Devlin DeFrancesco is confident of going well in the final round of the F4 British Championship at Brands Hatch (October 1-2) and refuses to rule out his title chances.
The 16-year-old heads into the season finale 49 points adrift from the championship leader, but believes that his Carlin car will be well-suited to the GP layout at Brands and give him a chance to close the gap.
“There’s still 75 points left,” said Devlin. “It might seem like a long shot for the title, but we’ve just got to take our chances this weekend. The car should go well around here, I haven’t been in a single-seater at this track before, but have had experience in Ginettas and it’s a place I enjoy driving at.
“It isn’t as power-dependant as Silverstone, especially with the quick corners around the back section. It reminds me of Oulton Park a lot, it’s quite a balls-to-the-wall circuit and there’s really no room for error.”
The Canadian hasn’t had much time to rest this year having competed in both the British and Italian championships, as well as a cameo appearance in the German F4 series, but he’s hoping to end this year on a high.
“I’ve had some great moments in my busy debut single-seaters season,” recalled the Carlin youngster. “The aim is obviously to end on a high note. To get a couple of victories at the final round would be fantastic and when you’re in a team like I’m in you head to every track expecting to be right at the front.
“If you look back through the year – winning at Oulton, as well as two front-row starts and a victory at Croft – this kind of gives you an indication of what we expect to achieve at Brands. You never know though, we just have to wait and see.”
Having had no prior F4 experience at the Kent circuit, Devlin will be spending some time in the simulator to find the base set-up.
“When you head to a track like this – which doesn’t have any testing because of noise restrictions – I normally spend a day in the simulator,” Devlin continued. “This way we can get into a bit of a rhythm ahead of free practice and understand what it is we need to do. I wouldn’t say it’s a hindrance because a lot of people are also here for the first time, you just have to get on with it!”
With the season drawing to a close, attention will soon be turning to next year, but Devlin insisted that he is just focused on the weekend ahead.
“We have options for 2017, but my main goal is just about the final for now, then we’ll have a little rest before sitting down to discuss our options.”
Schedule of events – British F4 Championship, Round 10, Brands Hatch
Saturday 1st October: Qualifying at 11:35, Race 1 at 16:20.
Sunday 2nd October: Race 2 at 10:00, Race 3 at 15:42.