Joel Granfors storms to British F4 podium return
- Swede scores double podium in competitive Knockhill showing
- Fortec racer underlines pace with Motul Fastest Lap Award
Joel Granfors delivered his most competitive performance so far in the F4 British Championship with a commanding double podium at Knockhill this weekend, coming within half a second of his first victory.
Granfors was on strong form throughout the meeting at Scotland’s national motorsport arena, topping the times in Friday practice and then lapping just 0.013s off a maiden F4 pole in qualifying.
Lining up on the front row of the grid for both the first and third race of the triple-header meeting, Granfors maintained second place throughout both contests, putting eventual winner Matias Zagazeta under constant pressure.
The Swede came particularly close to a maiden win in Sunday’s concluding Race 3, where he was able to position his Fortec car within a matter of tenths behind his Peruvian rival while setting a series of fastest laps.
Zagazeta held firm, however, with Granfors eventually crossing the line just half a second in arrears of the Argenti driver.
“It’s great to be back on the podium, and those were two intense races trying to force Matias into a mistake,” says Joel Granfors. “I felt we had a pace advantage, especially in Race 3, but he drove well under the pressure and it’s hard to overtake around here. We can still be pleased with two second places, and we’re getting closer to that first win.”
In the intermediate Race 2, featuring a reversed grid, Granfors was forced to retire as a mid-race clash brought down the curtain on a strong drive from the last row.
The Swede had battled his way into the top ten thanks to some committed overtaking moves when he came up behind Argenti’s Eduardo Coseteng, only for the duo to make contact and spin off in synchronized fashion. Granfors was able to recover from the gravel traps, but his Fortec machine had sustained race-ending damage and he retired in the pits.
Thanks to his runner-up finishes in Race 1 and Race 3, however, Granfors now moves back into the top five in the overall standings, sitting fifth with exactly half the season completed.
“We’ve had a really competitive weekend, with an important breakthrough in qualifying – where, ironically, I think we still lost two possible wins,” Granfors concludes. “Those 13 thousandths of a second meant the difference between pole and second place, and given how close the races turned out, I think track position proved crucial. Small margins, but very happy overall and I think we have every reason to be optimistic going forward.”
The next round of the F4 British Championship takes place at Thruxton in two weeks’ time (28-29 August). The Hampshire track also staged the opening round of the campaign, with Joel Granfors scoring another double podium back then.
F4 British Championship
After 5/10 rounds
1: Matthew Rees (GBR), 167 p.
2: James Hedley (GBR), 162 p.
3: Matias Zagazeta (PER), 144 p.
4: McKenzy Cresswell (GBR), 131 p.
5: Joel Granfors (SWE), 108 p.