Gustavo Lima Joins F4 Winners Club at Brands

by Nick Smith
Lima's race two victory was the narrowest seen in F4 so far

Brazilian racer Gustavo Lima has taken his maiden victory in the BRDC Formula 4 Championship after a race long battle with MGR Motorsport’s Chris Middlehurst at Brands Hatch. The Hillspeed run driver led the entire race from the pole but couldn’t escape the 2013 Protyre Formula Renault champion who crossed the finish line 0.044 seconds behind the #9 car. Lanan Racing’s George Russell took third in a move on the final lap of the race.

With first and second decided almost from the start, Struan Moore took third into Paddock Hill Bend after an almost jump start. He rolled early but managed to get the car stopped again before the lights went out. Race 1 winner Raoul Hyman wasn’t so lucky and despite finishing in sixth place, he was penalised for his jump start with a 10 second time penalty which put him in 11th place.

Struan Moore dropped back as a result of a damaged front wing. The Lanan driver finished in eighth place, losing out to not only his team mates Russell and Arjun Maini but HHC Motorsport’s Sennan Fielding, Raoul Hyman and Will Palmer. He was lucky to have held off the Douglas Motorsport duo of Diego Menchaca in ninth and Rodrigo Fonseca in tenth. The Douglas drivers were split by just 0.340 of a second.

In the dying stages of the race George Russell’s podium looked more a dream than a reality but in the final two laps he passed both Fielding and Maini to put himself in position for the spot. Fielding made it easier for him by losing control of his car at Sheene and dropping back. The result leaves Russell in the lead of the title battle by six points from Hyman and Maini.

Nicolas Beer was the first driver outside the top ten for Sean Walkinshaw Racing, though he was promoted to the 10th spot when Hyman got his penalty. Rahul Raj Mayer for Hillseed and Diego Borrelli for SWR took 12th and 13th ahead of Douglas Motorsport’s Charlie Eastwood. Enigma Motorsport‘s sole driver, the American Falco Wauer and Alfredo Zabalza for Hillspeed came in next. 17th and 18th for Petroball thanks to Gaetano di Mauro and Dan Roper respectively headed Jordan Albert for SWR. Tom Jackson‘s Chris Dittmann Racing run car took 20th ahead of the second placed MGR machine, that of Michael Claessens.

David Wagner‘s MGR machine was the only retirement in the field of 22 racers.

Lima was delighted by his race win. He said, “I saw Chris in my mirror throughout the race and I was just hoping that I could hold him off, and I’m so happy to take my first win. It was so close! The track was really good and the car was perfect so thanks to the team for helping me get this win. We are confident now and we need to concentrate on the next race and make sure it’s a good one!”

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