– Swedish champion to take on global competition
– Rain likely to strike in opening round of season
After months of waiting, Joel Granfors finally sits on the eve of his international single-seater debut as the Swedish rookie prepares for round one of the F4 British Championship at Thruxton this weekend.
15-year-old Granfors is the reigning champion of Sweden’s Formula Nordic and Aquila Synergy Cup series, and now embarks on a journey abroad as he chases his motorsport dream.
Granfors has found his new home in the UK’s Ford-powered Formula 4 championship, where he is racing for reigning title-holders Fortec Motorsport alongside world karting champion Oliver Gray and sophomore driver James Hedley.
The 2021 F4 British Championship features an international grid of 17 drivers from eight different countries, representing a total of six teams.
ENTRY LIST: 2021 F4 British Championship
“I’m extremely excited ahead of my first weekend of international single-seater racing,” says Joel Granfors. “We have been preparing for this moment for months, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank Fortec Motorsport for how well they have implemented me into the team.”
With pre-season testing now completed, attention shifts to racing, with the high-speed Thruxton Circuit set to stage the first round of the campaign this weekend.
Boasting average speeds of nearly 190 km/h for the F4 cars, the Hampshire circuit is seriously fast, making for a fitting start to the season.
“Testing has gone well and we seem to be right on the pace, as indicated by the practice sessions at Thruxton last month where I wound up just one hundredth of a second off P1,” explains Joel Granfors. “With that in mind, I’m confident that we can have a competitive weekend, and absolutely certain of some very close and thrilling races.”
That said, indications are strong that this could be a weekend of many surprises and added challenges – especially for a rookie driver. The weather forecast predicts heavy rain, and on top of that, the field will head straight into qualifying with official practice already staged back in April due to reasons concerning the pandemic.
“It will be a special kind of weekend, for sure,” admits Granfors. “I haven’t sat in the car in a month now, and we’ll be going straight into qualy, probably in the rain. I have done half a day on old tyres in the wet at Snetterton, so basically nothing. It will be a real big challenge, but I’m up for it and will make sure to learn as much as possible along the way.”
British F4 is carried live and free-to-air on ITV4 in the UK alongside the BTCC. Streaming will not be available in other countries, but live timing links and reports will be posted at www.joelgranfors.com.
TIME TABLE – LOCAL TIME (UK)
F4 British Championship
Rd. 1 | Thruxton
Saturday 8 May
Race 1: 15.25-15.45
Sunday 9 May
Race 2: 12.20-12.40
Race 3: 16.30-16.50
British F4 – how it works
The 2021 season features ten championship rounds, each comprising three races. The grids are formed in qualifying at the start of each weekend by using the below format:
Race 1: drivers’ fastest qualifying lap
Race 2: full reversed grid based on drivers’ fastest qualifying lap
Race 3: drivers’ second-fastest qualifying lap
For Race 2, that means the fastest driver in qualifying will start at the back, and the slowest at the front. This initiative is in place to educate drivers in defensive and attacking driving techniques.
There are fewer points on offer in Race 2 (15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1) than in Race 1 and Race 3 (25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1).
Additionally, drivers are competing for the Motul Fastest Lap Award, which carries a bonus point for fastest lap in each race.