- Hedley takes lights-to-flag triumph at challenging 2.2-mile Cheshire venue.
- Granfors and Gray score a top-five apiece, contributing to Fortec’s increased lead in the Teams Cup.
- Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series heads next to Knockhill in Scotland over 14-15 August.
Fortec Motorsport extended its advantage in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost with a fourth victory of the season for James Hedley at Oulton Park, Cheshire last weekend (31 Jul – 01 Aug).
The Daventry-based squad arrived the 2.2-mile Island circuit with leads to protect in both the Drivers’ and Teams stakes, and a masterstroke on tyre strategy in mixed conditions during qualifying allowed Hedley to secure a double pole position.
From there, the BRDC Rising Star was peerless in the opening race, soaking up pressure from chief title rival Rees over the duration to take the chequered flag 0.2 seconds clear.
Remarkably, given Hedley’s race-winning form to date this season, it was also his first lights-to-flag triumph of the campaign.
He then fought back commendably on a circuit famed for its difficulty to overtake in the reverse grid race, making up eight spots before cementing his 24-point championship lead with a top-six finish during Sunday’s ITV4-televised finale.
Joel Granfors and Ollie Gray both secured a top-five finish apiece, the latter also adding another two podiums in the Rookie Cup to his CV. For Granfors, fifth in the middle contest marked a best result since Thruxton, as the Swede continues to claw his way back to the front of the field.
The combined effort of all three drivers means Fortec marginally stretches its advantage over JHR in the Teams Cup, the gap now 22 points heading to Knockhill, Fife on 14-15 August.
Ollie Dutton, Team Manager said:
“We’re satisfied with how this weekend has panned out for us as a team. Congratulations to James on another victory, and both pole positions. It’s good to see his championship lead extend slightly, there’s a long way to go and every point counts.
“On that theme, it’s been a solid effort from Joel and Ollie, and in part their results have helped us pull further ahead in the Teams Cup. Obviously, we’d like to have them all up there on the podium together, but it’s a competitive series and we’ll have to keep chipping away at it.
“Now we’re looking forward to another strong weekend at Knockhill in a fortnight.”
Joel Granfors (#5) said:
“It started out well in practice on Friday, and we were right up there. 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.
“We continue to learn together and we constantly find new things to try and to improve. 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!”
Ollie Gray (#63) said:
“It’s good to get some more points on the board, but the results definitely aren’t reflecting where our pace is at the moment.
“We’ve been able to make good progress, which on a track as tough to overtake at as Oulton Park is, is a real positive. It’s also another two Rookie podiums. We’ll keep pushing, and I’m sure the results will come soon.”
James Hedley (#67) said:
“Saturday was pretty much perfect, as far it can be. We scored a double pole position, won a race, and took a bonus point for the fastest lap.
“I can’t really say the same for Sunday, it was a good example of the highs and lows you can get in motorsport.
“We’ll bounce back stronger next time out, and it’s at my favourite circuit, Knockhill. A massive thanks to the team for their hard work and support, and also to my sponsors at Goodbody Botanicals for keeping me on track.”