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Omar Ismail claims BRDC F4 pole position at Snetterton

Saturday, July 11 2015

Omar Ismail took an impressive pole position at Snetterton today (Saturday), as he posted a fastest lap of 1m49.147s to beat the HHC Motorsport pairing of Will Palmer and Harri Newey into first. The 16-year-old's performance was all the more impressive given that this is only his second ever Duo BRDC Formula 4 race weekend.

The 20-minute qualifying session got underway in glorious sunshine at the Norfolk track, as all 20 drivers took to the Snetterton 300 circuit to begin the weekend's Formula 4 action. A number of drivers, including Palmer and Newey, held back from exiting the pit lane momentarily in order to find clear track.

Ismail, who hails from Solihull and who took a strong seventh position on his debut at Silverstone in May, was the first to complete a flying lap and toured the track in 1m50.508s. Sisa Ngebulana provisionally claimed second but he was soon relegated down the order as his team-mate Newey came around to post the fastest time and take provisional pole from Ismail.

The 16-year-old did not take that lying down however and improved shortly after, regaining first with a 1m49.520s, 0.596s quicker than Newey. Will Palmer meanwhile was improving and he slotted into third with a 1m50.026s. The trio traded times for the next couple of laps, with Ismail managing to maintain his advantage over the HHC Motorsport drivers and by the halfway stage of the session he had lowered his best lap to a 1m49.293s.

Improvements further down the field came from Ngebulana who, for a brief period, claimed the fifth fastest time and Tom Jackson, who moved into fourth. Palmer then set his personal best time to move into second, falling an agonising tenth of a second short of overhauling Ismail. The Chris Dittmann Racing man went quicker once more however and opened up the gap to 0.210s, with a lap time of 1m49.147s.

With five minutes left on the clock, personal bests became rarer and soon the red flags were flying around the circuit due to the stricken 23 Racing car of James Reveler. With two and a half minutes remaining, the chequered flag dropped to a bring a premature halt to qualifying and help Omar Ismail secure his maiden BRDC Formula 4 pole position.

Behind the front three of Ismail, Palmer and Newey, Tom Jackson claimed fourth with Fernando Urrutia a strong fifth for Douglas Motorsport. The top-10 was rounded out by Jack Bartholomew, Ciaran Haggerty, Rodrigo Fonseca, Sisa Ngebulana and Chris Mealin.

Duo BRDC Formula 4 Championship - Snetterton - Qualifying

1. Omar Ismail, Chris Dittmann Racing, 1m49.147s
2. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, +0.210s
3. Harri Newey, HHC Motorsport, +0.413s
4. Tom Jackson, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.086s
5. Fernando Urrutia, Douglas Motorsport, +1.175s
6. Jack Bartholomew, Lanan Racing, +1.423s
7. Ciaran Haggerty, Ecurie Ecosse/GBR, +1.433s
8. Rodrigo Fonseca, Lanan Racing, +1.448s
9. Sisa Ngebulana, HHC Motorsport, +1.455s
10. Chris Mealin, Lanan Racing, +1.502s
11. Michael O'Brien, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.554s
12. Jordan Albert, SWR, +1.707s
13. Zubair Hoque, SWR, +1.802s
14. Jack Lang, Lang Sport/Gorse Motors, +2.043s
15. Ameya Vaidyanathan, Hillspeed, +2.352s
16. Akhil Rabindra, Douglas Motorsport, +2.368s
17. Marc Gonzalez, SWR, +3.228s
18. Faisal Al Zubair, Hillspeed, +3.684s
19. James Reveler, 23 Racing, +4.090s
20. Joe Stables, JR Racing, +6.036s

Race one begins at 14:35pm and you can keep up to date with all the action in real-time with live timing and updates on the official Formula 4 website here.