Arden Motorsport is aiming to keep up a recent run of podium finishes in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Oulton Park, Cheshire this weekend (31 Jul – 01 Aug).
The Banbury-based team have enjoyed a spell at the front in the UK’s FIA Formula 4 series of late, taking a first victory of the 2021 season at Brands Hatch last time out courtesy of Zak Taylor.
That, plus podium finishes in consecutive meetings for Thomas Ikin and consistent improvements from series newcomer David Morales, has given the ‘Red Arrows’ every reason to be optimistic heading to the 2.2-mile Island circuit this weekend, following the series’ five-week ‘summer shutdown’.
Characterised by its high-speed, often unforgiving nature, Oulton Park has a reputation as a real ‘driver’s circuit’, with key overtaking opportunities into the Island Hairpin, Knickerbrook Chicane, and final corner at Lodge.
Qualifying will be crucial for the team’s trio, with the circuit’s narrow nature well-suited to defensive driving.
That session gets underway at 09:05 (BST) on Saturday, following a pair of practice sessions the day prior.
The opening two 20-minute races are at 14:10 and 17:35 respectively on Saturday, the latter forming the reverse grid contest for this event. Sunday features one more, ITV4-televised race at 14:00.
Gary Ward, Arden British F4 Team Manager said:
“I’m really looking forward to building on our momentum over the last few rounds when British F4 gets back to racing at Oulton Park this weekend.
“When we left for the summer break, it was on the back of our first victory of the season, and with three drivers showing really strong, consistent progress from session to session.
“We’ve had a few weeks now to keep that development process going, so I’m looking forward to seeing the results of that work out on track.”
Thomas Ikin (#10) said:
“After a long five-week break, I’m excited to get back to racing again, starting this weekend at Oulton Park. It’s the beginning of a very intensive August schedule, with Knockhill and Thruxton to follow, so getting some momentum behind me from the get-go will be really useful.
“Oulton Park is an incredibly challenging circuit, but it’s one I’ve been looking forward to. It’s not the easiest circuit for overtaking, so qualifying will be critical, but there are a few key spots to make progress during the races, so it’s not necessarily the be all and end all.
“I’ve been working really hard over the summer with Arden to try and unlock the maximum performance out of me, and out of the car. I think we’re in a good position heading into the weekend, so it would be nice to build on my two podiums so far and get that first win.”
David Morales (#77) said:
“I’m very happy to be back in the car this weekend, and to be racing at a circuit like Oulton Park.
“With every session, we’re getting closer to the competition, despite almost no testing on each of the circuits we’ve visited since joining the series, versus a whole pre-season for many others. So, to be that close to the times, and able to compete in the races, is a very good starting point to be at.
“I’ll keep pushing, and I know the team at Arden Motorsport will provide all three drivers with a perfect car.”
Zak Taylor (#99) said:
“I’m really looking forward to getting back in the car at Oulton Park this weekend. It’s been a long five-week break and, although it’s nice to enjoy some time away from the circuit, we left Brands Hatch on such a positive note and I’m keen to build on that.
“Oulton Park is a proper ‘driver’s circuit’ – mistakes don’t go un-punished here, so it’s really critical that we maximise the laps in practice, because on a circuit this tight, qualifying can be half the battle sometimes.
“If we can put everything together, it should be another really solid weekend, and that’ll help me claw back a little more ground in the points.”