FEWTRELL SECURES BRITISH F4 TITLE AT BRANDS FINALE


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Fewtrell clinched the 2016 crown in the final race to emulate Lando Norris' previous success – Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Round 28
Carlin’s James Pull was inch perfect in slippery conditions at Brands Hatch to claim his second win of the season in Round 28 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford.

As team-mate and poleman Max Fewtrell squirmed off the line struggling for traction, front row starter James Pull took control of the race by getting the better of Fewtrell into Druids on the back of a better start.

With clear air ahead of him Pull was in effortless control out front. Not even a safety car early on following an off for Billy Monger and Devlin DeFrancesco at different parts of the track could break his rhythm. The Carlin racer mastering the restart and managing his pace out front.

Commented the race winner: “I got a bit of wheel spin off the line, but Max got a worse start and then unfortunately for him I managed to get the cut back into Druids.

“After that I just focused on trying to hit my marks and braking points, just like I did when I won at Rockingham and pulled quite a large gap.

“The race was made more difficult by the safety car because I lost the temperature in my tyres and then the rain started to come down again, but I just made sure I got the best exit out of Clearways as I could to pull away at the restart.”

“Towards the end I was a bit nervous about Fielding coming back towards me and I have to say he drove a fantastic race.”

Fewtrell did well to remain in second place, but there was a swarm of TRS Arden cars all eager to pass him. Luis Leeds, Rafael Martins and Ayrton Simmons in hot pursuit. However, Leeds’ chances of the podium were dashed when his car slowed dramatically just seconds before the safety car restart.

Round 29
At the 29th time of asking Jamie Caroline pulled off a memorable victory in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford at Brands Hatch. The driver who has provided so much entertainment for fans in his Ford EcoBoost-powered racer in 2016 achieved the British F4 win he desperately craved.

A trademark Caroline fast start from pole saw the Fortec Motorsports driver lead into turn one clear of Carlin’s Petru Florescu. Caroline then proceeded to scamper off in the distance pushing the car to the limit in typical Caroline fashion.

None of the drivers in the leading pack had a response to the Pirtek Racing backed ace who took the chequered flag with a comfortable margin of almost five seconds. A victory made all the sweeter by achieving it in the dry and so convincingly when some have wondered if Caroline was simply a wet weather specialist. After the race that appears to be far from the case.

Explained an ecstatic Caroline: “I didn’t feel like my start was that great actually. I got quite a bit of wheel spin, but Petru didn’t get a great start either.

“I think in the opening laps I was almost two seconds quicker than anyone.

“I was pushing the car so hard on the warm up lap. I knew I had to get the tyres up to temperature so I could push from the outset, especially as I wasn’t quite sure how fast I would be in the dry.

“Maybe I did it a little too much because the tyres started to go off towards the end.

“I went off a couple of times, once at Hawthorns and once at Surtees but thankfully I was able to get the car back on the track.

“Hopefully this win can help me going into next year, especially with some of my sponsors like Pirtek being here this weekend.

“The car was mega. We went back to my old setup from the start of the year in the search of more performance and the weekend has been really good. We were absolutely rapid in the wet and the dry. It’s been hard to achieve that balance, but finally we have got it.”

Behind Caroline emerged a thrilling battle for second which involved title contenders Sennan Fielding and Max Fewtrell, as well as Florescu and Rafael Martins. The four drivers separated by not much more than a second for much of the race.

Round 30
Max Fewtrell won the final round of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion in style, just hours after his Carlin team had become Teams Champion for the second consecutive year.

Fewtrell refused to buckle under immense pressure for the duration of a nail-biting finale which saw Ayrton Simmons and Sennan Fielding chase him home.

The Carlin racer had to overcome a three point deficit to Fielding heading into the race and was in perfect position to do so starting from pole with Fielding in sixth.

He grasped the opportunity with both hands and put on an inspiring display at the front to hold onto the lead. Showcasing not only his mental strength, but exceptional talent behind the wheel.

A clean getaway ensured he led the field into turn one and although he was unable to break away from Simmons, he had enough in hand to remain just far enough ahead to prevent Simmons from making an attack.

“I cannot really put into words just how winning the title feels at the moment,” said Fewtrell. “It’s all a bit surreal and absolutely amazing. I’m really happy for the team too. It’s been such a long season, especially with it going down to the last race.

“I knew I couldn’t let Sennan past and I thought if he got past Ayrton it could get really tricky. I just stayed really consistent and in a good place.

“I’ve worked so hard with the team and it’s amazing to see it all pay off.

“Winning this championship with Ford involved and the FIA is amazing. I think it’s the best junior championship to win. I’m so happy to have won it in my first year of racing in cars. It’s definitely the highlight of my career so far.”

Alex Battipaglia