James Fletcher took his and Team KBS’ maiden win in the BRDC F4 Championship today (Saturday 15 June), after fending off a late challenge from HHC Motorsport’s Charlie Robertson in the first race of the weekend at Snetterton.
Fletcher started from second place on the grid, but moved into the lead immediately when pole sitter, and then-championship leader Jake Dalton suffered a drive shaft failure as the start lights went out, forcing him out of the race. Thankfully, the 21 other F4 cars managed to avoid the stationary MGR car, with Fletcher holding the lead at turn one.
Matt Bell, from third on the grid, posed a strong challenge early on and was slipstreaming Fletcher down the Senna straight during the opening laps.
An off track excursion from Bell on lap three promoted Morris and Robertson into the podium positions, and the two most recent Ginetta Junior champions went wheel to wheel for several laps before Robertson drove around the outside of his rival at the left handed Brundle corner on lap five.
Robertson began to hunt down Fletcher, closing a lead of over three seconds down to 1.6 within three laps, but Fletcher was able to stretch the lead back out to over two seconds by the end of the race.
Seb Morris claimed third for Hillspeed, while the hard charging Raoul Hyman secured fourth for HHC Motorsport. Pietro Fittipaldi claimed fifth for Mark Godwin Racing ahead of Team KBS’ Falco Wauer. Sennan Fielding was seventh for Douglas Motorsport with privateer Matt Bell eighth, claiming the pole position for race two which takes place at 10.00am tomorrow. Struan Moore drove a fantastic race for Hillspeed to claim ninth having started 17th, while Lanan Racing’s Jake Hughes steamed through the field from 22nd to claim 10th.
Robertson’s podium gives him the lead in the BRDC F4 Championship, with Dalton now second and Bell remains third. Morris moves up to fourth ahead of Sean Walkinshaw Racing’s Matty Graham and Jack Barlow. Fletcher moves up to eighth in the provisional standings.
Speaking afterwards Fletcher said: “That was awesome. Unfortunately Jake Dalton had a driveshaft go at the start which obviously gave me an advantage at the front. In the first couple of laps I was hassled a bit by Matt Bell but unfortunately he went off which gave me a lot of breathing space to crack down and get on with it. I think towards the end my tyres started to go off a little bit, which allowed Charlie Robertson to start to catch me, but he didn’t have enough laps. The whole race was absolutely fantastic and it’s obviously great to have a race win as well for Kelvin [Burt] because the whole of the team has done such a great job.
“I think tomorrow I can definitely aim for another top three finish. We’ve definitely got the speed to do it so if everything is set up nicely we should get there.”
BRDC Formula 4 Championship race one result, Snetterton 300 (revised result)
1. James Fletcher, Team KBS, 10 laps
2. Charlie Robertson, HHC Motorsport, +2.085s
3. Seb Morris, Hillspeed, +4.878s
4. Raoul Hyman, HHC Motorsport, +7.532s
5. Pietro Fittipaldi, Mark Godwin Racing, +14.144s
6. Falco Wauer, Team KBS, +14.958s
7. Sennan Fielding, Douglas Motorsport, +16.520s
8. Matt Bell, MattRBell Racing Team E-Lites, +18.337s
9. Struan Moore, Hillspeed, +18.406s
10. Jake Hughes, Lanan Racing, +19.799s
Provisional BRDC Formula 4 Championship standings after round seven:
1. Charlie Robertson, HHC Motorsport, 148pts
2. Jake Dalton, Mark Godwin Racing, 139pts
3. Matt Bell, MattRBell Racing Team E-Lites, 134pts
4. Seb Morris, Hillspeed, 110pts
5. Matthew Graham, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, 99pts
6. Jack Barlow, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, 95pts
7. Jake Hughes, Lanan Racing, 95pts
8. James Fletcher, Team KBS, 85pts
9. Falco Wauer, Team KBS, 78pts
10. Raoul Hyman, HHC Motorsport, 68pts