Arden Motorsport returned to winning ways on an action-packed weekend (25-26 September) in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Silverstone.
The Red Arrows made the short journey from Banbury the 1.6-mile Northamptonshire venue in good spirits, buoyed by recent performances and the addition of Cameron McLeod to the team’s now-four car line up.
After two positive days of pre-event testing, a tricky qualifying put the quartet on the back foot and, despite forward progress in the opening race, only Morales could add to the team’s total in ninth spot.
Sunday morning brought better fortunes, however, with the team duly converting a lockout on the front two rows of the grid into a solid 1-2 finish, with Georgi Dimitrov scoring his first victory for the team, and the second of his fledgling single seater career.
It was McLeod who started on pole but fell behind the British-Bulgarian racer at Becketts on the opening tour. Although the Australian rallied and put the pressure back on Dimitrov in the closing stages, an opportunity to pass never presented itself, the pair crossing the line a mere 1.4 seconds apart.
Morales had been running third until contact from another car on the apex at Becketts forced him onto the sidelines, but the US racer would not have to wait long for a now-trademark charge through the order.
The ITV4-televised finale on Sunday afternoon proved to be something of a chaotic affair, but all four Arden cars made their way through the chaos to pick up a full quota of points-scoring finishes.
On this occasion it would be Zak Taylor leading the line for the Red Arrows, the recent Motorsport UK Academy graduate taking fourth ahead of Dimitrov, whilst Morales and McLeod made their way through to seventh and eighth at the flag.
The combined efforts of all four have put Arden back in the frame to scale the Teams Cup standings, with just 16 points now separating the team from Carlin in the battle for fourth spot.
With six races left to run on this season’s schedule, the next stop for the F4 British Championship is Donington Park, Leicestershire on 9-10 October.
Gary Ward, Arden British F4 Team Manager said:
“It’s always fantastic to pick up another victory in British F4 but results like this are always a little bit more special at Silverstone; it’s such a historic circuit, and something of a home event for us, being based nearby in Banbury.
“All four drivers did a fantastic job this weekend to bounce back and come away with a strong haul of points, particularly after a difficult qualifying. It’s such a short circuit, so the times are often ridiculously close, and we were just the wrong side of a tenth or two that would have put us much higher up from the off.
“To fight back in race trim and still come away with the results to merit the performances is satisfying for us, and I’m really looking forward to ending the season on a high at Donington Park and Brands Hatch next month.”
Georgi Dimitrov (#23) said:
“It’s always a fantastic weekend when you come away with a race victory, and I’m really pleased to have my first win for Arden.
“Our pace out front was really strong, and I could control the race back to my team-mate, who did a great job and helped to score a big result for the team.
“Of course, there are areas we can always improve on, but this feels like a really important step in the right direction. Thanks to the team for all their support.”
Cameron McLeod (#50) said:
“As debuts go, I really don’t think I could have asked for much better! I wasn’t expecting to leave Silverstone with my first podium, or such a decent haul of points, so that’s definitely the best possible start to my career in British F4.
“Having the extra day to test and acclimatise to the circuit was definitely helpful, and the atmosphere between the four of us as drivers just helps bring the team along.
“Of course, from pole, I’d have liked to win, but regardless of that, I’m pleased with our performance and looking forward to Donington Park in a few weeks’ time.”
David Morales (#77) said:
“Although the chance to score another podium was taken away by contact in the second race, I think in many ways, Silverstone was my best performance of the season so far.
“We didn’t qualify where we’d hoped, but our performance in the races was really strong; the car felt great and I could really attack and go for overtakes, which meant we climbed from near the back to finish in the points both times.
“I’m feeling more confident in the car with every session, so I can’t wait to get to Donington Park and continue this run of development I’m on with the team, thanks for all of their hard work.”
Zak Taylor (#99) said:
“Up until Sunday afternoon, it had been a really difficult weekend for us, things just didn’t seem to be going our way.
“But to be able to fight my way through the field from the back to finish fourth was a great note to leave Silverstone on; as a driver, these are the races you remember as much as winning, and to do it live on ITV4 is an added bonus.
“It’s another solid points finish and something to keep building on next time out at Donington Park.”