British F4 2018 – Brands Hatch Rd.1
7/8 April 2018
Having never been to the Brands Hatch circuit, or indeed competed in a car race in my life, we turned up to the circuit for the first round of the British F4 championship with no expectations.
Wednesday was the first day on track with an open test day. We worked well with the team on learning the circuit, with the set up for the car becoming closer and closer every session. By the end of the day we had very good speed and were feeling very confident out on track in the car, and looking forward to the oncoming weekend.
Friday was the start of my British F4 debut starting with two 45 minute official test sessions. We would place 11th and 10th quickest, but our race pace was looking really good having put in very consistent lap times, and which bode well going into the races. It is very helpful working with my two team mates (Ayrton Simmons and Manuel Sulaiman), who have previous experience in the British F4 category and to help learn off them with the data.
Saturday would be my first ever qualifying session in the car, and one which would take place in very tricky conditions on a damp track, albeit drying with every lap. We would go out on the slick tyres and as the track improved so the times started to drop. I felt more and more confident in the car and was up to P4 with around two minutes left to go. I then dropped down to P9 in the later stages but this was still very good. I was pleased with this performance and knew we had more to come in the three races coming up.
Race 1 would see me start in P9. However, following a very bad start and dropping down to the back of the field, meant having to get my head down and try make up as many places as possible. I managed to make my way back to 12th which I was a little disappointed with. Race 2 Starting P12, and another bad start meaning lots of work to do again. Making a few overtakes I was up to P8 at one point but a slight contact with another competitor meant in dropping back to P11 and 3rd rookie.
For the live TV race on Sunday afternoon we would start on P7 in tricky, drying conditions once again. Again not having the best of starts, we dropped back to around P9, but having very good pace in the drying conditions we made our way up to P5, taking 2nd rookie this time around.
We have had a very good strong first race weekend in cars, and still have lots to work on. Hopefully we can now build upon this experience and become much stronger over the coming rounds.
I would like to say a massive thank you to JHR Developments for their amazing work over the weekend, and making the car the best they possibly could for each race. I would also like to say a big thank you to everyone else involved, all efforts are genuinely appreciated.
The next round will be at Donington Park in two weeks time, I’m looking forward to it and aiming for another strong weekend of racing.