– Front-running practice pace comes undone in fickle qualifying
– Learning by doing as F4 rookie makes up ground in trio of races
Joel Granfors picked up a top five finish as his best result from this weekend’s F4 British Championship round at Oulton Park.
Returning to action after a lengthy summer break, Granfors wasted little time to get up to speed aboard his Ford EcoBoost-powered Fortec Motorsport machine, going second fastest in Friday’s opening practice session.
With positive momentum heading into qualifying a day later, Granfors carried high hopes of being able to fight for pole – but instead had to see his weekend derailed in a British drizzle.
In mixed and greasy conditions, Granfors found himself in an unfortunate situation on the wrong tyres at the wrong time, restricting him to grid slots in the middle of the 19-car pack for each of the weekend’s three races.
With the field closely matched on pace – and overtaking opportunities limited around the flowing Oulton Park track – Granfors had his work cut out, although the Swede did manage to make up ground in each of the races to bag a results score of P11, P5 and P10.
“It started out well in practice on Friday, and we were right up there,” says Joel Granfors. “I felt like we would finally be in for a really strong weekend, so it was all the more disappointing to miss out like that in qualifying where the conditions caught us out. It’s difficult to overtake around here, so I knew the races were going to be hard, but I did my best, learned quite a bit in the traffic, and at least managed a top five.”
Granfors and his crew also grabbed the opportunity provided to evaluate some new set-up avenues, most notably in Sunday’s concluding Race 3 which took place in stable, dry conditions.
“We continue to learn together and we constantly find new things to try and to improve,” Joel Granfors concludes. “With qualifying going the way it went here, we decided to experiment a bit with some ideas I’ve wanted to try, and I think it was successful. It’s something we can apply in the coming races, and that should suit my driving style a bit better, so I’m optimistic for the remaining rounds!”
The F4 British Championship next returns on August 14-15 at Knockhill in Scotland.
F4 British Championship
Rd. 4 | Oulton Park
F4 British Championship
After 4/10 rounds
1: James Hedley (GBR), 161 p.
2: Matthew Rees (GBR), 137 p.
3: McKenzy Cresswell (GBR), 107 p.
4: Joseph Loake (GBR), 86 p.
5: Matias Zagazeta (PER), 86 p.
6: Joel Granfors (SWE), 71 p.