Will Palmer holds a 12 point lead in the BRDC F4 Winter Championship, but a win for Gaetano di Mauro in the final event of the weekend at Snetterton prevented the British driver from taking a clean sweep of four victories.
Palmer made it three out of three in the first race of the day, held in wet conditions, while di Mauro made amends in race four.
Di Mauro started on pole for this morning’s contest, but Palmer got much the better getaway and led off the line, despite being squeezed by the PetroBall car. Palmer built an early advantage, only to see it closed down when the safety car was dispatched to recover the stranded car of Fernando Urrutia.
But Palmer was able to streak away at over a second a lap when the safety car pitted, while a late error from di Mauro extended Palmer’s advantage to over 15 seconds at the chequered flag. Rodrigo Fonseca claimed his second podium of the weekend in third place, ahead of Harri Newey who claimed fourth – his best result of the weekend. Zubair Hoque and Connor Jupp were next up.
Conditions improved enough in time for the final race, with all drivers opting for slick Yokohama tyres. Palmer made another strong start, this time from pole, to hold the lead on the run down to Riches, while di Mauro was forced to fight off the attentions of Fonseca. Jordan Albert meanwhile had a brilliant start to go from seventh to fourth, slicing his way through on the run to turn one.
Palmer’s lead was short-lived, for an error at the Brundle/Nelson complex on the opening lap dropped him behind di Mauro. The Brazilian led by almost two seconds at the end of the lap, though Palmer halved that on the second tour.
From then on though, di Mauro stamped his authority on the race, stretching the gap out to almost six seconds at the end of the race to take his first win of the Winter Championship, and trim Palmer’s title advantage to 12 points.
Albert was able to make a move stick on Fonseca for third, with Jupp following through for Mectech Motorsport. Jupp applied pressure mid race, with the pair separated by less than two tenths at the mid race point, although Albert was able to extend a margin to claim his second podium of the weekend.
Jupp settled for fourth ahead of Fonseca and Newey, while Fernando Urrutia and Enzo Bortoleto were passing each other with regularity in the latter stages of the race, Urrutia claiming seventh when Bortoleto spun on the penultimate lap. Zubair Hoque completed the finishers for HHC Motorsport.
Race four winner di Mauro commented: "It was a really good race in very difficult conditions. I started second but I was always aiming for the win, victories are always my target.
"I'm really pleased to take the win, and with a big gap because Palmer has been quick all weekend."
Championship leader Palmer added: "It's been a really good weekend - to take three wins and a second is way more than I could have hoped for coming into it.
"We move onto Brands Hatch Indy now and last year in the Winter Championship I took a pole and a win so hopefully I can repeat that in two weeks time."
BRDC F4 Winter Championship, Snetterton race three result:
1. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 9 laps2. Gaetano di Mauro, PetroBall Racing, +15.350s3. Rodrigo Fonseca, Douglas Motorsport, +23.220s4. Harri Newey, HHC Motorsport, +33.622s5. Zubair Hoque, HHC Motorsport, +39.255s6. Connor Jupp, Mectech Motorsport, +46.687sDNF. Jordan Albert, SWR - Caterham F1, 5 lapsDNF. Fernando Urrutia, SWR - Caterham F1, 8 lapsDNS. Enzo Bortoleto, PetroBall Racing
BRDC F4 Winter Championship, Snetterton race four result:
1. Gaetano di Mauro, PetroBall Racing, 10 laps2. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, +5.923s3. Jordan Albert, SWR - Caterham F1, +25.729s4. Connor Jupp, Mectech Motorsport, +32.806s5. Rodrigo Fonseca, Douglas Motorsport, +41.644s6. Harri Newey, HHC Motorsport, +58.040s7. Fernando Urrutia, SWR - Caterham F1, +1m24.263s8. Enzo Bortoleto, PetroBall Racing, +1m30.401s9. Zubair Hoque, HHC Motorsport, +1m51.232s
BRDC F4 Winter Championship standings after race four of eight:*
1. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 134pts2. Gaetano di Mauro, PetroBall Racing, 122pts3. Rodrigo Fonseca, Douglas Motorsport, 84pts4. Connor Jupp, Mectech Motorsport, 82pts5. Harri Newey, HHC Motorsport, 76pts6. Jordan Albert, SWR – Caterham F1, 65pts7. Zubair Hoque, HHC Motorsport, 61pts8. Fernando Urrutia, SWR – Caterham F1, 41pts9. Enzo Bortoleto, PetroBall Racing, 25pts