AMAZ­ING START TO BRI­TISH F4 ERA

New win­ners, team-mates clash­ing and fre­netic rac­ing at Thrux­ton

Motor Sport News - - BTCC Report: Thruxton - Pho­tos: Jakob Ebrey By Stephen Lick­o­r­ish

“Amaz­ing” was how Trevor Car­lin de­scribed the third Thrux­ton race. It sums up an in­cred­i­ble week­end of rac­ing that pro­vided drama through­out.

The name change to Bri­tish F4 co­in­cided with a change in men­tal­ity of the drivers as they took full ad­van­tage of the slip­stream­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties the Hamp­shire track pro­vides to cre­ate in­ci­dent-filled races.

The opener was dom­i­nated by Car­lin’s Ro­ma­nian driver Petru Florescu as he stormed to a third win of the sea­son. Be­hind, things were more com­pli­cated – not least be­tween two of his team-mates.

Af­ter los­ing out at the start to JHR’S Sen­nan Field­ing, Max Fewtrell’s race then ended abruptly when fight­ing James Pull into the Club chi­cane.

The Car­lin cars made con­tact, which sent Fewtrell into a roll and he landed on top of the bar­ri­ers on the in­side of the cor­ner.

“It was so quick and I was on top of the bar­rier and won­dered what hap­pened there,” said Fewtrell.

There was bet­ter news for Car­lin’s fi­nal racer Devlin De­francesco, as he snatched se­cond af­ter a ter­rific fight with Field­ing.

The se­cond race was all about Ar­den Aussie Luis Leeds – al­though his maiden vic­tory was far from straight­for­ward. He passed Jack Bu­tel and Pull around the out­side into the Com­plex on the open­ing lap and quickly built a size­able lead. This was soon eroded, how­ever, when the safety car was de­ployed af­ter Rafael Martins and Ni­co­lai Kjaer­gaard col­lided at Church.

He also pulled away on the restart – only to lose out again when the pace car was again re­quired af­ter Bu­tel and De­francesco clashed at Club.

For the third time Leeds got away to fi­nally take his first win – from Ja­mun’s Jamie Caro­line, who had started 10th.

“That was a typ­i­cal first lap from me and I man­aged to stay out of trou­ble,” beamed Caro­line. A late er­ror brought Billy Monger onto his tail – with the JHR driver claim­ing his maiden podium. Car­rie Schreiner was an im­pres­sive fourth, while Fewtrell re­tired af­ter a col­li­sion with Harry Hayek.

But the fi­nale pro­vided the most drama, and this time the rac­ing was clean. Af­ter early leader Florescu fell down the order, there was a five-way lead bat­tle. De­francesco, Fewtrell, Field­ing, Monger and Pull fought fre­net­i­cally with the places chang­ing lap af­ter lap.

In the end De­francesco scored his maiden win, from Monger and Fewtrell.

“What an un­be­liev­able race!” said the ju­bi­lant De­francesco. “I gave it my best but there was in­tense pres­sure from the drivers be­hind.”

Mean­while, Fewtrell was de­lighted to fi­nally score some points. “The cham­pagne definitely helps af­ter a dif­fi­cult week­end,” he said. It tasted even bet­ter for Field­ing, who has now usurped Fewtrell as points leader.

Fewtrell (31) leads a tight Bri­tish F4 scrap... Bri­tish F4 Cham­pi­onship

...then rolled af­ter Pull col­li­sion

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