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Graham fights back to take first BRDC F4 Winter Championship win

Saturday, November 09 2013

Douglas Motorsport's Matty Graham is the early leader of the BRDC F4 Winter Championship after securing victory in race one at Snetterton.

Graham took the victory by almost three seconds from Falco Wauer, driving for newcomers Enigma Motorsport, and Sennan Fielding's HHC machine. Will Palmer was an excellent fourth on his debut with Jake Cook fifth for Hillspeed and Pietro Fittipaldi sixth for MGR.

Pole sitter Graham made a slow start and dropped back to third behind the quick starting Falco Wauer and Sennan Fielding, as the field struggled with wheelspin on a still damp surface.

Wauer led the early stages, building a lead of 1.9 seconds after the first lap from Graham, who began his fightback with a move around the outside of Fielding at Palmer corner. 

Graham then focussed his attention on Wauer, closing the gap to 1.2 seconds at the end of lap two, and by the mid point of lap three there was nothing between them.

Starting lap four they crossed the line side-by-side and Graham made his move up the inside at Riches. Graham then proceeded to stretch a comfortable gap to his rivals, while the battle for the remaining podium positions heated up.

Wauer still held a comfortable second place, but the HHC duo of Sennan Fielding and single seater debutant Will Palmer were beginning to up the pace. Wauer though was able to match them and hold second, while Fielding came under increasing pressure from Palmer in the latter stages, Palmer impressing by setting the then fastest lap of the race on lap seven. Fielding though was able to hold him off to take the third spot on the podium, with Palmer just 0.7s behind.

Debutant Jake Cook improved two places on his grid position to claim fifth for Hillspeed, partly aided by a mid race collision between the battling MGR drivers of Pietro Fittipaldi and Matteo Ferrer, who continued to finish sixth and seventh. Karting graduate Fredrik Johansen claimed eighth for Chris Dittmann Racing, while Dimitris Papanastasiou was forced into retirement on lap eight after an off-track excursion in his Hillspeed machine.

Speaking afterwards Graham commented: "I picked up a lot of wheelspin off the line but I managed to claw my way back and ended up with the win, so the job was a good one! I was expecting it to dry quicker than it did, but it's so cold, and track conditions were the same as in qualifying really. We have pole for race two now, so hopefully we can get another win later on."

BRDC F4 Winter Championship, Race One result, Snetterton 300:

1. Matty Graham, Douglas Motorsport, 10 laps
2. Falco Wauer, Enigma Motorsport, +2.986s
3. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, +4.814s
4. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, +5.546s
5. Jake Cook, Hillspeed, +17.191s
6. Pietro Fittipaldi, MGR Motorsport, +22.258s
7. Matteo Ferrer, MGR Motorsport, +1m00.096s
8. Fredrik Johansen, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1m14.345s
9. Dimitris Papanastasiou, Hillspeed, DNF