An eventful second race of the weekend for the BRDC Formula 4 Championship has granted Chris Middlehurst victory. The reigning Protyre Formula Renault champion took his win after dropping from second on the grid to sixth place in the opening few corners of the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.
As the race got underway and MGR Motorsport’s hopes dropped as Middlehurst fell down the order. HHC Motorsport’s Will Palmer along with team mate Sennan Fielding and SWR – Caterham F1’s Jordan Albert traded the lead. A clash between the two HHC drivers threw them out of contention on lap three though and avoiding the incident delayed Albert. That put Arjun Maini into the top spot for Lanan Racing.
Five laps later it came undone for Maini too as he spun his MSV F4-013 at Sheene on lap eight. That put Middlehurst at the top of the pile, a position he managed to defend against a recovering Maini. Middlehurst’s first F4 victory came with a margin of just 0.325 seconds. Lanan still managed to secure two of the tree podium spots as George Russell drove a fantastic recovery from tenth place on the grid to take the third step. He battled with title rival Raoul Hyman from HHC and Albert. Struan Moore, the third Lanan driver took sixth place.
Will Palmer managed to regain seventh place after his lap 3 fun and games, followed across the line by Chris Dittmann Racing’s Tom Jackson and Sennan Fielding. Hillspeed took the final top ten spot thanks to Alfredo Zabalza.
Diego Menchaca took eleventh place for Douglas Motosport, bettering Gustavo Lima’s Hillseed run effort and Meridian Motorsport’s Connor Jupp. Tom Bale for Chris Dittmann Racing and Jai Nijjar for Merdian took fourteenth and fifteenth ahead of Rodrigo Fonseca who rounded out the classified finishers in a race with an impressive butcher’s bill.
Despite the early fun and games neither Palmer nor Fielding made it onto the retirements list. Diego Borelli for SWR – Caterham F1 was the first to drop out along with Douglas’ Charlie Eastwood. Both went out on the first lap. Race 1 winner Gaetano di Mauro also dropped out along with MGR’s Michael Claessens. Rahul Raj Mayer pulled up a half race distance for Hillspeed.
Middlehurst said of his first BRDC F4 race win, “I’m really pleased. I didn’t get the best of starts and dropped down to sixth on the first lap. They all seemed to collide at Druids, which meant I got a few places back and climbed up to second.
“I tried to push Maini as hard as I could, and he span on the exit of Sheene. I narrowly avoided him but kept my foot in to gain as much time as possible as I knew he was pulling away when he was in front of me, so I needed to get as much of an advantage as I could.”