FIRST EVER SINGLE-SEATER VICTORY FOR F4 RACER MOORE
Struan Moore made the BRDC Formula 4 Championship paddock sit up and take note at Snetterton 300 Circuit on Sunday, 16th June, after claiming an outstanding debut race victory during round eight of the season – the Hillspeed driver’s first ever win in single-seaters.
Book-ending the rostrum result with a brace of very competitive top eight finishes in rounds seven and nine, the Jersey teenager has shot up the championship standings into 11th place after, by far, his best outing of the season to date for the Hathersage squad.
Team-mate Seb Morris, who led the championship following the opening weekend of the campaign, ended the Snetterton event third in the points after taking a podium finish in race one and a pair of top four results in the other two races.
Malaysia’s Rahul Raj Mayer, meanwhile, secured a season’s best 12th position with a strong drive during round seven on Saturday afternoon. He also posted a top 15 finish in round eight and ended the weekend with a consistently solid 14th position in the final encounter.
“Struan has had a difficult season so far with one thing and another, mainly getting caught-up in other people’s accidents, so his win this weekend is very well deserved”, said team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “It was a fantastic lights-to-flag victory, we’re absolutely delighted for him.
“Rahul has done a good job this weekend, he’s worked very hard and his pace is getting better all the time. The critical point for him is he’s managing to finish the races without incident, that’s so important as he needs as much seat time as possible in his first season in the UK. We’re very pleased with the progress he’s making.”
Ollerenshaw added: “Seb got some good points in the bag this weekend, after the accident at Brands Hatch he needed three strong results and he managed that with the determination he’s renowned for. His late switch to F4 just before the season always meant Seb would be on the back foot a bit compared to the others, with some more testing in the car he’ll be right where he should be.”
For round seven on Saturday, 15th June, Morris lined up sixth on the grid and made a great getaway to surge into the top three – doing well to avoid the stranded pole position car of Jake Dalton – and he remained there until lap three when moving into second. Battling hard to keep Charlie Robertson at bay, Morris had to give best on lap five but remained third to the finish.
Moore, starting an uncharacteristic 17th on the grid after a tough run in rain-affected qualifying, climbed into 14th place on the opening lap before quickly progressing into the top 12 and then taking 10th position on lap four. Maintaining the place to the flag on lap 10, post-race he was elevated into eighth position – and importantly the ‘reverse grid’ pole position – after two rivals were excluded.
Mayer, who started just ahead of Moore on the grid in 16th place, fought back after slipping to 17th position early on and worked his way into 15th by lap four before then taking 14th on the seventh tour. Post-race on the amended classification this became a season-best 12th position.
Moore made a near-perfect start to lead Sunday morning’s eighth round but his hard work was undone on lap two when the action was halted following a multi-car collision. Under pressure to deliver another fault-free getaway at the re-start, the Channel Islander made no mistakes and again surged into the lead which he held throughout to eventually take a superb 2.3 second victory.
“My first start was good, I managed to get a gap and then the Safety Car came out before the stoppage so I had to do it all again”, explained Moore who received his winner’s trophy from former FIA Formula One World Championship racer Mark Blundell, “I made an OK start the second time and controlled it from there, it’s a mega result – I’m really happy.”
Morris held fourth place at the re-start and maintained the position despite intense pressure for the eight lap duration while Mayer was on course for a 14th place finish but was just pipped on the line by China’s Zou Sirui by a mere 0.070 seconds.
For the final race of the weekend, round nine, Morris started as the highest of the Hillspeed drivers in fifth and quickly made his way into the top four before being elbowed back. Although slipping to sixth, where he stayed to the finish, post-race the two lead cars were excluded which elevated Seb into fourth position.
Moore was pushed back down the order from seventh to 12th place initially, but he mounted a good recovery into 10th place which then became eighth following the judicial decision. Mayer raced into 16th position, therefore 14th on the amended classification.
Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship season will take place at Oulton Park in Cheshire three weeks from now on Saturday, 6th July. In the meantime, Hillspeed’s Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup and Ginetta Junior squads will be back in action next weekend, 22nd/23rd June, at Croft in North Yorkshire.
Provisional 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship Standings (after Rd9):
3rd Seb Morris, 146pts; 11th Struan Moore, 92pts; 19th Rahul Raj Mayer, 44pts