Lanan Racing are back on winning form after claiming the victory in the second race at the BRDC Formula 4 season opener. The defending champion team took the top spot race two thanks to series debutant George Russell, who is also celebrating his first ever win in cars. The youngster battled with Sean Walkinshaw Racing’s Nicolas Beer and Hillspeed’s Gustavo Lima to earn his first trip to the top step of the podium in tricky conditions.
Rain began to fall just before the start of the race, though while it was declared a wet contest by race control, each of the 22 cars started the race on dry Yokohamas. That made for an interesting first lap in which Lima held on to the lead by the thinnest of margins. Arjun Maini had held the pole but lost out at the start. Sennan Fielding held third at the end of the first lap in his HHC Motorsport run machine before Russell began his climb.
Fielding was passed early into lap two and Maini fell before the end of the tour. Russell then began to pile the pressure on experienced F4 driver Lima, who cracked before the end of lap three, allowing the rookie to take the lead. After that the Lanan machine just racked up the miles, gapping the field as second, third and fourth squabbled for position behind.
Lima held out against Beer’s SWR car for four laps, finally succumbing on lap seven but not giving in easy. A move at the loop put the Dane ahead though Gustavo countered down the Wellington Straight and was on equal terms into Brooklands. Beer was last of the late brakers though and he took the place before Luffield and scooted off, leaving Lima to battle the assembling crowd of cars behind.
The big mover of the race was Struan Moore though, who started plumb dead last in his Lanan machine. The first three laps, as his team mate was battling for the lead, saw Moore rocket from 22nd to 7th. Ricardo Fonseca fell on lap four, two laps later he was in fifth and in the next lap he took two more cars for position. Given the conditions time wasn’t on his side, with only nine laps being completed in the 20 minute race. Still he had the time to close up to the rear wing of the SWR machine in second before taking the flag split by 0.403 seconds.
Race one winner Raoul Hyman took fourth place for HHC, passing Lima for position late in the race. Will Palmer wasn’t able to get past the flagging pole sitter but settled for sixth place by just under half a second. Chris Middlehurst headed a double top ten finish for MGR Motorsport, with David Wagner in ninth. The pair sandwiched 2013 MGR podium winning driver Diego Menchaca who now drives for Douglas Motorsport.
Sennan Fielding fell the furthest, landing in tenth place at the flag.
Despite his fourth place, Raoul Hyman leads the title standings heading in to the third and final race on the Silverstone Grand Prix layout. Nine points separate the South African from his Danish rival while Nicolas Beer holds third.
Russell was delighted with his first victory, saying “The first few laps were very difficult and I was in a pack of six cars and we didn’t know where to position the cars because it was raining. I managed to get to the front and it was great then just to do some laps and pull away and it was brilliant to take the win.”