– Swede scores trio of top eight finishes at Brands Hatch
– Fortec racer ends on positive note with second-fastest lap in Race 3
Joel Granfors came through an action-packed weekend of racing in mixed conditions to claim a trio of top eight finishes as the F4 British Championship set camp at Brands Hatch.
The Swedish F4 rookie came home P8, P8 and P6 respectively in this weekend’s three races, which put the 19-car field to the test in partly dry, partly wet weather conditions.
Granfors, however, kept his nose clean to navigate maturely through all three encounters, ending on a high in Race 3 when he recovered from a poor start – at a track notorious for its lack of overtaking opportunities – to take P6.
As he battled back, Granfors underlined his pace by setting the second-fastest lap of the race, just 0.004s slower than Britain’s Joseph Loake. Granfors and Loake were the only two drivers to dip below the 47-second mark around the 1.9 km Brands Hatch Indy layout in any of the three races.
“It’s been a weekend of mixed feelings, but at the end of the day I have learned a lot,” says Joel Granfors. “Again, qualifying proved our main weakness, even though it was slightly better here. We were a couple of places too far back to seriously put ourselves in contention, but it was extremely close and just a few tenths would have made the difference to pole position.
“It’s tough competition here, but it’s the best way to evolve as a driver, so it’s just how it should be.”
Granfors’ best shot at a podium finish arguably came in Race 2 on Sunday morning, where a drizzle of rain before the start saw the field split on tyre choice.
The Fortec Motorsport contingent, including Granfors, went for wet-weather Hankooks, which initially proved effective as Granfors stormed through to P2 in the early stages.
However, the track began drying out halfway through the 20-minute race, shuffling Granfors back down the order as others came through on slicks. The Swede eventually finished P8.
“We had to make some very quick decisions this weekend, especially before Race 2 when it began to rain just before the start,” Joel Granfors explains. “It felt like the right move initially, but then we completely killed our tyres when it began to dry up, and I have learned some very concrete set-up lessons for the future.
“All in all, I had hoped for more this weekend, but I’m happy that we ended on a positive note in Race 3. We can all see that the pace is there; now we just need to piece the potential together a bit better.”
The F4 British Championship now heads into a five-week summer break, before the season resumes at Oulton Park on July 30-August 1. The series then faces a busy couple of months across August, September and October to close out the season with the remaining seven rounds.
F4 British Championship
Rd. 3 | Brands Hatch (Indy)
F4 British Championship
After 3/10 rounds
1: James Hedley (GBR), 120 p.
2: Matthew Rees (GBR), 100 p.
3: McKenzy Cresswell (GBR), 88 p.
4: Matias Zagazeta (PER), 68 p.
5: Joel Granfors (SWE), 61 p.