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Maini cruises to maiden F4 race win at Snetterton

Sunday, June 22 2014

Lanan Racing's Arjun Maini has claimed his first F4 race win with a dominant drive in race two at Snetterton this morning (Sunday).

Maini started from pole but saw an early advantage wiped out by a safety car caused by the stranded car of Nicolas Beer, but then pulled out a lead of over three seconds from Diego Menchaca to take victory.

Championship leader George Russell was third ahead of nearest rival Raoul Hyman, with Hillspeed's Gustavo Lima fifth having run third during the early phases of the race.

Yesterday's race winner Will Palmer claimed sixth for HHC Motorsport, and his fastest lap from yesterday is the quickest seen in the two races held so far, ensuring he will start from pole for the third race of the weekend this afternoon.

Struan Moore claimed seventh place ahead of Hillspeed's Rahul Mayer, with Rodrigo Fonseca and Jordan Albert completing the top-10.

At the start, Maini and Menchaca made good get aways from the front row, while Russell rose from third on the grid to sixth at the end of lap one. While squabbling inside the top six, Raoul Hyman and Nicolas Beer made contact, leaving Beer stranded on the outside of the circuit at Nelson, with the incident also causing damage to Fielding, forcing Fielding into the pits for lengthy repairs, before eventually returning to the track.

Beer's stranded car necessitated an appearance from the safety car, wiping out Maini's 1.5 second lead at the end of lap one. The safety car pitted at the end of lap four, and Maini immediately built a lead of 0.8s while Russell challenged Menchaca at Riches and ran wide, dropping to fourth behind Gustavo Lima. 

As Maini built his lead, Russell looked to find a way past Lima, and eventually made a move stick on lap seven. By now, Maini had built a lead of over three seconds, while Russell looked to gain ground on Menchaca, eventually finishing 1.4 seconds behind the Mexican, but stretching his championship advantage over Hyman by two points.

David Wagner seemed on course for his best F4 race result, running sixth early on having started 12th before being shuffled down to eighth on lap six by Palmer and Moore. Wagner then dropped out of the race on lap seven promoting Rahul Mayer into eighth, his best F4 race result.

Speaking after the race, an ecstatic Maini commented: "I'm really happy. Reverse grid or not, a race win is a race win and I've had good pace all weekend. I messed up a little yesterday but I've got back on track today and I'm so happy to finally get the first win.

"Crossing the line to see the team celebrating was amazing, the best feeling in my career so far. It's only made me hungry for more wins now, I like this feeling!

"The safety car at the beginning of the race was frustrating as I'd built up a good lead, but I realised quickly it was something to learn from as there will probably be more safety cars this season. I focussed on that and made a really good restart which was a big factor in me winning the race."

Maini, Menchaca and Russell were presented with their trophies on the podium by British GT racer Jonny Adam.

The third F4 race of the weekend starts at 15.35 with HHC's Will Palmer on pole.

BRDC F4, race two result, Snetterton

1. Arjun Maini, Lanan Racing, 9 laps
2. Diego Menchaca, Douglas Motorsport, +3.171s
3. George Russell, Lanan Racing, +4.619s
4. Raoul Hyman, HHC Motorsport, +6.120s
5. Gustavo Lima, Hillspeed, +7.293s
6. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, +8.207s
7. Struan Moore, Lanan Racing, +10.369s
8. Rahul Mayer, Hillspeed, +12.868s
9. Rodrigo Fonseca, Douglas Motorsport, +13.899s
10. Jordan Albert, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +14.629s