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Wins for Scott and Barnicoat as new F4 car debuts at Snetterton

Saturday, November 07 2015

The Duo BRDC Formula 4 Autumn Trophy got underway at Snetterton today (November 7) with a high-quality grid of drivers fighting it out across two races. Douglas Motorsport's Harrison Scott and Fortec Motorsports Ben Barnicoat shared the spoils as the all new Tatuus-Cosworth was given its race debut in Norfolk.

Scott, who claimed this year's Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Rookie Championship title, claimed pole position for race one in a wet 20-minute qualifying session. The Autumn Trophy field took to the 300 circuit shod on wet Pirelli tyres as the morning rain continued to fall. Times tumbled throughout the session as Scott set the initial pace, but HHC Motorsport's Sennan Fielding grabbed provisional pole with just under five minutes left in the session.

Scott fought back however and the 19-year-old snatched pole position with a lap time of 2m05.929s, with Hillspeed's Struan Moore joining him on the front-row courtesy of a great lap at the death. Fielding settled for third with Barnicoat starting fourth ahead of Ameya Vaidyanathan, Sisa Ngebulana and Faisal Al Zubair.

Starting from pole position in race one, Scott made a clean getaway and led into the first corner. Moore lost a place to Barnicoat as Fielding bogged down and dropped to the back of the field. HHC Motorsport's Ngebulana, having made the best start to rise from sixth to fourth, then attacked Moore and claimed third. Fielding meanwhile was beginning his recovery drive to take sixth from Omani racer Al Zubair before Ngebulana continued his charge to move into second, after Barnicoat suffered an off and dropped to fourth.

Racing Steps Foundation driver Barnicoat closed on the back of Struan Moore for the final place on the podium though and, in the challenging conditions, contact was made between the pair with Barnicoat taking third place off his rival. That let Sennan Fielding get past Moore too and he moved up to fourth, with Jersey-based driver Moore being demoted to fifth. After the race, Barnicoat was adjudged to have been at fault for the incident and he was handed a 20-second time penalty which dropped him to fifth.

Scott saw the chequered flag 16.116s ahead of Ngebulana with Fielding completing the top-three. Despite his penalty, Barnicoat claimed the fastest lap which secured pole position for race two, with Scott joining him on the front-row.

As the lights went out to start race two, Barnicoat made a good start with Scott following him into the first turn, but Ngebulana made a poor getaway and dropped to the back of the field. Ngebulana's HHC Motorsport team-mate Fielding also endured a bad first lap and went straight on at Agostini to replace the South African at the tail of the grid.

Barnicoat and Scott traded fastest laps with the gap fluctuating from a high of 1.5s to a low of just over seven tenths of a second, as Ngebulana and Al Zubair enjoyed a good battle for fifth, with the HHC man eventually coming out on top. The rest of the field held station as Barnicoat and Scott disappeared into the distance, with Struan Moore a lonely third.

Heading on to the final lap, the order looked set but Barnicoat dropped time to Scott and the Douglas driver was soon crawling all over the back of the 18-year-old. Starting the last circuit, the gap was under two tenths of a second and Scott tried his best to get past but Barnicoat held on to take the win by just 0.361s. Struan Moore came home a distant third with his Hillspeed team-mate Vaidyanathan fourth, ahead of Ngebulana, Al Zubair and Fielding.

Speaking after the race, Barnicoat said: "The main thing after getting the race one penalty in difficult conditions, was that I kept my fastest lap and pole position. I knew the main thing was to make a good start which I did, but Harrison was very quick right behind me. Then with two laps to go, I'm not sure if my tyres went off as I was sliding and that allowed Harrison to close right up. I knew that if I could keep him behind in the key overtaking places then I would be ok and luckily I managed to hang on for the win. I want to say a big thanks to Fortec Motorsports and the Racing Steps Foundation."

The top-three were presented with their trophies on the podium by Duo Chief Executive Alex Moss. After two races, Harrison Scott leads the Trophy standings on 64 points, with Barnicoat 10 points adrift in second, with Ngebulana in third on 48 points.

Tomorrow (Sunday) sees another qualifying session followed by two races, with the action getting underway at 09:25.

Duo BRDC Formula 4 Autumn Trophy - Snetterton - Qualifying

1. Harrison Scott, Douglas Motorsport, 2m05.929s
2. Struan Moore, Hillspeed, +0.406s
3. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, +0.553s
4. Ben Barnicoat, Fortec Motorsports, +0.700s
5. Ameya Vaidyanathan, Hillspeed. +1.108s
6. Sisa Ngebulana, HHC Motorsport, +3.282s
7. Faisal Al Zubair, Fortec Motorsports, +4.108s

Duo BRDC Formula 4 Autumn Trophy - Snetterton - Race One

1. Harrison Scott, Douglas Motorsport, 10 Laps
2. Sisa Ngebulana, HHC Motorsport, +16.116s
3. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, +21.574s
4. Struan Moore, Hillspeed, +35.869s
5. Ben Barnicoat, Fortec Motorsports, +38.502s
6. Faisal Al Zubair, Fortec Motorsports, +46.998s
DNF. Ameya Vaidyanathan, Hillspeed, 4 Laps

Duo BRDC Formula 4 Autumn Trophy - Snetterton - Race Two

1. Ben Barnicoat, Fortec Motorsport, 10 Laps
2. Harrison Scott, Douglas Motorsport, +0.361s
3. Struan Moore, Hillspeed, +21.049s
4. Ameya Vaidyanathan, Hillspeed, +24.577s
5. Sisa Ngebulana, HHC Motorsport, +37.626s
6. Faisal Al Zubair, Fortec Motorsport, +49.765s
7. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, +52.665s