Matthew Graham secured his second win in three races in the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship with a dominant lights-to-flag success in Round 16 at Silverstone.
The Sean Walkinshaw Racing driver had started the weekend perfectly in qualifying, taking pole position for the opening race around the Grand Prix circuit, the series returning to the scene of its inaugural rounds back in April.
Graham made an excellent start to lead the field into Copse Corner, and as a battle for second quickly developed, the 17 year old was able to build a 1.7 second lead by the end of the opening lap. Relatively untroubled from behind, Graham was able to extend his advantage to 4.7 seconds at the chequered flag.
“I’m really happy,” said Graham. “I got a good start and from there it was a case of not making any mistakes. It wasn’t as comfortable as it seemed really, I was under quite a bit of pressure and kept looking back and seeing Robertson in my mirror for the most part but I managed to stay calm and it ended well!”
Jake Hughes ran second at the start, however an early change saw Charlie Robertson find his way past around the outside at Vale at the end of the opening lap. Hughes briefly slipped behind Jack Barlow, however he was quickly back ahead to begin a race-long duel with Robertson.
Robertson held the place until the final lap, when an unfortunate spin for the reigning Ginetta Junior champion allowed Hughes into second at the finish, extending the Lanan Racing driver’s championship lead in the process, with Robertson recovering to third.
Gustavo Lima took fourth from Barlow at Vale on lap two, with the SWR racer then slipping behind Raoul Hyman on lap four and Seb Morris a lap later. He regained a spot later in the lap though when Lima dropped down to tenth with a spin.
Lima’s race would go from bad to worse on lap seven, with contact from James Fletcher tipping the Brazilian into a roll at the Loop complex and out of the race. The incident resulted in Lima being given a five place grid penalty for the next race, and ended in Fletcher withdrawing from the remainder of the weekend with a shoulder injury.
A great four-way battle for fourth was headed by Morris at the flag, however the Hillspeed racer received a five second penalty for failing to comply with yellow flag signals. This promoted Barlow into fourth, with James Greenway taking a seasons best finish in fifth. The privateer’s race didn’t go without drama though after he tipped Jake Dalton into a spin on lap two, with the championship contender forced to retire.
Hyman eventually slipped to seventh at the finish, while taking eighth and with it pole position for race two was Ross Gunn, the Motionsport ace leading home Matt Bell and Pietro Fittipaldi.
2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship Round 16 result:
1. Matthew Graham, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, 10 laps
2. Jake Hughes, Lanan Racing, +4.427s
3. Charlie Robertson, HHC Motorsport, +9.528s
4. Seb Morris, Hillspeed, +12.052s
5. Jack Barlow, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +14.043s
6. James Greenway, Frank T Greenway Racing, +16.261s
7. Raoul Hyman, HHC Motorsport, +16.261s
8. Ross Gunn, Motionsport, +19.685s
9. Matt Bell, Douglas Team E-Lites, +21.352s
10. Pietro Fittipaldi, Mark Godwin Racing, +21.439s