Arden Motorsport scored its first victory of the 2021 F4 British Championship courtesy of Zak Taylor at Brands Hatch, Kent last weekend (26-27 June).
The Banbury-based team made the trip to the 1.2-mile Indy circuit buoyed by a recent run of silverware, including overall podium finishes for Zak Taylor and Thomas Ikin at Snetterton last time out, the latter also claiming a Rookie Cup win.
That, combined with a positive debut in Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series for newcomer David Morales, left spirits high heading into another action-packed weekend.
The Red Arrows started on the front foot in the reverse grid race. Morales made a strong start from pole position, with Ikin moving up from third to challenge on the outside heading into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time.
That allowed Taylor – up from fifth to third after a lightning getaway – to take the inside line and move ahead into second spot, before the lead changed hands between the Gloucestershire teenager and Morales at Druids on the second tour.
From there, Taylor powered clear to establish, at its peak, a 4.5-second advantage, before a mid-race safety car interruption threatened his lead.
A faultless restart soon saw off that danger, however, and Taylor duly took the chequered flag to secure his first victory in single seaters, and the team’s first win of the 2021 season, with Ikin making it a 1-2 finish.
That meant another Rookie Cup victory for the latter, as well as a second outright podium in successive meetings. Morales was unlucky not to finish, but once again demonstrated superb race craft at the sharp end of the field.
Although Sunday’s double header yielded no further points for the team in a highly competitive field, Saturday’s headline result ensures the team stay in the mix at the top of the Teams Cup, now fourth and just five points adrift of the top three.
Oulton Park in Cheshire hosts the next event on the 2021 calendar across the weekend of 31 July – 01 August.
Gary Ward, Arden British F4 Team Manager said:
“It’s been a good weekend overall for the team at Brands Hatch. Saturday’s result was very much the highlight, and it’s fantastic to see a 1-2 finish. A huge congratulations to Zak on his first win, and to Thomas for yet another podium and Rookie win.
“David’s been really unfortunate again this weekend. The pace is definitely there, and when he’s been up at the front, he’s got the measure on the others in terms of racecraft. When it all comes together for him – and it will – it’ll be great to celebrate a team result all round.
“Time for a short break now, then it’ll be full steam ahead to get ready for Oulton Park. Weekends like this are great, but it’s important to use them as a springboard. On to the next one.”
Thomas Ikin (#10) said:
“I’m very happy to follow up my first podium finish in British F4 with another in quick succession. It’s a great result, and the points have really helped us stay in the hunt for a top ten finish in the standings.
“To have another Rookie Cup victory in the process is a real bonus, and we’re now the joint-highest driver in terms of class wins, so it’s a really good sign that we’re progressing well against other drivers with similar levels of experience in these cars.
“A big thanks to the team and my sponsors for all their hard work and support. We’ve got a month to take stock, reassess and get ready to go again at Oulton Park, but my focus will very much be on building from these results.”
David Morales (#77) said:
“We didn’t get the results our performance deserved again this weekend, but I’m taking the positives away from it, there are always things we can learn from and improve on to ensure it goes our way next time.
“Congratulations to the team on a good weekend, it’s always a good atmosphere in the awning after a win, I’ll just be pushing harder than ever to make sure next time it’s me celebrating with the trophy!
“Thanks to the team for their hard work and support. On to Oulton Park!”
Zak Taylor (#99) said:
“I’m really pleased to leave Brands Hatch with my first victory in both British F4 and single seaters. It’s a real sign that we’re continuing to progress, having scored two podiums already prior to this, so that’s a key thing for us to carry forward to Oulton Park.
“I made a good start and managed to take advantage of my team-mates battling for the lead, and from there the pace was in the car to pull clear and manage the gap. It’s always a bit annoying when a safety car wipes out that lead, but I kept my head and was able to bring it home.
“A big thanks to the whole team, my family and sponsors for their continued support, and I’m looking forward to building on this next time out.”