Douglas Motorsport’s Matty Graham is the 2013 BRDC F4 Winter Champion after victory in race three at Brands Hatch today (Sunday 24 November), and then a strong sixth place in the final round of the series.
The 17-year-old was the driver to beat in qualifying this morning, securing pole for race one by 0.2 seconds and then dominated the event, battling against a mid race rain shower to take the flag by 4.2 seconds, while others struggled to keep their pace up on the slippery surface. Kieran Vernon, on his first F4 weekend claimed second for Hillspeed with Pietro Fittipaldi third for Mark Godwin Racing.
Graham’s victory, combined with a late race spin from nearest championship contender Jake Cook meant he went into the final race of the day virtually assured of the title. In fact only a disqualification from the event would have denied him the crown in the final race.
As it was, Graham took a safe sixth place finish, while Cook’s Hillspeed team mate Kieran Vernon took victory on his maiden BRDC F4 weekend after withstanding race long pressure from Fittipaldi who claimed second ahead of Fielding.
Race winner Vernon commented “It’s been a great weekend and it’s ended perfectly. The weekend has got better and better and I wasn’t expecting three podiums to be honest. I’m over the moon, I haven’t won since 2011 and I’m chuffed to bits. Thanks to Hillspeed for getting me to grips with the car. Pietro pushed me hard and caught me quick and it took me a while to find my pace, but I knew if I held my line he’d find it hard to pass.”
The final championship standings, after taking into account the one dropped score sees Graham take the crown by 14 points from Cook, with HHC Motorsport’s Sennan Fielding classified third, five points behind Cook.
Champion Graham enthused: “It’s an amazing feeling to win the Winter Championship. We’ve worked hard and Douglas Motorsport have done an excellent job. There was a bit of pressure coming into the series as I was touted as a favourite but I’ve done what I came here to do and I’m very happy with myself. Hopefully we can use this as a springboard to Europe next season!”
Graham won three of the eight races across the Winter Championship, with his average finish being third. He admits he was confident of success before the series started. “I knew I had the pace to win the Winter Championship and after winning the first two races at Snetterton, and to do it so dominantly made me think I had a really good chance. But the second day at Snetterton didn’t go as planned. But this weekend has been great and it’s all come good!”
Provisional final 2013 BRDC F4 Winter Championship standings:
1. Matty Graham, Douglas Motorsport, 166pts
2. Jake Cook, Hillspeed, 152pts
3. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, 147pts
4. Falco Wauer, Enigma Motorsport, 133pts
5. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 131pts
6. Pietro Fittipaldi, Mark Godwin Racing, 127pts
BRDC F4 Winter Championship race seven result:
1. Matty Graham, Douglas Motorsport, 24 laps
2. Kieran Vernon, Hillspeed, +4.219s
3. Pietro Fittipaldi, Mark Godwin Racing, +5.273s
4. Jake Cook, Hillspeed, +6.174s
5. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, +9.378s
6. Falco Wauer, Enigma Motorsport, 13.399s
BRDC F4 Winter Championship race eight result:
1. Kieran Vernon, Hillspeed, 25 laps
2. Pietro Fittipaldi, Mark Godwin Racing, +0.954s
3. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, +1.324s
4. Jake Cook, Hillspeed, +4.635s
5. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, +5.597s
6. Matty Graham, Douglas Motorsport, +5.908s