- Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn converts pole to maiden victory.
- Win sees Quinn take his championship challenge up a gear and pull further clear in Rookie Cup.
- Petru Florescu performs brilliant comeback drive to hold onto championship lead.
DONINGTON PARK 16 APRIL, 2016 – Alex Quinn pulled off a fantastic lights to flag victory in wet conditions following a hail storm at Donington Park. The Rookie driver made a perfect getaway off the line, making amends for a series of difficult starts at Brands Hatch a fortnight ago, and kept TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds and Carlin’s Max Fewtrell at bay for the duration.
Said the Racing Steps Foundation backed winner: “It feels amazing to get my first win. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the weekend. It was quite tricky with the changeable weather, but I knew I could go quickly in the wet just like I did in the dry earlier in qualifying.
“I built a good gap to start with, but then I relaxed perhaps a little too much. I just didn’t want to make any mistakes and didn’t push too hard. This meant it got quite close at the end and I had to defend, but it was a really good race and I couldn’t be happier.”
The race was brought to a premature end with under four minutes remaining when a red flag was thrown because of Patrick Matthiesen’s stranded JTR at Coppice, denying spectators a thrilling three way fight for win. However, take nothing away from Quinn. This was a top drawer performance from a Rookie who has underlined his Ford MSA Formula title credentials.
Second place man Leeds commented: “It was hard to pass in the wet. The track was so slippery, but it was a fun race and I’m happy. Arden have done a great job to get a really good wet setup sorted.
“I was sizing up Quinn towards the end, but then the red flag came. That’s the way it goes sometimes and he deserved to win. It’s great to bring these points home and my aim is to maintain this consistency.”
Said Fewtrell of his third place: “It’s a really good result. The pace was so strong. I was able to match the guys in front, it’s just really hard to overtake in those sorts of conditions. If you’re on the wrong line it’s like driving on ice and when you are behind someone the spray makes it difficult to see.
“I’m happy to get another podium and this great haul of points. I’ll start on pole tomorrow in race three and I’m excited to see what I can do from there.”
Behind Fewtrell were team-mates James Pull and Devlin DeFrancesco, whilst Petru Florescu bounced back from last on the grid to sixth after a qualifying beleaguered by technical problems. His comeback drive enough to retain his championship lead by a single point over Pull.
Home favourite Sennan Fielding had a relatively quiet race in seventh, but will start on pole in race two tomorrow and look to add to his victory tally.
Finishing just behind the Chesterfield racer was Jamie Caroline who provided his customary instalment of on-track entertainment. An opening lap charge saw him climb from 15th to sixth, but he came undone at Redgate on the following lap as he took a trip through the gravel.
Fellow Ginetta Junior graduate Billy Monger was unable to follow-up his superb fourth in qualifying, but he’s sure to hit back later in the weekend, especially in drier conditions.
JHR’s Jack Butel came unstuck on lap three, having to retire due to a technical problem; whilst Zane Goddard was another non-finisher following a skirmish early on with TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins.
Round five of the season gets underway at 1005 tomorrow with home hero Sennan Fielding on pole, and Carlin’s quartet of drivers behind him on the grid hungry for more success. At 1510 the lights will go out on round six which will be shown live on ITV4, when Alex Quinn will aim to make another lightening start from the front row.
Ford MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by EcoBoost
Provisional results Round 4, Donington Park 16 April, 2016
11 laps / 27.77 miles
1 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 15m 14.253s / 85.57 mph
2 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +0.599s
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +0.790s
4 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +3.040s
5 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +13.997s
6 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +17.239s
7 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +17.849
8 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun +21.106s
9 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR 1:08.212 +25.536s
10 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +26.320s etc
Fastest lap Pull 1:20.947 / 88.01 mph
Rookie Class 1 Quinn; 2 R Martin; 3 J Martin; 4 Kjaergaard
Provisional championship standings
1 Florescu 58; 2 Pull 57; 3 Leeds 50; 4 Fewtrell 49; 5 Quinn 45; 6 Fielding 41; 7 Caroline 30; 8 Martins 29; 9 Goddard 18; 10 DeFrancesco 17 etc
Rookie Class 1 Quinn 100; Kjaergaard 60; J Martin 57; R Martin 51