AFTER UNFORTUNATE OULTON EXCURSION
• Australian misses potential victory after strong drive from pole• Double R racer retains eleventh in points with brace of scores • Woking team aiming to bounce back at Croft a fortnight from now
Zane Goddard watched hopes of a maiden F4 British Championship race victory at Oulton Park on Sunday, 5th June, disappear in the dusty Knickerbrook gravel trap after an unfortunate excursion, while leading round 11 of the campaign, cost the Double R Racing driver a deserved shot at success.
Beginning the second race of the weekend at the sun-bathed Cheshire venue from pole position, the teenage Australian made a perfect getaway to lead into Old Hall and opened up an advantage of 0.7 seconds on the first lap.
Although his lead was cut to 0.4 seconds on the second tour, the Double R driver hit back the next time around to increase his advantage to 0.8 seconds after setting the fastest lap of the race at that point, a time of 1m25.679 seconds.
Looking comfortable at the front, exasperatingly it all went awry on lap four at the chicane when, after catching the kerbs on the exit, the No.93 car was pitched off the circuit to the left and across the gravel trap into the tyre barriers – ruling a dejected Goddard out on the spot.
With a repaired car for round 12 at the end of the day, the series rookie lined-up in 13th position but moved into the top 12 on lap one when Patrik Matthiesen went off the track at the same corner which had accounted for Goddard in the previous contest.
Climbing into 11th place on lap two at Old Hall, following an excursion for another rival, Goddard repelled pressure from behind over the next few laps and as the race entered its second half the gaps between the train of cars from seventh position back to 14th place really closed up.
With nothing to choose between the very evenly matched octet, the Double R driver still held 11th place and began to turn up the pressure on Ayrton Simmons ahead. On lap 11, Goddard reduced the gap to just 0.4 seconds, although there was no way through, but then, on the 13th and final tour, retirement for Alex Quinn elevated Goddard into the points-paying top 10.
In round 10 on Saturday, 4th June, Double R’s sole representative started the race in ninth position and made a good launch to climb into eighth place. Spending the remainder of the race sandwiched between Rafael Martins and Billy Monger, Goddard searched for a way past Martins but ultimately ended the race 0.5 seconds adrift at the chequered flag.
“Zane was doing everything right in race two – he made the start, held the lead and looked in control at the front”, said Double R Racing team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “It’s so disappointing for him to miss out on a potential win, certainly a probable first podium, but we just need to put that behind us now and focus on Croft in a couple of weeks.
“Testing there last week went well, Zane was quick and we completed a lot of mileage. We know that first podium is a question of when, not if, so the focus is on getting qualifying right and then hopefully the rest will follow.”
Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire will host rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the F4 British Championship a fortnight from now on 18th/19th June. This coming weekend, 11th/12th June, Double R's BRDC British Formula 3 Championship squad will be back on track at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit.
2016 F4 British Championship Driver Standings (after Rd12):11th Zane Goddard, 41pts; 13th Carrie Schreiner, 12pts