During a mixed weekend, The Checkered Flag spoke to local driver Jack Lang about his on-going weekend at Snetterton for rounds ten to twelve of the BRDC Formula 4 championship.
The weekend had started off positively. Having already picked up one podium at Rockingham, the local Thetford based driver came into the weekend with 75 points from the first three races. Good times in practice saw him pique in the final session, ending up ninth.
However; qualifying did not as expected with Lang running into trouble late on. During the session his session was interrupted, reporting that;
“We were running well, but was interrupted when a car spun off in front of me.”
He commented, saying; it “for sure” would go better in the race, but accepted his own errors; “I made a mistake on my hot lap, so we could have been 1 second quicker.” He would eventually line up fourteenth, half a second off the ninth place he’d achieved in practice.”
Before the first race TCF asked if there were locations he could make up places. After mentioning the importance of the start of the race, he also quoted that;
“I should be able to overtake into Corner one and at Coram around the outside.”
Lang tried to make places at the start but would be involve in the first corner confusion and would be forced to pit, destroying his race, although he did well to catch up to rival Joe Stables towards the end. Thanks to retirements of a few rivals he would finish the first race as he’d started, in fourteenth.
As Team Langsport went into Sunday, they, like the rest of the field had to prepare for wet weather racing with the track having been dampened over night. The British weather was hardly consistent though. It was still raining at the start, but bluer skies were on the horizon, as Tom Jackson and Jack Bartholomew took the gamble to go onto dry tyres.
As for Lang, he made a good start from fourteenth and was tenth after a few laps. The wet weather played to his advantage and managed to keep the pace in the latter stages when the track started to dry. Despite this, he and the rest of the field couldn’t fend off the two drivers on slick tyres. Lang would eventually cross the line in eighth, having got stuck behind the struggling Chris Mealin and Omar Ismail.
“At the start I was boxed in, but managed to come through the order” claimed Lang after the race two result. “It was [a] good [result] for me because I only live about 10 minutes away, so I know the track.”
The race three grid was determined by the fastest times. Having rained in race two, the times from race one ultimately counted most, with Jack starting in seventh. When asked if he could move through the order he said,
“Why not. We’ll see how fast we can go, I think we can challenge the top five.”
The third and final race of the weekend proved to be the best for Lang, as he managed to work his way up to sixth by the end of a mixed condition race. He had opted for a slightly different strategy for the final race, a decision that proved to be successful.
“We were on wet tyres for the final race, everyone else was a different set, so we had these tyres that were chewed up. I cleaned them up on the out lap, but on the line I was in a puddle. So I went 3 or 4 metres spinning the tyres, I didn’t know where I was in the first lap”
Despite this, Lang held on and made his way through the order, before he tyres started to fade slightly towards the end, as he came under increasing pressure from championship contender Rodrigo Fonseca and Sisa Ngebulana.
“I made some good overtakes, but some people couldn’t drive the conditions. It was the hardest race I’d ever driven in my life.”
The 2014 Formula Jedi champion clung on to grab, what would be his second best result of the season after his third place in Rockingham. However; the second weekend of the season hadn’t been plain sailing with results varied in the other two races. Lang referenced the races in the Rockingham rain compared to Snetterton.
“We didn’t have a set up or anything. I don’t want to remember that race [Rockingham]. But I did enjoy it [Snetterton]. I didn’t have much grip to start with, but from there I drove my own race and from there we were all right, I enjoyed it.”
As for the rest of the season Lang admits he needs to improve if he is to be happy with himself, but accepts there is still work to do before he can challenge those at the front.
“Yeah, the car is getting better, I’m getting better and we’ve got some potential new sponsors.”
When asked if he thinks he has a chance of winning, he responded with; “I want to win every race. I don’t come here to come second, but you’ve got to be realistic.”
The results see him leave the weekend with 112 points, having gained three positions in the championship. He also has the potential to move up further with Akhil Rabrindra and Zubair Hoque, only two and four points ahead respectively with the series moving to Brands Hatch on the first and second of August.