Triple Podium For Albert At Rain Lashed Brands F4

Britain’s Jordan Albert secured three podium finishes at an incredibly wet Brands Hatch Indy Circuit over the weekend, 22nd/23rd November, to consolidate fourth position in the final BRDC Formula 4 Winter Championship standings for the SWR Caterham F1 Driver Development Programme Team.Finishing third in round five on Saturday before taking a career-best second place result in round six, only a problem with the paddle-shift gear system in the first of Sunday’s two outings prevented the 18-year-old from making it a clean sweep of rostrums. Bouncing back brilliantly in the finale, though, Albert grabbed another second place at the last corner after a great grandstand finish.Mexican team-mate Fernando Urrutia, taking part in only his second race meeting on UK soil, once again impressed the Chipping Norton team as he racked-up four strong results – including a best of fourth place in round six – to secure a richly deserved top six finish in the points. In very challenging conditions like Snetterton two weeks ago, Urrutia certainly made his mark with some quality driving.“Jordan and Fernando both did a great job this weekend, we’ve been really impressed with both of them in, what were, pretty horrible conditions”, said team owner Sean Walkinshaw, “Three podiums from four races was fantastic from Jordan, the gear problem with the steering wheel, though, was frustrating as it might have been top three in the championship for him without that.“For someone who had never driven in the wet before prior to Snetterton, Fernando has done an incredible job. The weather has been bad throughout the Winter Championship but he’s shown great feel and skill in the conditions, ending the series in sixth place really is fantastic. He definitely made a marked improvement – we really want to see what he can do when it’s dry now!”From the off on Saturday morning the rain was a factor but Albert produced a strong performance in the first qualifying session with the third fastest time, while team-mate Urrutia lapped sixth quickest. The weather didn’t improve before round five at lunchtime, resulting in a wet race, and Albert made his second row start count with a great launch to move into the top two.Starting to come under increasing pressure after a couple of laps, on the fourth tour he slipped to third but managed to see off mid-race attention from Rodrigo Fonseca to secure his third podium of the series. Importantly, he also set the second fastest lap to secure a front-row start for race two.Urrutia moved up from sixth into the top five on lap two when Will Palmer went off at Paddock Hill Bend but on the fifth tour, the SWR Caterham racer went wide himself and dropped to seventh. Re-passed by the recovering Palmer on lap nine, thereafter the Mexican held eighth to the finish.In round six, Albert held second place after a good launch and traded fastest laps with leader Fonseca during the early running. Midway through, however, Albert had to place more focus on defending second place which he did with some impressive driving to secure his best finish in F4.Urrutia, starting seventh, quickly climbed into the top six and delivered a mightily impressive drive with pace just 0.4 seconds shy of team-mate Albert’s. Comfortably maintaining his top six position, the BRDC F4 rookie continually improved his times and on lap 17 he moved into fourth when two drivers tangled at Paddock Hill Bend – securing Urrutia’s best result of the championship.More rain overnight left the track surface particularly wet once again on Sunday for the second qualifying session of the weekend which was red flagged after eight minutes due to a car off in the gravel. After the re-start, heavier rain initially meant no improvements although times did start to fall later on with Urrutia out-qualifying Albert for the first time, sixth and eighth respectively.Putting together a tremendous opening lap, Albert surged into the top four while Urrutia slipped to seventh and the order remained the same for the SWR Caterham duo until lap 12 when the Briton ran wide at Graham Hill Bend as a result of the problem with his steering wheel’s gear shift system.Ultimately causing Albert to drop to ninth place, his car electronically selecting incorrect gears by itself, he did manage to finish in eighth following a spin for Connor Jupp late on. Team-mate Urrutia, meanwhile, finished in fifth place as a result of the issues for both Albert and Jupp.Lining-up fifth on the grid for the final round, Albert was determined to go out on a high and surged into the top three straight away. Although slipping to fourth on lap five, he moved back into third on lap 13 when race leader Jupp had a spin at Graham Hill Bend which resulted in a Safety Car period.At the re-start on lap 17 Albert stayed close to the rear wing of second placed Gaetano Di Mauro and after applying significant pressure, the SWR Caterham ace managed to force the Brazilian into an error at the last corner on the final lap to snatch the runner-up spot and seal fourth in the standings.Urrutia, starting round eight on the fourth row, moved up into the top six on the opening lap and ran very close behind Enzo Bortoleto during the early going. Moving into fifth after Jupp’s excursion, Urrutia held the placing to the finish to end his maiden BRDC F4 campaign sixth in the points table.Final 2014 BRDC Formula 4 Winter Championship Standings:4th Jordan Albert, 160pts; 6th Fernando Urrutia, 113pts

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