Joel Granfors powers to maiden Formula 4 victory
- Spectacular drive nets breakthrough British F4 triumph
- Saturday win backed up by Sunday podium
- Swede breaks Thruxton lap record
Joel Granfors scored a breakthrough first international single-seater victory with a storming drive at this weekend’s F4 British Championship round at Thruxton, underpinning his pace with a new lap record as he significantly closed the gap in the title race.
Granfors’ career milestone win came in the second race of the triple-header meeting, where the Fortec youngster battled through spectacularly from tenth on the fully-reversed grid.
Making up five places on the opening lap alone, Granfors quickly worked his way into the top five and then continued to pick off his rivals one by one until snatching the lead from JHR Development’s Abbi Pulling on lap nine.
Pulling fought back, with the pair even making contact on lap 13, but Granfors was able to maintain the lead in a race which saw the top six covered at one point by just 1.3 seconds in a sensational display.
“Wow! What a race, absolutely crazy,” says Joel Granfors. “I thought we were going to crash on the first lap already, going four-five wide through the Complex, but somehow I managed to get around all that and slot into P5. Then I pushed with all the pace I had and managed to take the lead. We’ve been working so hard for this, so I’m super happy – and big thanks to the guys on the team as well. Fantastic!”
After winning on Saturday, Granfors again featured prominently in Sunday’s concluding Race 3, going wheel-to-wheel with Fortec team-mate Oliver Gray into the very final corner of the very final lap battling over victory in yet another Thruxton thriller.
Granfors, however, was run wide over the exit kerbs, narrowly losing second place to Argenti driver Matias Zagazeta across the line.
Third place still marked the second podium of the weekend, and the fourth in the last six races for the on-form Swede.
Further underlining his pace, Granfors set the fastest lap of both Race 2 and Race 3, with his benchmark time in the latter – a 1m13.751s – representing a new British F4 lap record at the Hampshire track.
“We’re on a roll now,” Joel Granfors concludes. “We’ve had great pace again this weekend, like we did last time out at Knockhill, and come away from here with a win and a new lap record. It’s obviously good, but we need to press on. There are still things to improve and the competition is tough. We’re back in the fight, and we have to keep this momentum up in the coming races.”
The F4 British Championship resumes at Croft on September 17-19. Joel Granfors now moves up to fourth in the overall standings, having eradicated half of his deficit to the top of the table to now find himself just 32 points shy of championship leader Matthew Rees.
F4 British Championship
After 6/10 rounds
1: Matthew Rees (GBR), 187 p.
2: Matias Zagazeta (PER), 183 p.
3: James Hedley (GBR), 179 p.
4: Joel Granfors (SWE), 155 p.
5: McKenzy Cresswell (GBR), 143 p.