Matt Bell has put his name in the history books as the first-ever winner in the BRDC Formula 4 Championship, taking victory in the championship’s inaugural race at Silverstone.
Jake Hughes started the ten lap encounter from pole position, however a super start for fellow front-row starter Jake Dalton saw him lead into Copse for the first time, with Hughes slotting into second ahead of Bell.
The front two initially pulled away, however on lap four Bell began to draw them back in and put them under pressure. Bell attempted a move on Hughes coming into the Loop on lap five, however Hughes managed to fend him off and go on and challenge leader Dalton going into Luffield.
The move resulted in contact between the two though, allowing Bell to swoop past and take a lead he wouldn’t surrender, the privateer maintaining a gap of over two seconds for the remainder of the race en-route to victory.
“That was great, no-one else can say they won the first F4 race!” said Bell. “It’s a long race, I perhaps lacked pace early on but I closed back to them [Hughes and Dalton] and they were battling away and had a collision. After that it was just a case of maintaining the gap and I could have gone faster if I needed to.”
Lanan Racing’s Hughes recovered from the incident to take second place, while Dalton dropped to fourth behind his 2012 Formula Renault BARC rival Seb Morris, who secured the final podium position for Hillspeed.
Charlie Robertson made up three places from his start position to finish fifth for HHC Motorsport, with Jack Barlow and Struan Moore close behind, the trio separated by less than a second at the flag.
Diego Menchaca finished eighth, giving the Mexican pole for tomorrow’s reverse-grid race, while his MGR team-mate Pietro Fittipaldi produced a stunning drive from 21st on the grid to finish tenth behind Matthew Graham.
2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship Round one result:
1. Matt Bell, MattRBellRacing Team E-Lites, 10 laps
2. Jake Hughes, Lanan Racing, +1.346s
3. Seb Morris, Hillspeed, +2.565s
4. Jake Dalton, Mark Godwin Racing, +2.880s
5. Charlie Robertson, HHC Motorsport, +11.237s
6. Jack Barlow, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +11.499s
7. Struan Moore, Hillspeed, +11.969s
8. Diego Menchaca, Mark Godwin Racing, +16.770s
9. Matthew Graham, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +19.803s
10. Pietro Fittipaldi, Mark Godwin Racing, +20.539s