Fortec Motorsport’s Nikolas Taylor has regained the GB4 Championship lead after a dramatic day at the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.
The Anglo-Malaysian could only qualify fifth in this morning’s session, but powered to his sixth win of the year in an action-packed opening race of the weekend this afternoon, while former championship leader Max Marzorati hit trouble along with two other front-runners.
Hillspeed’s Megan Gilkes topped a Hillspeed 1-2 in qualifying, lapping 0.129s faster than teammate Marzorati. In a close session, Elite’s Jack Sherwood was third fastest ahead of Kevin Mills Racing’s Jarrod Waberski in fourth, with Taylor fifth and nearly four tenths of a second away from pole. Waberski’s teammate Tom Mills was sixth quickest.
Marzorati claimed pole for race two, based on each driver’s second fastest times in qualifying, and started race one from the front of the grid too, as Gilkes was forced to take a three place grid penalty, which was carried over from the previous round at Snetterton.
The championship battle turned on its head almost immediately during the first race of the weekend. Pole man Marzorati led the pack away, but Sherwood had just grabbed the lead at Abbey when Waberski collided with the two leaders and was launched over Sherwood’s car.
Waberski and Sherwood were out on the spot, while Marzorati would eventually pit at the end of the resulting safety car period with a puncture. In the drama, Taylor had taken the lead, and he built a good gap as the safety car pitted, with Mills moving up to second and Logan Hannah (Graham Brunton Racing) into third as Marzorati headed for the pits.
Taylor was able to pull away from Mills, winning by over 2.6 seconds, while the KMR driver was comfortable in second. The best scrap on track was for third as Hannah rebuffed a challenge from Fortec’s Jessica Edgar and Gilkes, who had also pitted under the safety car with a puncture of her own.
Gilkes gained fourth from Edgar on lap seven, and then went for third at Abbey on the final lap around the outside of Hannah. The Scottish racer spun while Gilkes went over the run off, and returned to the track just ahead of Edgar. Gilkes hung on to claim the final step on the podium ahead of the Fortec youngster, with newcomer Marcus Short fifth for Hillspeed and Rossoverde’s Christian Lester earning his best result yet with sixth, while Hannah dropped to seventh.
The field are back in action for the second race of the weekend tomorrow morning at 11.40.
Race one winner Taylor said: “Quali wasn’t really good for us and we made a few changes and Mark [Godwin, mechanic] did pretty well! I was pretty lucky to avoid all the carnage at that corner, it was pretty scary as I saw one car on top of the other, and I hope everyone is OK. It was pretty intense out there for sure.
“Hopefully we can do this again tomorrow [from fourth on the grid]. It looks like it’s going to rain, everyone says they’re quick in the wet so maybe it’s time for me to show it!”
GB4 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Silverstone qualifying top-six:
1. Megan Gilkes, Hillspeed, 2m01.688s
2. Max Marzorati, Hillspeed, +0.129s
3. Jack Sherwood, Elite Motorsport, +0.311s
4. Jarrod Waberski, Kevin Mills Racing, +0.325s
5. Nikolas Taylor, Fortec Motorsport, +0.390s
6. Tom Mills, Kevin Mills Racing, +0.728s
GB4 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Silverstone race one top-six:
1. Nikolas Taylor, Fortec Motorsport, 8 laps
2. Tom Mills, Kevin Mills Racing, +2.647s
3. Megan Gilkes, Hillspeed, +8.164s
4. Jessica Edgar, Fortec Motorsport, +8.700s
5. Marcus Short, Hillspeed, +14.645s
6. Christian Lester, Rossoverde Racing, +14.958s