TRS Arden made a strong start to its 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford campaign at Brands Hatch Indy circuit. Alex Quinn and Oscar Piastri both finished on the podium following an enthralling battle for victory with eventual race winner Jamie Caroline. The three drivers were covered by one second as the chequered flag fell. 0.290s was all that separated Quinn from the win.
Despite missing out on victory Quinn set the fastest lap, a time of 46.325s, in his pursuit of the top step of the podium. He brilliantly showcased the pace of his the TRS Arden-prepared car, which was further underlined by Piastri recording a podium in only his first British F4 race.
Ayrton Simmons was involved in a thrilling tussle for sixth; mounting a concerted attack for much of the race on Billy Monger who had managed to get past him on the opening lap.
Despite Simmons’ best efforts, sixth evaded him, but a reverse gird pole for race two gave him a fantastic opportunity to claim his maiden British F4 victory.
Yves Baltas qualified in the top 10 and showcased his race craft in an entertaining wheel-to-wheel battle with three other drivers in a bid for the final points paying position, ultimately finishing 13th.
The TRS Arden quartet are back in action on Sunday with the second round of the season getting underway at 1040, followed by the final race of the weekend which will be televised live on ITV4 at 1620. It will see Oscar Piastri start from the front row in the quest for his maiden British F4 win.
Alex Quinn: “It was so close. In the last few laps Oscar and I were really pressuring Caroline. We definitely looked after our tyres better than the others. I’m happy with second and I know after today that we can push for wins. I was confident before, but now even more so. Even things like starts which I struggled with this time last year; I had a great one today and made up a place.”
Oscar Piastri: “We built a great gap to the chasing pack and it’s brilliant to start the season with a podium. I wasn’t quite close enough to Alex to make a pass, but he was so fast which is underlined by his fastest lap. With both of us on the podium it’s a fantastic start to the season for the team and we can build on this.”
Ayrton Simmons: “I lost a bit of ground at the start, losing a position to Monger. Once my tyres came up to temperature I was catching him at a rate of three tenths per lap. Although I wasn’t able to overtake Monger, the team told me that I was on course for pole in the reverse grid race so I relaxed a little after that and focused on bringing home some strong points for the championship. Today was Alex and Oscar’s day. Hopefully tomorrow will be mine!”
Yves Baltas: “I wasn’t able to push at my maximum in qualifying when it mattered because I didn’t quite get the tyres up to the optimum temperature. My first British F4 race was so fun and exciting though. I’m a little disappointed I didn’t finish in the points, but other than that everything was great. I keep learning and I know I can keep improving. I have plenty to build on after today and I will only get stronger as the season progresses.”
Ben Bloomfield, TRS Arden team manager: “I think if the race had been a couple of laps longer we might have had a different order on the podium. It’s an excellent start to the season for the team and more importantly points means prizes later in the year. We’re going to keep pushing though. I want us to win races and the main trophies. I’m really happy. It’s great for Alex and great for Oscar to be on the podium in his first race. Ayrton starts from pole in race two so I think we’ve got a very good chance because he’s got the pace. Yves has kept telling me how he can race and we’ve definitely seen some race craft from him today. He’s got a steep learning curve ahead, but he’s giving it everything and I know he’s going to go from strength to strength. “