Joel Granfors hoping for high-speed Midsummer celebrations
- Swedish national festivities coincide with round three of British F4
- Qualifying expected to be key at intense Brands Hatch Indy circuit
On a weekend when Sweden will be celebrating its annual Midsummer festivities, the country’s latest racing export Joel Granfors will hope to be in particularly jubilant mode as he contests round three of the F4 British Championship at Brands Hatch.
The Fortec Motorsport youngster enters the weekend sitting fourth in the championship standings – the top non-Brit – after scoring a double podium at the season-opener at Thruxton and then taking his first Motul Fastest Lap Award last time out at Snetterton.
While Granfors has delivered strong race performances so far in his first international single-seater season, he has been forced to do so with combative drives from the midfield – as entertaining as they have been – after a couple of less-than-ideal qualifying showings.
As the F4 fraternity heads into round three, qualifying is likely to be even more critical on this occasion, with action playing out around the short and intense 1.9 km Brands Hatch Indy circuit south of London.
Brands Hatch: track info
Featuring very limited overtaking opportunities, with races often won at the first corner, starting position is king at the Kent venue – possibly more so than at any other track on the schedule.
”Qualifying will be crucial this weekend, and I’d say it’s probably the most important qualifying session of the year,” predicts Joel Granfors. “It’s a small, short track with no real straights, so overtaking is very difficult. It takes a mistake from the driver in front to get ahead, so starting high up the order will be key.”
Together, Granfors and his Fortec engineers have been working to analyse and improve their one-lap situation since the previous round.
“Qualifying hasn’t been our strong point so far this year, so that’s an area we need to improve, but we’ve got a couple of ideas to try out that will hopefully change that,” Joel Granfors explains. “For me personally, I will approach the first part of the weekend a bit differently, too, being slightly more on the attack in the early sessions to get more quickly up to speed. We think and hope that we are on the right path and I’m very excited to head back out on track on Friday.”
F4 activity at Brands Hatch begins on Friday with a pair of 45-minute practice sessions, followed by qualifying and the first of the weekend’s three races on Saturday. Race 2 and Race 3 round out the event on Sunday.
In a small change to the regular event format, Race 1 will be the full reverse-grid race on this occasion rather than Race 2. This is due to a tight turnaround between the two Sunday contests, narrowing the window for potential repairs.
Live timing, radio commentary and results are available throughout the meeting via links from www.joelgranfors.com.
How the grids will be set this weekend:
Race 1: full reversed grid based on drivers’ fastest qualifying lap
Race 2: drivers’ fastest qualifying lap
Race 3: drivers’ second-fastest qualifying lap
TIME TABLE – LOCAL TIME (UK)
F4 British Championship
Rd. 3 | Brands Hatch (Indy)
Friday 25 June
Free Practice 1: 12.05-12.50
Free Practice 2: 16.45-17.30
Saturday 26 June
Race 1: 15.50-16.10
Sunday 27 June
Race 2: 10.00-10.20
Race 3: 13.50-14.10
F4 British Championship
After 2/10 rounds
1: James Hedley (GBR), 85 p.
2: Matthew Rees (GBR), 60 p.
3: McKenzy Cresswell (GBR), 53 p.
4: Joel Granfors (SWE), 45 p.
5: Zak Taylor (GBR), 34 p.
View full standings