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Latvia’s Lijcs wins UIM F4 Round 3 at Rother Valley

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As if you needed any further proof that the UIM F4 World Championships is perhaps one of the most keenly fought for titles in circuit racing, then the results of todays third round of the series will most probably provide it.

UIM Formula 4 World Championship Round 3

As if you needed any further proof that the UIM F4 World Championships is perhaps one of the most keenly fought for titles in circuit racing, then the results of todays third round of the series will most probably provide it.

Round Three certainly provided a few surprises, the first being the result of the F4 Shoot Out, when much to the delight of his WMT sponsors, Britain’s Jonny Brewer claimed pole position in his first ever international F4 Grand Prix.

A lap time of 40.86 seconds on his second run was quick enough to put him ahead of the championship leader Sweden’s Morgan Jernfast.

With the autumn sun beginning its slow decent on the opposite side of the valley, the eleven drivers set off on their twenty-lap race and it was Jernfast that made the best start.

As he reached the first turn he left enough space for Brewer to take the pin, unfortunately though the British racer overshot the turn and T-boned the Swede (above).

In the confusion that followed Nikita Lijcs took the lead, followed by Britain’s Ben Jelf.

Brewer and Jernfast did manage to get going again, all be it now down in the middle of the pack.

Out in front Lijcs had started to pull ahead of Jelf, much to the relief of his Latvian pit crew who had be working tirelessly on fixing his engine issues that had seen him struggle throughout the opening rounds in Italy.

Jelf meanwhile had Tuukka Lehtonen for company and the Finnish driver was beginning to make in-roads into Jelf’s lead.

Tuukka Lehtonen and Ben Jelf

Qualifying hadn’t gone well for the British driver when balance issues left him struggling with propeller choice.

Opting for one that would give him the acceleration he needed meant that with not much top end speed he was beginning to fall into the clutches of Lehtonen:

I went for one that would go well in the rough because that was what the conditions had been for most of the day, then it flattened out and I knew I would have my work cut out holding off Lehtonen.

The Finnish driver was now having the opposite problems as each time he tried to get by Jelf he had to back off for the turns allowing Jelf to pull ahead again:

On two occasions I thought I would pass him, but the prop I went for just didn’t do the job, plus the back markers today certainly didn’t help.

Following the Finnish racer were the French drivers Rudy Revert and Quentin Dailly battling hard for fourth place and more crucial championship points.

Tucked in behind them was a bitterly disappointed Jernfast who knew that any hope of maintaining his championship lead by the time the chequered flag had come out had already gone.

Aiming his frustration at Brewer, Jernfast said:

He’s destroyed my championship, advantage to Lehtonen.
I got the start we had been working really hard for and I made sure I left him with plenty of space at the turn.
Thank goodness there is qualifying once again tomorrow for Round Four because with the low amount of points I got today it means that I will now need to win the remaining rounds and to do that you need to be on pole.

Following the race Brewer received two yellow cards from the UIM Sports Commissioner for ‘clear and dangerous driving’.

Race winner Nikita Lijcs

As the victorious Lijcs made his way back to the pits he felt a mixture of surprise and relief:

This certainly makes up for Barcis so let’s hope I finish every race from now on like I did today.

UIM Formula 4 World Championship Round 3 Results

1st)  Nikita Lijcs LAT
2nd) Ben Jelf GBR 0:07:77
3rd) Tuukka Lehtonen FIN 0:11:41
4th) Rudy Revert FRA 0:19:36
5th) Quentin Dailly FRA 0:27:06
6th) Morgan Jernfast SWE 0:29:58
7th) Paulius Stainys LTU 0:33:23
8th) Jonny Brewer GBR 0:34:56
9th) Attila Horvath HUN L1
10th) Leon King GBR L2
11th) Sam Coleman GBR L2

Qualifying for the F4 Grand Prix starts at 13:40 with the race taking place at Rother Valley Country Park at 17:00.

Prize giving for all classes will then follow at 17:45.

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Chris Davies

Chris Davies ARPS, has been photographing and writing about powerboat racing since 1987.

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