- Max Fewtrell completes superb weekend with a podium and race win to take championship lead.
- Sennan Fielding claims popular home victory in front of adoring fans.
- Young Racing Driver Academy member Jack Martin and Formula Kart Stars Champion Ross Martin both bring home Rookie Class victories.
17 APRIL, 2016 – Ford MSA Formula had a lot to live up to after its the spectacular opening rounds a fortnight ago. Rounds five and six at Donington Park lived up to the hype.
Round five was full of incident with the Ford EcoBoost-powered racing as close as ever. It was experienced JHR Developments driver Sennan Fielding who kept a calm head, just as he had when winning at Brands Hatch, to take a masterful win at his home circuit.
In round six it was Max Fewtrell’s time to shine. Just as Fielding had done in the morning, Fewtrell took a commanding lights to flag victory to round off a weekend which had already seen him record a second and third place finish. A truly formidable display from the man many tipped in pre-season as a title favourite. He leaves the Leicestershire circuit with a 13 point lead in the standings.
It was a fantastic weekend in the Rookie Cup too, with Jack Martin and Ross Martin taking a Rookie Class win apiece to put a halt to Alex Quinn’s run of four successive victories in the class.
ROUND 5: FIELDING FLIES TO SECOND FORD MSA FORMULA VICTORY OF 2016
- Sennan Fielding storms his way to second success of season.
- Incident packed race with a number of high profile non-finishers.
Sennan Fielding drove a textbook race from the front of the grid to record his second Ford EcoBoost-powered victory of the season and a very popular home win ahead of Petru Florescu and Max Fewtrell.
An incident filled raced saw several key protagonists fail to finish including Carlin’s Pull and DeFrancesco, as well as TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds.
Starting from pole, Fielding made a perfect getaway to immediately break away from the clutches of Carlin’s quartet of drivers behind. With clear air ahead he proceeded to pull away from the pack, but the race and his lead was neutralised when the safety car joined the track several laps in as a result of a collision between Fortec’s Ross Martin and Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco.
By the time the stricken cars were cleared, only seven minutes of the race remained. Fielding kept as cool as ever, mastering the restart and putting sufficient daylight between himself and Petru Florescu.
At the restart Florescu was passed by James Pull who pulled off a perfectly judged move into Redgate, but promoted back to second a lap later when his team-mate was forced to retire with damage to his front wing.
Said Fielding: “I got the perfect traction off the line with no wheel spin which meant I was well ahead into the first corner and then I knew had to get my head down and put in some quick laps. I built a good gap, but then the safety car came out.”
“The marshals did a great job to recover all the cars that went off during the race and then when the safety car went in I knew I had to push again to rebuild the gap. I think it was a fantastic race for Ford MSA Formula.”
“With it being my home circuit it gives the weekend added meaning. All my friends and family are here this weekend. I cannot thank enough all my sponsors, Amigos Beer, CBS, Bluebell Wood and obviously the JHR team. Without them I wouldn’t be here. It just shows that you can race in this championship on a tight budget and be the best. “
Florescu hit back in the latter stages recording fastest lap as he closed in on Fielding but it was too late in the race.
Said Florescu: “It was a good race and a great way for me to recover from my difficult qualifying. It’s brilliant to follow up my strong performance in race one yesterday with this podium and fastest lap. This gives me confidence to fight up through the field in race three.”
Team-mate Max Fewtrell brought home yet another podium and big points haul for his championship bid: “It was quite tough at the beginning and tricky to overtake. The safety car didn’t come out at an ideal time for me.
“I had built up a good gap to the cars behind and with the race settling down I was planning to make my attack on the cars in front. The pace wasn’t too bad, but I locked up my front tyre earlier in the race and I just kept on hitting that flat spot in the braking zone.”
JHR’s Jack Butel put in his best performance so far this season, making his way from last on the grid to seventh to score the first points of his campaign. While in eighth place TRS Arden’s Jack Martin was the best of the rookies to bring home his first Rookie Class win of the year.
Said Martin: “It feels great to get this first Rookie win on the board. I’m here to take the fight to the Fortec Motorsports’ rookies and today’s result is a clear demonstration of that. I’m starting eighth in the race this afternoon so hopefully I can move forward and do the same again.”
Another who scored his first points of the year was JTR’s Patrik Matthiesen who pulled off some resolute defensive driving to keep race one winner Alex Quinn behind him for much of the race after Quinn dropped down the order due to a trip through the gravel.
Frank Bird and Harry Hayek were the last of the finishers, but unlucky not to score points having kept their cool in such an eventful race.
There was a thrilling battle for ninth which saw Double R’s Zane Goddard under attack from Nicolai Kjaergaard, but it ended in tears with a spectacular collision between the two; the former catapulting over the Danish rookie’s car as a result of the contact at Old Hairpin. The same corner claiming a victim early on in the form of yesterday’s podium finisher Luis Leeds.
Rafael Martins steered clear of the drama to progress from tenth to fourth for TRS Arden and he was followed home by Jamun’s Jamie Caroline and Billy Monger, the latter picking up a couple of places from his starting position.
Just as he did in race one, Caroline once again put in a spirited drive to climb back up the order having fallen to 13th early on.
ROUND 6: FEWTRELL PUSHES TO THE MAX FOR MAIDEN FORD MSA FORMULA VICTORY
- Fewtrell caps off brilliant weekend with maiden single-seater victory.
- Win sees Fewtrell snatch the championship lead from Carlin team-mate Petru Florescu.
