• Daventry team prepare to kick off 2021 season at high-speed Hampshire circuit.
  • New-look line-up of Joel Granfors, Oliver Gray and James Hedley ready to battle it out with the next generation of motorsport stars.
  • Action to be broadcast live and free-to-air on ITV4 in the UK.

Fortec Motorsport’s defence of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost title marks its first stop in Thruxton, Hampshire this weekend (8-9 May).

After securing the ultimate prize in a rain-soaked, action-packed finale with Luke Browning last autumn, the Daventry team are back to retain their crown, and with an exciting new-look line-up.

Swedish talent Joel Granfors – dominant in both Formula Nordic and the Aquila Synergy Cup – will partner World Karting Champion Oliver Gray, with the trio completed by multiple F4 race-winner James Hedley.

The high-speed, 2.3-mile Thruxton circuit holds particularly fond memories for local hero Hedley, based in nearby Poole, Dorset, after the 17-year-old joined an exclusive club in winning all three races in a single weekend during last season’s meeting at the venue.

All three will arrive in confident form after a strong pre-season testing programme during the winter months.

The two-day event kicks off with qualifying at 10:40 on Saturday (8 May), ahead of the season-opening race at 15:25.

Sunday features another double-header of action, with both races (12:20 & 16:30) broadcast live and free-to-air in the UK on ITV4.

Oliver Dutton, F4 Team Manager said:

“The whole team is really looking forward to getting the 2021 British Formula 4 season underway next weekend at Thruxton.

“We’re really confident in the line-up we’ve got this year; you can’t read anything into testing, but we know that both Joel and Oliver should be in the mix at the sharp end of the field, when everyone’s in race-trim.

“James is already a proven race-winner at this level, and it’s a big season for him, so between the three of them, I think all the signs are very promising. Thruxton is a difficult circuit to start the season at, but our boys are ready for the challenge.

“Last season was a big achievement for our Fortec family, and we’re all feeling refreshed and motivated to go after the next challenge – retaining it!”

Joel Granfors (#5) said:

“I’m extremely excited ahead of my first weekend of international single-seater racing. We have been preparing for this moment for months, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank Fortec for how well they have integrated me into the team.

“Testing has gone well; 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.

“With that in mind, I’m confident that we can have a competitive weekend, and I’m absolutely certain of some very close and thrilling races.

“I really can’t wait for qualifying on Saturday morning. I’m elated to set out on this new, big challenge and trying to make a mark in international motorsport.”

Oliver Gray (#63) said:

“I’m definitely feeling confident coming into the first round of the season at Thruxton.

“We showed strong pace here in testing; I’m looking for race wins and nothing else. We have a strong package, and I’m sure both the team and I will deliver on the day.”

James Hedley (#67) said:

“I’m really looking forward to racing on home turf at Thruxton.

“I have a good track record there; last time I raced at Thruxton I was celebrating a Triple Crown. That experience is going to be hard to beat or replicate as we now have fully reversed grid races to contend with, but I’m looking forward to that new challenge in itself.

“Qualifying is normally a bit of a lottery, getting the best tow is crucial – but it is possible to win from the back, given how much of a slipstream you can get in the races – it always makes for some great action!”