F4 British Championship

Hedley sustains race long pressure to take race one victory and increase title advantage

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James Hedley soaked up late race pressure from title rival Matthew Rees to extend championship lead. (Credit Jakob Ebery Photography)

James Hedley managed to keep title rival Matthew Rees at bay to win the opening British F4 race of the weekend at Oulton Park, sustaining pressure from the JHR Developments rookie to convert his first pole position of the year.

From the line, both Hedley and Rees made an even start but it was the Fortec championship leader that got into Old Hall first and began to build up a commanding lead before Rees put on a late charge. But no matter how hard he pushed, it was Hedley that kept him at bay to take the chequered flag on the narrow Cheshire circuit by just two tenths of a second to increase his advantage at the summit of the championship to 28 points.

Joseph Loake kept Hedley and Rees in sight for the whole race, but ultimately had to settle for the final position on the rostrum after not being able to take any opportunity to fight for the win. The Ford Fiesta champion from last year will be happy for scoring his first podium since the Thruxton race three win back in May.

Last weekend’s British F3 winner at Spa – Roman Bilinski had to settle for fourth, matching his season’s best result as the Carlin man came under pressure from the ever impressing Fortec rookie, Oliver Gray who rounded out the top five.

Dougie Bolger gained a spot to take sixth place and claim another rookie podium, finishing ahead of Aiden Neate who turned in yet another stirring performance considering the lack of experience compared to the rest of the grid, with the newcomer even passing Phinsys by Argenti team mate Eduardo Coseteng on the way to seventh.

Marcos Flack and Coseteng finished in eighth and ninth respectively to leave the Argenti drivers line astern, with Carlin’s Kai Askey holding on to the final points position in tenth, finishing just seven tenths head of battling Fortec Swede – Joel Granfors.

Next up was Zak Taylor in twelfth place, finishing ahead of Mckenzy Cresswell, who will disappointed in losing ground on Hedley and Rees in the overall championship, as well as losing the lead to Rees in the rookie cup.

Just behind Cresswell was Thomas Ikin for Arden, who gained five places from the back of the grid to finish in fourteenth. Georgi Dimitrov had a race of two halves in fifteenth place, fighting in the points early on before ultimately slipping outside the points as the race wore on.

Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak and David Morales finished in sixteenth and seventeenth respectively for Carlin and Arden, and the last of the runners. Matias Zagazeta unfortunately had a mechanical problem from the start line after a very promising Friday, with Abbi Pulling sustaining front wing damage and being forced to retire after a charging drive.

Race 1 Classification

Pos.DriverTeamDifference
1James HedleyFortec Motorsport15 Laps
2Matthew Rees (R)JHR Developments+0.240s
3Joseph LoakeJHR Developments+0.912s
4Roman BilinskiCarlin+3.606s
5Oliver Gray (R)Fortec Motorsport+3.890s
6Dougie Bolger (R)Carlin+5.765s
7Aiden Neate (R)Phinsys by Argenti+5.948s
8Marcos Flack (R)Phinsys by Argenti+7.797s
9Eduardo Coseteng (R)Phinsys by Argenti+9.293s
10Kai Askey (R)Carlin+10.150s
11Joel GranforsFortec Motorsport+10.830s
12Zak TaylorArden Motorsport+14.257s
13Mckenzy Cresswell (R)JHR Developments+14.677s
14Thomas Ikin (R)Arden Motorsport+16.046s
15Georgi DimitrovRichardson Racing+17.687s
16Tasanapol InthraphuvasakCarlin+19.019s
17David MoralesArden Motorsport+28.334s
18Abbi PullingJHR DevelopmentsDNF
19Matias ZagazetaPhinsys by ArgentiDNF
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British Formula 4 correspondent and occasional F1 reporter for The Checkered Flag.
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