James Hedley managed to keep title rival Matthew Rees at bay to win the opening British F4 race of the weekend at Oulton Park, sustaining pressure from the JHR Developments rookie to convert his first pole position of the year.
From the line, both Hedley and Rees made an even start but it was the Fortec championship leader that got into Old Hall first and began to build up a commanding lead before Rees put on a late charge. But no matter how hard he pushed, it was Hedley that kept him at bay to take the chequered flag on the narrow Cheshire circuit by just two tenths of a second to increase his advantage at the summit of the championship to 28 points.
Joseph Loake kept Hedley and Rees in sight for the whole race, but ultimately had to settle for the final position on the rostrum after not being able to take any opportunity to fight for the win. The Ford Fiesta champion from last year will be happy for scoring his first podium since the Thruxton race three win back in May.
Last weekend’s British F3 winner at Spa – Roman Bilinski had to settle for fourth, matching his season’s best result as the Carlin man came under pressure from the ever impressing Fortec rookie, Oliver Gray who rounded out the top five.
Dougie Bolger gained a spot to take sixth place and claim another rookie podium, finishing ahead of Aiden Neate who turned in yet another stirring performance considering the lack of experience compared to the rest of the grid, with the newcomer even passing Phinsys by Argenti team mate Eduardo Coseteng on the way to seventh.
Marcos Flack and Coseteng finished in eighth and ninth respectively to leave the Argenti drivers line astern, with Carlin’s Kai Askey holding on to the final points position in tenth, finishing just seven tenths head of battling Fortec Swede – Joel Granfors.
Next up was Zak Taylor in twelfth place, finishing ahead of Mckenzy Cresswell, who will disappointed in losing ground on Hedley and Rees in the overall championship, as well as losing the lead to Rees in the rookie cup.
Just behind Cresswell was Thomas Ikin for Arden, who gained five places from the back of the grid to finish in fourteenth. Georgi Dimitrov had a race of two halves in fifteenth place, fighting in the points early on before ultimately slipping outside the points as the race wore on.
Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak and David Morales finished in sixteenth and seventeenth respectively for Carlin and Arden, and the last of the runners. Matias Zagazeta unfortunately had a mechanical problem from the start line after a very promising Friday, with Abbi Pulling sustaining front wing damage and being forced to retire after a charging drive.
Race 1 Classification
|1||James Hedley||Fortec Motorsport||15 Laps|
|2||Matthew Rees (R)||JHR Developments||+0.240s|
|3||Joseph Loake||JHR Developments||+0.912s|
|5||Oliver Gray (R)||Fortec Motorsport||+3.890s|
|6||Dougie Bolger (R)||Carlin||+5.765s|
|7||Aiden Neate (R)||Phinsys by Argenti||+5.948s|
|8||Marcos Flack (R)||Phinsys by Argenti||+7.797s|
|9||Eduardo Coseteng (R)||Phinsys by Argenti||+9.293s|
|10||Kai Askey (R)||Carlin||+10.150s|
|11||Joel Granfors||Fortec Motorsport||+10.830s|
|12||Zak Taylor||Arden Motorsport||+14.257s|
|13||Mckenzy Cresswell (R)||JHR Developments||+14.677s|
|14||Thomas Ikin (R)||Arden Motorsport||+16.046s|
|15||Georgi Dimitrov||Richardson Racing||+17.687s|
|17||David Morales||Arden Motorsport||+28.334s|
|18||Abbi Pulling||JHR Developments||DNF|
|19||Matias Zagazeta||Phinsys by Argenti||DNF|