Positive end at Brands Hatch Grand Prix
Rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the Duo BRDC Formula 4 Championship at Brands Hatch GP ended on something of a high for Lanan Racing's Jack Bartholomew, Rodrigo Fonseca and Chris Mealin.
All three finished inside the top seven of the third and final race of the weekend after challenging weekends.
It was Bartholomew, from Lewes, East Sussex, who took the best result of the weekend on his first visit to the Grand Prix circuit. He secured fourth place in round 18, while Fonseca and Mealin claimed sixth and seventh.
Mealin, from the Isle of Man, had pole for race two having finished eighth in race one from 14th on the grid, but a mis-judged start demoted him to eighth after a post-race 10-second penalty. The early championship leader led the race from lights to flag, crossing the line almost a second clear. The penalty moved Mexican Fonseca up to fifth place, after he had rounded out the top 10 in race one. Bartholomew came home 11th to follow up a non-finish in race one.
Bartholomew, 16, said: "This was my first time here so I'm pretty happy to get one of my best results on a track I don't know. But, it was a tough weekend. Race three was obviously good, it was a bit of damage limitation. The pace wasn't quite there so it was down to me to hang on, keep it on the road and try and get as many points as possible. It's great to finish a tough weekend on a positive note."
Mealin, 21, said: "I raced here in Formula Ford so I knew the circuit to a certain extent but I've never raced on it with any real downforce, especially out the back where you really use it. In a way that put me on the back foot so I was building my confidence through the weekend. Starting down in 14th in the first, I just had to attack to get up to eighth. Then from pole I just jumped the start but I led from lights-to-flag comfortably, including on the restart. Pace-wise it's there, it was just unfortunate. I didn't get the best of starts for race three but kept it together and my tyres started to go off towards the end. I just focused on bringing the car home and collecting the points."
Fonseca, 19, said: "It was a tough weekend and wasn't the best. We learned a lot and we know we still have a lot to work on but I think we will get a better result at Snetterton in a few weeks."
Fonseca heads to Snetterton in three weeks' time in second place in the championship standings. Mealin and Batholomew lie in seventh and eighth.