|ROUND 17: PETRU POWERS TO FIFTH BRITISH F4 VICTORY OF THE SEASON
- Florescu leads home Carlin 1-2-3 and regains championship lead.
- Kjaergaard’s excellent weekend continues with a fourth place finish and another Rookie class win for Fortec Motorsports.
Round 17 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford at Snetterton was thrilling with action throughout the field. Whilst there was no shortage of overtaking in a rapidly evolving race, one thing remained constant; Petru Florescu powering away out front to claim his fifth win of the season and retake the lead in the standings.
An excellent start from the Romanian saw him run alongside pole sitter Rafael Martins into turn one, with Florescu boldly hanging on around the outside to take the lead. As has been the case on many occasions this year, once Florescu was out in front nobody could catch him.
Said Petru: “It was a really good comeback after the bad qualifying this morning. I feel really good about being back in the lead of the championship, but I need a good race tomorrow to stay in front.
“I didn’t really know how fast I could go around this track because in qualifying I missed my chance to push and this afternoon my fastest lap was quicker than the pole time. I’m also really happy for my team-mates with them being on the podium.
Florescu led home a Carlin 1-2-3 with James Pull and Devlin DeFrancesco completing the rest of the podium. However, the result was by no means a certainty for Carlin, their drivers taking full advantage as the drama unfolded during the race.
Commented second place man Pull: “Just one more step to go for the race win. The Arden situation at Riches helped me out a little bit, but I took the opportunity when it came. The same with passing Kjaergaard.
Up until then it was all about trying to hold off Sennan [Fielding] who was really fast, especially in sector one and sector three. I just had to hold him off, but I managed to do that.”
Added DeFrancesco: “it was a great race. Our pace has improved. It’s a step in the right direction. There are a few more things we need to work on, but we are going the right way as a team both on the driving and technical side of things. We can find more for sure. I cannot thank the team enough.
“Towards the middle of the race we were lacking a bit of pace to Sennan, but I saw my opportunity and went for it. It was the same with Kjaergaard. I got in his tow and managed to pull past him before turn one.”
Explained Carlin team manager Martin Knapman: “We thought we were struggling a little bit this morning. This result has been given to us a little by other people going off, but we just try hard and stick hard at it.
“It’s teamwork which makes the dream work. We all pull in the same direction and work hard to get the results.”
Further down the order Jamie Caroline made amends for a disastrous start in the first race of the weekend by climbing from last on the grid to 13th on the opening lap, later working his way up seventh in sublime fashion.
Another driver with a point to prove was Carlin’s Max Fewtrell. The title protagonist was his usual calm and composed self as he gradually picked his way through the field and into the points. Most notably gaining two places in quick succession on lap three, scything past Jack Butel and Frank Bird.
A couple of laps later the safety car ventured out on track to allow Jack Martin’s TRS Arden to be recovered at Agostini after it had suffered technical difficulties.
The restart was heart stopping as an unfortunate coming together between Martins and Leeds in the battle for second place scuppered their chances of the podium.
It meant Kjaergaard found himself running in second, but Pull and DeFrancesco were swift in their attack, the latter squeezing past Fielding at the restart after Fielding had got the upper hand on the opening lap.
Take nothing away from Kjaergaard though; his fourth place rounding off the best day in the Dane’s single-seater career to date as he brought home victory in the Rookie Class once more and a tidy sum of points for his Fortec Motorsports team.
Commented Kjaergaard: “The race was going well up until the safety car. My pace was getting better and better. The guys behind me pushed so hard when I was in second and I made a couple of mistakes.
“I’m proud of how I raced before the safety car. My plan was to hold my own and drive my own race and score more points for the championship. I hope to keep this level of performance up and get an overall podium soon.”
Kjaergaard’s team-mate Quinn put in another assured performance, climbing several places to come home sixth; whilst Frank Bird capped off a strong race for Fortec with all its cars finishing inside the points.
JTR’s Patrik Matthiesen was another who crossed the line pleased with his work; taking a well deserved points score in eighth having showcased some great defensive skills when in front of Fewtrell.
JHR’s Billy Monger was unlucky to finish just outside the points having started 17th. Meanwhile Richardson Racing’s Alexandra Marinescu appeared to have made a step forward following her first race of the season earlier in the day, working her way up to 12th, keeping cool amid all the drama.
Said Marinescu: “I’m really happy. I wasn’t expecting to finish 12th in my second race. I was a little bit lucky with other people going off, but I also did my best lap times in the last few laps so I’m really happy that we are improving.
“Top ten would be unbelievably great [in tomorrow’s race], but I’m trying to stay realistic. It’s really fun to be behind the wheel of the British F4 car and working with Richardson Racing.”
The finale to the F4 British Championship weekend commences at 1450 on Sunday. It will be televised live on ITV4 with Sennan Fielding starting from pole once again.