The 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship heads into the crucial final month of its inaugural season when the series makes its return to the Snetterton 300 circuit this weekend.
F4’s last visit to Norfolk back in June saw debut wins for James Fletcher, Struan Moore and Jake Hughes, with the latter of the win as a springboard to build a 34 point lead at the top of the championship standings with six races remaining.
Lanan Racing’s Hughes has added two further victories at Brands Hatch GP and Silverstone since, putting him in confident mood heading into the weekend when he hopes to extend his points advantage ahead of the season finale.
“Snetterton has been a good circuit for us so far this year,” said Hughes. “I’ll be going there with the same attitude as I have all season, and that is to score wins and good points.
“There are still 180 points up for grabs. A 34 point lead might sound like a lot, but in F4 terms it’s still pretty small. People will be looking up to me as championship leader so I’ll get my head down and focus on continuing what I’ve been doing all season.”
Seb Morris sits as Hughes’ closest challenger in the championship, the Hillspeed racer showing consistent form over the season to secure seven podium finishes so far. The 2011 Ginetta Junior champion hasn’t taken a race win yet this season though, something he will aim to change in Norfolk.
The form duo in the championship at the moment are Sean Walkinshaw Racing team-mates Jack Barlow and Matthew Graham. Barlow sits third in the points with two wins to his name, while Graham is the in-form driver in F4 as this current time, with two wins and two other podiums in the last five races.
“I’m going to be giving myself the best possible chance to win the championship,” said Graham, who sits fourth in the standings. “It’s a bit ambitious maybe but why not? I can still do it!”
The biggest change heading into the weekend is a change of team for early championship leader Jake Dalton, the double race-winner switching from MGR Motorsport to Lanan Racing for the remainder of the season as he aims to reignite his faltering title challenge.
Dalton will be replaced at MGR for the weekend by former Protyre Formula Renault BARC race-winner Matt Mason. The reigning InterSteps runner-up is targeting podium finishes on his racing return, his F4 debut coming after a ten month lay-off from racing.
“I’m very excited to be joining F4,” said Mason. “I know the team well having raced with them in Intersteps and Formula Renault BARC, and being in familiar surroundings, although with a car that is new to me, I’m confident of securing good results and maybe even some podiums.”
Alongside the top five, there is also Matt Bell, Charlie Robertson, Ross Gunn, Pietro Fittipaldi, Fletcher and Moore all looking to add to their respective race win tallies, and a number of drivers, including Mason, aiming to add their names to the winners list for the season.
Qualifying around the 2.99 mile circuit takes place on Saturday (7th) at 10.30, with Round 22 following at 14.40. Round 23 and 24 take place at 10.40 and 14.30 respectively on Sunday (8th).