The 20-car Duo BRDC Formula 4 grid will take to the Grand Prix Circuit at Silverstone this weekend (30/31 May) for rounds seven, eight and nine of the 2015 season, following an absorbing two days of action at Rockingham Motor Speedway last time out.
Two drivers opened their 2015 victory accounts at the Northamptonshire venue to make it five winners from the first six races of the year, proving just how competitive the championship is. Michael O’Brien, son of former-BTCC race winner Mike, took his maiden success in a sodden race two after Rodrigo Fonseca had added to his two winter series wins with victory in the first race of the weekend.
His team-mate, Manxman Chris Mealin, became the first multiple-winner of the year with a victory in race three and assumed the championship lead on 140 points, ahead of Fonseca and the third of the Lanan Racing trio, Jack Bartholomew.
It was a HHC Motorsport one-two in qualifying as Harri Newey outpaced Will Palmer by 0.398s but the 16-year-old was unable to make the start. He recovered from starting last to take an impressive fourth in race two before rounding out the weekend with a 12th place finish in race three, leaving him sixth in the standings.
Team-mate and former championship leader Palmer endured a similarly challenging weekend as he went off at the second corner of race one, along with a number of other drivers, which resulted in his retirement. Starting at the back for races two and three, the 18-year-old fought hard to claim fifth and eighth-place finishes but surrendered his position at the head of the standings and is now fourth overall.
Second-year driver Tom Jackson claimed his first-ever BRDC F4 podium with a brilliant drive from 16th on the grid to finish as runner-up. A fifth-place in race three saw him claim a healthy amount of points and he now lies fifth overall, 41 points adrift of leader Mealin.
The Sean Walkinshaw Racing duo of Jordan Albert and Zubair Hoque enjoyed a strong weekend with both stepping on to the podium throughout the weekend. Albert took third in race two with Hoque finishing in the same position in the final race of the meeting and they lie seventh and eighth in the standings ahead of Silverstone.
There were maiden podiums for rookie racer Ameya Vaidyanathan and 2014 Formula Jedi Champion Jack Lang at Rockingham, with both taking advantage of driver errors ahead to take second and third in race two respectively. It was an emotional result for Indian racer Vaidyanathan who is the most inexperienced driver on the grid: “This is my first year in motorsport and to get a podium in my fourth-ever BRDC F4 race is unreal. It means so much to my team and my family and it is just a great feeling.”
The Silverstone round also marks the debut of Omar Ismail, who turned 16 earlier this month and thus becomes eligible to race in the championship. He will drive alongside Tom Jackson at Chris Dittmann Racing, having undertaken significant testing at the various circuits the series visits, and replaces Dutchman Paul Sieljes who featured for the team at the last event.
Once again, race three of the weekend will be shown live on Motors TV in the UK and across Europe from 16:15pm, following the first-ever broadcast of a BRDC F4 race in real-time at Rockingham. The regular one-hour long highlights programme will be available on ITV4 and BT Sport the week following the race meeting and live timing will also be available throughout the weekend with text updates on the official Formula 4 website.
The 3.660-mile Grand Prix track will enable all the drivers to follow in the tyre tracks of their Formula One heroes at Silverstone as they aim to impress and add to their points tally with a quarter of the season already completed.
For more information on the Duo BRDC F4 Championship, visit www.formula4.com.
2015 Duo BRDC Formula 4 Championship standings after race six of 24
1. Chris Mealin, Lanan Racing, 140 points2. Rodrigo Fonseca, Lanan Racing, 126 points3. Jack Bartholomew, Lanan Racing, 104 points4. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 103 points5. Tom Jackson, Chris Dittmann Racing, 99 points6. Harri Newey, HHC Motorsport, 83 points7. Jordan Albert, SWR, 82 points8. Zubair Hoque, SWR, 70 points9. Michael O'Brien, Mark Godwin Racing, 63 points10. Ciaran Haggerty, Ecurie Ecosse/GBR, 62 points=. Jack Lang, Lang Sport/Gorse Motors, 62 points12. Sisa Ngebulana, HHC Motorsport, HHC Motorsport, 58 points13. Akhil Rabindra, Douglas Motorsport, 57 points14. Sebastian Lanzetti, Hillspeed, 56 points15. Faisal Al Zubair, Hillspeed, 53 points16. Fernando Urrutia, Douglas Motorsport, 48 points17. Ameya Vaidyanathan, Hillspeed, 47 points18. Paul Sieljes, Chris Dittmann Racing, 33 points19. James Reveler, 23 Racing, 32 points20. Hernan Fallas, Mark Godwin Racing, 19 points