- Nikolas Taylor bags pole position and a brilliant win on his GB4 debut
- Swede Elias Adestam grabs podium finish on maiden outing
- Strong start to GB4 campaign for Fortec Motorsport squad who are at Oulton Park next
Fortec Motorsport started the 2022 season in winning fashion thanks to a victory and two podiums in the opening meeting of the new-for-2022 GB4 Championship partnered by BRDC at Snetterton last weekend (2/3 April).
The Daventry-based team entered a trio of Tatuus F4-T014 machines for rapid youngsters Nikolas Taylor, Jessica Edgar and Elias Adestam for the first ever GB4 Championship event at the 2.99-mile Snetterton 300 circuit in Norfolk, and would come away with a race win courtesy of Taylor alongside another podium finish from Adestam after a competitive tea performance.
Two days of testing across Thursday and Friday offered plenty of optimism ahead of the team’s first weekend of the 2022 season as Anglo-Malaysia driver Taylor shone in a mixture of different conditions, topping both days and setting the quickest time across the two-day period as all three drivers showed top-10 pace.
16-year-old Taylor took that impressive form into the weekend and Saturday’s morning’s 15-minute qualifying session. Jostling for the top spot on the timesheets throughout with his nearest rivals, a late burst lit up the screens to secure the first pole position of the season by 0.285s, Adestam and Edgar sealing seventh and 10th respectively.
The team’s focus turned to the first of three 18-minute races, Taylor looking to convert pole position into victory in race one on Saturday afternoon. A great start and strong defence at the hairpin gave him the perfect opportunity, and the YDRA (Young Racing Driver Academy) never looked back as he set the pace up front, taking the first win of the season by over three seconds with the additional coup of fastest lap to his name.
Swede Adestam grew into the race and after gaining a spot away from the grid, the youngster successfully dived inside Jarrod Weberski under braking for Oggies to move into the top five. The battle continued to the flag with Adestam’s valiant defense for fifth eventually broken, finishing sixth while the third Fortec car of Edgar took flag a spot better off than where she started the contest after getting the better of Chloe Grant in a race-long scrap.
Taylor started the second race from pole position once again on Sunday morning, and tussled it out bravely with Alex Walker and Tom Mills on a frenetic opening lap. Unfortunately a spin at the chicane dropped him down the order, but a superb comeback would follow as he carved his way past four cars with the fastest lap of the race, finishing right on the tail of Adestam as the pair took the chequered flag fifth and sixth.
Edgar again finished a solid ninth, but a much more favourable grid for race three drew her on pole position for the final contest of the weekend. She would unfortunately lose ground after contact with Jack Sherwood – who was later reprimanded – at the start of the race, as did Taylor who was briefly left stationary on the grid as he finished eighth with Edgar two spots further back.
Sights set on the top three, it would be Adestam who provided the entertainment factor of the race with a fighting performance from fourth on the grid. Toughing it out with Mills throughout the early laps, he sold his rival a dummy at Agostini hairpin under braking to put the Fortec car up into third spot, catching and pressuring the leaders late on to seal a first GB4 podium and the second for the Daventry team.
Fortec Motorsport are back in action in two weekends’ time at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend (16-18 April), competing in both GB4 and the opening GB3 meeting of the season.
Oliver Dutton, Team Manager said:
“Starting fresh with a new championship is always an unknown ahead of the season, so to come away from the opening round with a win, two podiums, a pole position and plenty of positives is a great achievement for us and these young drivers.
“Nikolas showed great pace all weekend. From never racing before he was very impressive. A few mistakes were made but he’ll learn from them.
“Elias and Jessica are growing in confidence with the car too, and we saw some great race craft from them all weekend and especially in race three with Elias who could have challenged for a win. All three have had to adapt to a completely different car in a short space of time, so we can hold our heads high and look forward to more success this season.”
#8 Elias Adestam:
“The weekend has been good, but also it could have been better. We were just lacking a bit of pace compared to Nikolas who has been absolutely rapid, but the race craft all round has been quite good since I have a bit of experience under my belt. Fingers crossed we can carry on improving and I can challenge the top guys. It got much better in race two, and in race three when we got past Tom I felt that the win was definitely on, so to find that pace and finish with a podium is a good result.”
#17 Jessica Edgar:
“I’ve been enjoying my weekend. I’ve made good improvements through testing over the two days before the weekend and then another improvement came in qualifying. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect on my first race but then on Sunday we got to start higher up the order which was what we wanted.”
#66 Nikolas Taylor:
“It feels amazing to be honest. Qualifying and race one was a bit of a surprise as it was my first weekend ever in cars basically. The start in race one wasn’t the best but after that I just got my head down and kept pushing. It wasn’t easy and I was sweating after the first race, but I couldn’t ask for much more to start the season. The car feels really good thanks to the Fortec team and I feel confident already. It’s a good learning curve and I just have to remember how experienced the other drivers around me are.”