Duo BRDC F4 heads to Donington as title contenders chase leader Palmer
The Duo BRDC Formula 4 Championship heads to Donington Park this weekend (12/13 September) for the penultimate meeting of the 2015 season, with eight drivers still mathematically in contention for this year’s crown. For the sixth and final time this year, the British GT Championship will co-headline the meeting alongside BRDC F4.
The BRDC F4 grid will take to the 2.5-mile Grand Prix Circuit in Leicestershire for three races across the two-day meeting, with qualifying getting underway at 11:20 and the Saturday with the first race of the weekend taking place the same day at 16:35. Race two begins on Sunday at 11:10 with the final encounter at Donington at 15:50, with all the action being broadcast exclusively live on Motors TV in the UK and throughout Europe.
HHC Motorsport’s Will Palmer heads into the final six races of the year with a 74-point advantage over his nearest rival. Palmer added two more victories last time out at Snetterton, taking his tally for the season to eight, and the BRDC Rising Star can theoretically claim the title this weekend if results go his way.
Tom Jackson leads the pursuit of Palmer in the championship battle, having claimed second place in the standings with a triple-podium in Norfolk, including his second win of the year. Harri Newey, son of Formula One designer Adrian, moved into third as he also recorded three top-three finishes at Snetterton, and he now sits 29 points behind Jackson in the championship chase.
Mexican racer Rodrigo Fonseca, who held second in the championship for most of the season, has dropped to fourth and has failed to score a podium since Silverstone in May. The Lanan Racing man will be aiming to record some strong results at Donington as he sits just five points clear of Ciaran Haggerty. The Ecurie Ecosse Young Driver has taken five top-three finishes so far this season but is yet to win and he will be looking to rectify that this weekend.
Two-time winners Jordan Albert and Chris Mealin lie sixth and seventh respectively in the championship and both will be drivers to watch. Mealin’s Lanan Racing team-mate Jack Bartholomew has enjoyed a strong rookie season and is currently eighth, the last racer who has a chance of claiming the 2015 crown.
With 16 drivers having claimed at least one podium finish from the 18 races so far this year, competition has been fierce. Those outside of title contention, such as race winner Omar Ismail and top-three finishers Jack Lang and Sisa Ngebulana, still have the pace to challenge at the very front so the racing action will be as dramatic as usual.
Donington Park hosted a thrilling penultimate round of the 2014 season, with Sennan Fielding, Raoul Hyman and Arjun Maini each taking a victory apiece. The weekend would prove memorable for a clash between title contenders George Russell and Raoul Hyman in race three, as they made contact whilst fighting for the lead at the Old Hairpin. The incident meant Russell lost his championship lead heading to the final round at Snetterton, but he reclaimed top spot and the title in dramatic fashion with victory in the final race of the year.
Live timing and text updates will be available throughout the weekend on the official Formula 4 website, with the regular one-hour long highlights programme available on ITV4 and BT Sport a week following the race meeting.
For more information on the Duo BRDC F4 Championship, visit www.formula4.com.
2015 Duo BRDC Formula 4 Championship standings after race 18 of 24
1. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 418 points
2. Tom Jackson, Chris Dittmann Racing, 344 points
3. Harri Newey, HHC Motorsport, 315 points
4. Rodrigo Fonseca, Lanan Racing, 303 points
5. Ciaran Haggerty, Ecurie Ecosse/GBR, 298 points
6. Jordan Albert, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, 269 points
7. Chris Mealin, Lanan Racing, 254 points
8. Jack Bartholomew, Lanan Racing, 241 points
9. Omar Ismail, Chris Dittmann Racing, 206 points
10. Jack Lang, Lang Sport/Gorse Motors, 170 points
11. Zubair Hoque, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, 160 points
=. Faisal Al Zubair, Hillspeed, 160 points
13. Sisa Ngebulana, HHC Motorsport, 157 points
14. Akhil Rabindra, Douglas Motorsport, 155 points
15. Fernando Urrutia, Douglas Motorsport, 141 points
16. Michael O’Brien, Chris Dittmann Racing, 134 points
17. Ameya Vaidyanathan, Hillspeed, 128 points
18. James Reveler, 23 Racing, 101 points
19. Sebastian Lanzetti, Hillspeed, 89 points
20. Hernan Fallas, Mark Godwin Racing, 53 points
21. Joe Stables, JR Racing, 49 points
22. Paul Sieljes, Chris Dittmann Racing, 34 points
23. Marc Gonzalez, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, 13 points