AMAZING START TO BRITISH F4 ERA
New winners, team-mates clashing and frenetic racing at Thruxton
“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