Douglas Motorsport’s Matty Graham holds the early lead in the BRDC F4 Winter Championship after two fighting drivers in the opening two races today (Saturday) at the Snetterton 300 circuit in Norfolk.
Starting from pole for both races, he recovered twice from slow starts to take convincing wins in treacherous conditions.
After securing pole in race one following an excellent performance in qualifying, he dropped to third early on behind the fast starting Falco Wauer, driving for series newcomers Enigma Motorsport, and HHC Motorsport’s Sennan Fielding. Graham passed Fielding on lap one with an expert manoeuvre around the outside of Palmer corner, and then hunted down Wauer who had built a decent advantage on the greasy circuit.
Graham made his move on lap four at Riches and then pulled out a gap of nearly three seconds to take the first win of the Winter Championship, to add to the two secured during the main season at Brands Hatch GP and at Silverstone. Wauer on his F4 return claimed second for Enigma ahead of Fielding, also returning to F4 competition. Fielding though was forced to keep one eye in his mirrors as team mate Will Palmer began to charge. The single seater debutant claimed fourth, just 0.7 seconds behind his team mate with an impressive showing, while Jake Cook took fifth for Hillspeed ahead of Mark Godwin Racing’s Pietro Fittipaldi.
In race two, held in much wetter conditions, Graham was again forced to fight his way back through. Another slow start from pole, this time earned through fastest lap in race one, saw him drop to third once more behind Wauer and Fielding. Wauer though left the track at Montreal on the second lap, losing the lead which was handed to Fielding. The HHC Motorsport driver held the lead for several laps before Graham passed and then surged into the distance to win by 11 seconds.
Fielding was untroubled in second with Fittipaldi fighting off an early challenge from Cook to take the final spot on the podium. Palmer again took fourth, this time after a strong recovery drive after running wide on lap one, while Wauer took fifth after an incident filled race. Cook finished sixth for Hillspeed ahead of team mate Dimitris Papanastasiou.
Graham holds a 15 point advantage in the BRDC F4 Winter Championship at this early stage in proceedings, with Fielding second and Falco Wauer third. Palmer holds fourth, ahead of series regular Pietro Fittipaldi, with Jake Cook sixth.
Speaking at the end of the day Graham commented: “I couldn’t have asked for anything more; pole position and two wins, it’s the best I could hope for. It’s been a strong start for us and hopefully I can keep this up tomorrow.
“The starts were tricky, there’s a lot of rubber that’s been laid on the first grid slot, and in the dry it’s fine but in the wet there’s no traction so I’ve had to work hard for the wins, and hopefully if it’s dry tomorrow we can take some more!”
The BRDC F4 Winter Championship is back in action tomorrow (Sunday) with second qualifying at 09.25am. Races three and four start at 11.40 and 14.20 respectively.
BRDC F4 Winter Championship, Race One result, Snetterton 300:
1. Matty Graham, Douglas Motorsport, 10 laps
2. Falco Wauer, Enigma Motorsport, +2.986s
3. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, +4.814s
4. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, +5.546s
5. Jake Cook, Hillspeed, +17.191s
6. Pietro Fittipaldi, MGR Motorsport, +22.258s
BRDC F4 Championship, Race Two result, Snetterton 300:
1. Matty Graham, Douglas Motorsport, 9 laps
2. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, +11.099s
3. Pietro Fittipaldi, Mark Godwin Racing, +20.501s
4. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, +38.114s
5. Falco Wauer, Enigma Motorsport, +41.111s
6. Jake Cook, Hillspeed, +44.356s
BRDC F4 Winter Championship Standings after Race Two of Eight:*
1. Matty Graham, Douglas Motorsport, 60 points
2. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, 45 points
3. Falco Wauer, Enigma Motorsport, 41 points
4. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 36 points
5. Pietro Fittipaldi, Mark Godwin Racing, 35 points
6. Jake Cook, Hillspeed, 31 points
*Provisional points standings