into third.
The front two initially pulled away, but on lap four, Bell began drawing them back in and he started to put the pair under major pressure.
On lap five, Bell was close enough to attempt a pass on Hughes coming into the Loop and was alongside the Lanan car. Hughes pulled clear though and was in a position to challenge leader Dalton coming into Luffield. But Hughes made contact with the back of Dalton’s car, allowing Bell to move into the lead, which he never surrendered, maintaining a gap of over two seconds for the remainder of the race.
Hughes retained second place but Dalton dropped to fourth in the incident, behind Hillspeed’s Seb Morris. A determined Dalton hounded Morris for the remainder of the race, finishing just 0.3s behind at the chequered flag.
Charlie Robertson made up three places on his start position to finish fifth for HHC Motorsport, with Jack Barlow sixth for Sean Walkinshaw Racing and Struan Moore seventh for Hillspeed. The trio were separated by less than a second across the line.
Mexican Diego Menchaca finished eighth for Mark Godwin Racing, and will start tomorrow’s reversed-grid opening race from pole position.
Matthew Graham claimed ninth for Sean Walkinshaw Racing whilst Pietro Fittipaldi made up 11 places to finish tenth after starting from the back of the grid following a technical irregularity in qualifying.
Speaking afterwards, Bell enthused: “It feels amazing. Amazing is probably not a good enough word for it to be honest with you because I still can’t believe it. It’s been a long run up to here and it’s a great start.
“The front two were obviously flat out quite early on and I was just biding my time a little bit to be honest. 20 minutes is a long race but I think I had a little bit of extra pace in me and I think we were all pretty even. I was just biding my time really and take any opportunity I could with them battling and obviously my pace was there because I set the fastest lap of the race.
“We’re going to have to see how it plays out tomorrow. If I finish top six from eighth I’ll be happy but we’ll see, there’s a lot of learning to do yet on this first race weekend. I think overtaking could be reasonably easy but we’re running slightly different settings to the other cars so we’ll see.”
BRDC Formula 4 Championship, Race one result, Silverstone GP:
1. Matt Bell, MattRBellRacing Team E-Lites, 10 laps
2. Jake Hughes, Lanan Racing, +1.346s
3. Seb Morris, Hillspeed, +2.565s
4. Jake Dalton, Mark Godwin Racing, +2.880s
5. Charlie Robertson, HHC Motorsport, +11.237s
6. Jack Barlow, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +11.499s
7. Struan Moore, Hillspeed, +11.969s
8. Diego Menchaca, Mark Godwin Racing, +16.770s
9. Matthew Graham, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +19.803s
10. Pietro Fittipaldi, Mark Godwin Racing, +20.539s