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Menchaca holds off Eastwood to take dramatic maiden F4 win

Saturday, October 25 2014

Diego Menchaca held off Douglas Motorsport team mate Charlie Eastwood to take his first ever BRDC F4 win in a dramatic opening race at Snetterton, which had to be restarted following two early accidents.

Sennan Fielding fought through to take third and close the gap to the championship leaders, while Gaetano di Mauro looked on course to take his fourth podium of the year before being passed late on by Fielding.

Struan Moore took fifth for Lanan Racing, ahead of Raoul Hyman who starred by rising from 18th to finish sixth. 

George Russell originally started the race from pole position, but finished seventh ahead of team mate and championship leader Arjun Maini.

At the original start, Menchaca made the best getaway and was able to out-drag Russell on the run to Riches on lap one, while Gaetano di Mauro was able to move past Russell also and take third.

Further back, Diego Borrelli and Rodrigo Fonseca collided at Palmer corner on lap one, while a further tangle between Will Palmer and Jordan Albert at Montreal hairpin brought out the red flags with the cars interlocked on track.

After a lengthy delay, the race resumed over six laps, with Menchaca lining up on pole, the grid positions taken from the order when the red flag came out. The Mexican repeated his good start and held the lead, while Eastwood climbed into second. The pair lapped nose-to-tail throughout, with Menchaca keeping his team mate at bay by just 0.247s at the flag.

Behind the Douglas duo, the championship contenders hit more trouble. Russell made a better start from third place on the restart, and challenged di Mauro. As he did so, Eastwood, lining-up fourth was able to move past the pair to take second. Russell was also passed by team mate Struan Moore, and was down to fifth at the end of the first racing lap.

On the fourth lap, Moore challenged di Mauro through Riches and at Montreal. Moore was delayed and allowed Russell to get a run on him heading to Palmer corner, but Russell was squeezed out and fell to seventh with Hyman moving into sixth, while Fielding moved past the Lanan duo to take fourth.

With the Lanan drivers suffering, Fielding was well placed to make inroads into the championship lead, and was able to move past di Mauro on the last lap to take third place.

Maini still leads the championship, by a slightly reduced margin of 19 points, while Fielding in third is now just 22 points behind Maini and three behind Russell. Hyman stays fourth and is 34 points adrift of Maini. Moore and Palmer can no longer win the championship.

Menchaca commented: "Charlie made my life quite hard but I'm so happy to finally take my first win. I really want to thank all the guys at Douglas Motorsport, they've been amazing all year.

"We've been through some tough times but we made it and now we're here. Few people know this, but my best friend passed away two weeks ago and I want to dedicate this win to him."

Menchaca, Eastwood and Fielding were presented with their trophies on the podium by BRDC member Joey Foster.

BRDC F4 Championship, Snetterton race one result:

1. Diego Menchaca, Douglas Motorsport, 6 laps
2. Charlie Eastwood, Douglas Motorsport, +0.247s
3. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, +2.242s
4. Gaetano di Mauro, Petroball Racing, +2.663s
5. Struan Moore, Lanan Racing, +3.352s
6. Raoul Hyman, HHC Motorsport, +3.770s
7. George Russell, Lanan Racing, +4.074s
8. Arjun Maini, Lanan Racing, +4.496s
9. Connor Jupp, Meridian Racing, +8.051s
10. Rahul Mayer, Hillspeed, +8.358s
11. Alfredo Zabalza, Hillspeed, +14.060s
12. Michael Claessens, MGR Motorsport, +14.782s
DNF. Tom Bale, Chris Dittmann Racing, 3 laps
DNF. Piers Hickin, Chris Dittmann Racing, 0 laps
DNF. Jordan Albert, SWR - Caterham F1, 0 laps
DNF. Rodrigo Fonseca, Douglas Motorsport, 0 laps
DNF. Diego Borrelli, SWR - Caterham F1, 0 laps