Devlin DeFrancesco (CAN) Ford British F4
DEVLIN KEEPS CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES ALIVE AFTER KNOCKHILL WEEKEND
August 17, 2016

Devlin DeFrancesco added a ninth F4 British Championship podium to his 2016 tally in Knockhill (August 13-14) and moved up to third in the standings, despite a weekend of highs and lows.

The Carlin driver qualified in seventh, after challenging conditions produced a mixed-up grid for the first race at the Fyfe circuit.

The 16-year-old got off to a fantastic start managed to pass two drivers immediately after an early Safety Car period to move into a podium-scoring position. The Canadian went on to cross the line in third, claiming his fifth consecutive finish on the rostrum in the process.

“Qualifying was a little frustrating, the track started drying halfway through the session and we made the tyre change too late, so I was only able to get one lap in on cold slicks,” Devlin said. “Race One went really well for me though, I made some good overtakes and felt that I could have challenged for the win had things gone differently in qualifying. It was my ninth podium in the last 19 races as well, which I’m really happy about.”

Race Two saw Devlin locked in a battle for the final podium spot with an out of position Jamie Caroline and fellow Carlin driver Petru Florescu. Unfortunately, the two team-mate tangled and both crashed out of the race.

Afterwards, Florescu expressed his frustration by physically confronting Devlin, which resulted in the Romanian’s exclusion from the meeting and promoted Devlin to second in Race One.

“I had another good start in Race Two, but found it really difficult to get past Jamie as he was weaving about defending on the straight,” Devlin explained. “I felt he should have taken the penalty during the race, that way none of this would have happened. The contact was unfortunate and obviously Petru wasn’t happy about it, but sometimes these things happen and we have to try and forget about this.”

Gearbox issues – which were inevitable considering the damage done to the car in Race Two – caused Devlin to drop down the order in the final race of the day, but he was still able to challenge in the lower reaches of the top 10. He managed to salvage a ninth place that could prove crucial at the end of the season and keeps his championship hopes alive with three meetings to go.

“The team did such a great job to get the car prepared for the final race,” said Devlin. “I didn’t have a great start and we dropped down the order a bit. We had a little bit of a gearbox issue, but the consolation is that we were still able to get some points on the board.”

“Now we’re third in the standings and 18 points behind the championship leader, however with over 200 points still up for grabs, the title is far from over! I’ll continue to push and won’t give up, last weekend was a bit of a setback but we had very strong pace as ever and I know we can go on to win the title.”

Rockingham is next up on the F4 British Championship calendar for Devlin and it’s a track the Canadian is confident he will again be in contention.

“We have good pace at Rockingham, I’m looking forward to be fighting right at the front again,” Devlin said. “It’s going to be a tight one, but I’m confident of getting some good points.”