FIFTH F4 PODIUM OF SEASON FOR MORRIS ON HOME SOIL
Seb Morris secured his fifth podium of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship season at his ‘home’ circuit, Oulton Park in Cheshire, on Saturday, 6th July, to help retain his top three placing in the driver standings for Hillspeed.
Beginning race one, round 10, from fourth on the grid, Morris held station on the opening lap before moving into third on the second tour when Raoul Hyman made a mistake at the chicane. As the race wore on, Morris started to come under increasing pressure for his podium spot from Ross Gunn but expertly defended his position to secure third by 0.5 seconds.
Lining-up in sixth place on the round 11 ‘reverse grid’, the Welsh teenager leapt into fourth position on lap four after a tangle at Old Hall involving Gunn and Matty Graham. Thereafter working very hard to fend off a train of cars to the conclusion, Morris again delivered a masterclass in defensive driving to retain fourth. At the flag, little more than two seconds separated fourth to ninth place.
Round 12 was the least fruitful contest of the weekend for the Hillspeed racer who, after starting in sixth place, was elbowed down to seventh on lap three. Again soaking up incredible pressure in a very closely contested battle, he held on to the flag on lap 12.
Team-mates Struan Moore and Rahul Raj Mayer had a mixed weekend with the former taking away a best finish of 10th place during the second race while Malaysian racer Mayer managed to match a season’s best top 12 in the opening contest.
Beginning the middle encounter from 15th on the grid, by virtue of his race one result where he mounted a strong recovery after a lap six moment when lying in 13th place, Moore got away well from the line to climb into 13th and then moved into 12th the next time around. Claiming another place on lap four, he then moved into the top 10 a couple of laps from the finish.
Mayer, meanwhile, made good progress in the first of the Oulton Park races to climb through from 18th on the grid into the top 12 with an impressive performance. In race two, he slipped to 14th early on before moving back into 13th position on lap four where he remained to the finish. Round 12 was incident packed for Mayer and Moore and they home in 18th and 19th respectively.
Cook third in Protyre Formula Renault standings after Croft
On a busy weekend for Hillspeed, its Protyre Formula Renault Championship squad was in action at Croft in North Yorkshire for the ninth, 10th and 11th rounds of the season with Jake Cook rounding out the event within seven points of the top two in the standings.
After qualifying fifth fastest for the opening race, the Rotherham driver moved into fourth on lap one after a spin for Sam MacLeod. Following a short Safety Car period, Cook circulated in fourth for the duration and pressured championship leader Chris Middlehurst heavily – just missing third place by a mere 0.6 seconds.
In race two, another Safety Car period impacted the first couple of laps but when the action got underway Cook held sixth before taking fifth on lap four where he remained to the finish. Starting the final race from an uncharacteristic 11th on the grid, Cook impressed with a strong drive to sixth.
Hillspeed’s second driver, Matt Rao, starred in the second qualifying session to determine the grid for round 11 with a career-best fourth fastest time. Unfortunately for the Oxford-based driver, a lap four tangle with MacLeod resulted in retirement.
Rao fared better in the first race, putting together an excellent performance in round nine to scythe his way through from 14th on the grid into the top eight. In race two, though, another unfortunate non-finish compromised his potential points haul.
Hillspeed will be back in action over the weekend 27th/28th July at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent for rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship. The next event on the Protyre Formula Renault calendar will be at Rockingham in Northamptonshire on 10th/11th August.