Martins Takes Maiden Win after Incredible Defensive Display

Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

After pole sitter and early race leader Zane Goddard ran off the track, beaching his car, Brazilian Rafa Martins inherited the lead, and then held off the opposition to take his first F4 British Championship win in the Oulton Park sunshine.

Off the line, Goddard made a strong start, and while he did not seem confident of a victory pre-race, the Australian was determined to grab the chance with both hands, quickly building a small buffer over Martins, who maintained his second place.

At the back, issues for Jamie Caroline saw him slow soon after the start. He fell to the back and eventually crawled back to the pits on minimal power. Meanwhile, tensions were high towards the back as Patrik Matthiesen hit countryman Nicolai Kjaergaard. He spun across the track almost tangling with Frank Bird and Ayrton Simmons.

With 14 minutes still to race, Goddard, unchallenged, got wide at the exit of Hislops. He tried to keep the car going through knickerbrook, but hit the kerb before running through the gravel and hitting the wall. He slowly got out of the car, choosing to sit by the side of the track, head in hands as he knew his just lost his best chance at victory.

This left Martins to take the lead, it wasn’t plain sailing though, as second place James Pull continued to mount the pressure. The Carlin driver had been quicker in the first half of the race and with Goddard gone, both knew that a maiden victory was within reach.

Behind them, third place Max Fewtrell had finally broken the two of the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver; Alex Quinn. With the free air he made it a three way fight for the lead, though this soon brought Quinn and Petru Florescu into play.

The five car train for the lead soon grew to ten as sixth place Billy Monger caught up with the leading group while defending from those behind. The field now had to manage their attacks as to not lose places to the drivers behind.

As the drivers entered the last lap, the field became more daring as Florescu made the move to take fourth from Quinn, before diving to the inside of Fewtrell at the Hairpin. The Romanian edged Fewtrell to the outside allowing Quinn to jump up inside of both of them. He eventually took third by holding the inside line into Hislops.

Despite being under pressure for the majority of the race TRS Arden‘s Martins eventually came across the line, nose to tail with Pull, as Quinn recorded a late podium. Florescu would come home fourth as Fewtrell found himself moved back to fifth in front of Monger.

The queue behind Monger finished with race one winner Devlin DeFrancesco unable to get past as Luis Leeds and Sennan Fielding will be disappointed with the result as they lose ground in the championship. The top ten was rounded out by Jack Martin, who’d had a lonely run to catch the back of the train.