Arden Motorsport enjoyed a silverware-laden weekend in the F4 British Championship at a sun-soaked Snetterton, Norfolk last weekend (12-13 June).
The Banbury-based team arrived at the tight, technical 2.97-mile Norfolk circuit looking to build on a solid start to the campaign at Thruxton a month prior, and with newcomer David Morales set to make his debut alongside Zak Taylor and Thomas Ikin.
After a tough start to the triple-header in qualifying and the opening race, the Red Arrows took centre stage during an action-packed reverse grid race on Saturday afternoon.
Morales made a perfect start from pole to lead Ikin on the run down to Riches for the first time, the lead changing hands in Ikin’s favour after a move to the inside at Agostini.
Whilst damage hampered Morales’ attempts to keep a much more experienced field at bay, team-mate Taylor was on a charge, moving up through the field to put himself in contention for a podium finish.
A bold move to the inside past Kai Askey at Riches with two minutes left on the clock eventually promoted him to third, the Gloucestershire teen finishing just behind team-mate Ikin, who took another Rookie Cup win alongside his first overall in podium after eventually taking the chequered flag in second.
Taylor then capped off a solid weekend with more forward progress in the finale, moving up from tenth to eighth to help cement the team’s third place standing in the Teams Cup.
Taylor remains fifth overall in the standings, with Ikin’s podium propelling the Wirral racer into joint 11th, behind Dimitrov only by virtue of the latter’s race victory.
Morales can be hugely satisfied with a promising start to his Formula 4 career on UK shores, with the whole team set to build on this showing at Brands Hatch, Kent in a fortnight (26-27 June).
Gary Ward, Arden British F4 Team Manager said:
“It’s been another really solid performance from the team this weekend, I think we’ve got plenty to be satisfied with.
“Zak and Tom have shown a lot of progress since Thruxton last month and it’s great for them to be rewarded for their hard work with a double podium finish.
“We’re really happy with how David’s debut weekend went, he’s acquitted himself well, settled into the team and was really unlucky not to have a good result to take away from race two.
“Now we’ll head back to base, re-focus and then get ready for Brands Hatch in a fortnight. Thanks to the team for their hard work over the weekend.”
Thomas Ikin (#10) said:
“I’m absolutely over the moon with my first podium finish in British F4. To have that experience of leading a race and fighting at the front is really invaluable at this stage of my career, so it’s a big positive for me to bring home a result like that.
“Qualifying wasn’t ideal and that did put us on the back foot to some extent, so I think we definitely maximised what we could after that setback.
“We’ve made some good progress, championship-wise, and another Rookie Cup victory puts me right in the mix on that front, so we’ll head to Brands Hatch in good spirits.”
David Morales (#77) said:
“There are lots of positives for me to take from my debut weekend in British F4. Learning the circuits with no pre-season testing will be a big challenge for me, so qualifying was always likely to be a bit tough with such limited running.
“Our pace in the races was good, we were able to fight consistently with the rest of the field and the experience of running up at the front will be really useful in the rounds ahead.
“Thanks to the team for their hard work and helping me to settle in, now we’ll look ahead to Brands Hatch to build on this progress.”
Zak Taylor (#99) said:
“I’m really pleased to get another podium finish; it’s given us some positive momentum and hopefully we can carry that forward into the rest of the season.
“The level of competition this year is really tough, so to leave Snetterton a solid fifth in the points is very encouraging, particularly after three races at a circuit where overtaking in the dirty air is so challenging.
“Obviously there are things we need to work on and only a couple of weeks until the next event at Brands Hatch, but we’re heading in the right direction.”