- Formula Kart Stars champion Ross Martin takes first Rookie Class win,
They say things go in threes and for the third time in succession Donington Park played host to a Ford EcoBoost-powered lights to flag victory. In round six the spoils went to Carlin’s Max Fewtrell ahead of TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds and Fortec rookie Ross Martin.
It was a straightforward race for Fewtrell who like the weekend’s earlier pole sitters made a perfect getaway when the lights went out.
The same could not be said of Alex Quinn who struggled off the line in his Fortec Motorsports racer and dropped to sixth. Fastest lap proved to be his consolation prize in a race where he had hoped to record another win for the Racing Steps Foundation.
As Quinn fell back, Luis Leeds (TRS Arden) and Ross Martin (Fortec) were the immediate beneficiaries, moving up to second and third respectively and they proved to be Fewtrell’s closest challengers. However, the 16-year-old kart star had enough in hand to maintain a sufficient gap throughout, preventing his pursuers from mounting an attack.
James Pull (Carlin) in fourth and Sennan Fielding (JHR Developments) in fifth completed a breakaway group which spanned from Fewtrell down to Quinn; with this collection of six drivers capable of consistently lapping in the low 1m 08s bracket.
An ecstatic Fewtrell commented: “I needed to get a good start and be consistent because I knew I had the pace to keep the gap. As soon as I got that gap it stayed the same. Breaking the tow was key.
“Three podiums is brilliant, especially with one of them coming in the reverse grid race and to finish the weekend off with a win is great. Fighting with a lot of second year drivers is obviously a challenge, but I’m learning every race and getting more confident with the car and its Ford EcoBoost technology”.
Added second place man Leeds: “It was an alright weekend. Second in every race session apart from race two this weekend. I hope to get my first win pretty soon, but consistency is key and I’ve said that all along because my goal is to win the championship. I cannot wait for Thruxton. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself for three weeks until then!”
It was a landmark race for Ross Martin whose third place netted him his first Rookie class win of the campaign, and demonstrated that the Formula Kart Stars (FKS) champion is taking full advantage of his fully funded prize drive in the UK’s official FIA F4 series.
“I didn’t have a great start to the weekend but what an end”, enthused Martin. “The car felt amazing throughout and I dealt with the pressure well at the start. FKS have been rooting for me to get on the top step of the podium so to get my first Rookie win this early on is fantastic and hopefully my mentor Allan McNish managed to watch the race on television.”
There was drama early on as the field was forced to complete an additional formation lap when Zane Goddard’s Double R racer ground to a halt on the way to the grid.
Carlin’s DeFrancesco added to the excitement when the racing got underway as he rejoined the track following an off at the exit of Craner Curves, only to force several cars to take evasive action when he reappeared on the asphalt at Old Hairpin.
Jamun’s Jamie Caroline scythed through the midfield once again to make his way from 14th to seventh. The highlight of his race a robust overtaking manoeuvre on TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins who would follow the Pirtek Racing sponsored driver home in eighth.
Another stellar pass came from JHR’s Billy Monger who perfectly judged his move on Dane Nicolai Kjaergaard into Redgate on lap four and would later squeeze by Jerseyman Jack Butel on the final lap to finish on the fringes of the points in 11th.
Redgate is also where Martins showcased his race craft; brilliantly turning defence (brought about by team-mate Jack Martin glued to his gearbox) into attack as he tore past Hayek who had leapt in front of the Brazilian earlier on in proceedings. Martin would subsequently follow in Martins’ wheel tracks to also get ahead of the Aussie F4 graduate who clung on to the last points paying position.
It was a frustrating race for Carlin’s Petru Florescu who had to settle for 13th having hoped to make more progress through the field from the back of the grid after fighting at the front in race two earlier in the day.
It’s a result that sees Florescu relinquish his championship lead after Fewtrell’s superb performance this weekend. Attention now turns to rounds seven, eight and nine of season at Thruxton on 7-8 May. All eyes will be on Fewtrell to see if he can maintain this phenomenal run of form and whether Leeds can finally join the roster of maiden Ford EcoBoost-powered winners having now collected a trio of second place finishes.
Ford MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by EcoBoost
Provisional results Round 5, Donington Park 17 April, 2016
15 laps / 29.69 miles
1 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 20m 26.414s / 87.02 mph
2 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +1.486s
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +2.606S
4 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +3.042s
5 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun +7.355s
6 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR +8.009s
7 Jack BUTEL / GBR / JHR +10.862s
8 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden +14.938s
9 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +18.728s
10 Patrik MATTHIESEN / DEN / JTR +18.977s etc
Fastest lap Florescu 1:08.755 / 103.62 mph
Rookie Class 1 J Martin; 2 Quinn
Provisional results Round 6, Donington Park 17 April, 2016
15 laps / 29.69 miles
1 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 17m 18.620s / 102.78 mph
2 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +1.063s
3 Ross MARTIN / GBR / Fortec +1.469s
4 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +2.618s
5 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +2.931s
6 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +3.481s
7 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun +9.939s
8 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +10.798s
9 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden +12.594s
10 Harry HAYEK / AUS / Jamun +13.942 etc
Fastest lap Quinn 1:08.338 / 104.25 mph
Rookie Class 1 R Martin; 2 Quinn; 3 J Martin; 4 Kjaergaard
Provisional championship standings
1 Fewtrell 89; =2 Florescu 76; =2 Fielding 76; 4 Pull 69; 5 Leeds 68; 6 Quinn 55; 7 Caroline 47; 8 Martins 45; 9 Goddard 18 etc.
Rookie Class 1 Quinn 136; 2 J Martin 97; 3 R Martin 76; 4 Kjaergaard 72 etc.