Priaulx Enjoys Sensational Podium Return At Snetterton
Sebastian Priaulx has kicked off the second half of his maiden F4 British Championship season in style with a sensational pair of second place finishes at Snetterton this weekend (28/29 July). The 1st Central Insurance driver enjoyed a fantastic return to action following the five week summer break, with a tremendous performance seeing him bounce back from a difficult qualifying session to record the third and fourth podium finishes of his F4 career so far. Priaulx headed into the meeting in a buoyant mood following a positive two day test at Snetterton earlier this month, and his confidence was boosted further by some tremendous pace during official Friday practice, with the Guernseyman ending the day second fastest overall. It unfortunately didn't go his way in qualifying on Saturday however, with Priaulx missing out on the peak of his tyres as he posted the eighth quickest time, which secured him a fourth row start for the first and third races of the weekend. The Ravenscroft supported racer wasn't phased by that however and a great start to the opening encounter saw him rise to fifth place on the opening lap alone, before an incident ahead on lap three secured him another position. Right onto the tail of the podium contenders, Priaulx would benefit from further drama in front of him over the next few laps to rise to a brilliant second place, which he would maintain to the chequered flag for a richly-deserved return to the podium. That result secured the seventeen year old fifth on the reverse grid for race two, but once again he would make immediate progress on the opening lap as he slipped into second place through the Wilson hairpin for the first time. Priaulx got his head down and posted a run of consistently quick lap-times as he almost halved the race leader’s initial two second advantage, holding the fastest lap for the majority of the race as he edged clear of the pack behind. While a challenge for the race win was unfortunately out of his grasp, Priaulx would complete a truly faultless performance by bringing his Arden Motorsport machine home in second, a result which capped off a fantastic day of racing. The final race of the weekend took place on Sunday afternoon in front of a huge trackside crowd and the live ITV4 television cameras, with Priaulx determined to put on a show as he looked to battle through from eighth on the grid. It unfortunately proved to be a bruising affair though, with a dramatic clash on the pit-straight sending him airborne briefly and leading to damage to his car. With his chances of making progress therefore hampered, a mature drive would see him pick up a seventh place finish. That result coupled with a great points haul from his two podium finishes has maintained Priaulx’s top six championship standing heading into the next rounds of the championship at Rockingham in Corby in two weeks’ time (11/12 August). Sebastian Priaulx: “We worked hard over the summer break to put ourselves in the best position possible for the second half of the season and it’s fantastic to see all that effort come to fruition this weekend with a return to the podium. “Qualifying didn’t go my way, but to be able to come back from that and fight through to second in both the first two races was awesome. It all clicked for us with our race pace this weekend and I really enjoyed battling through the field. “Race three was a shame, the early contact knocked out the tow on the car and I couldn’t do much from there. That doesn’t take away from a great weekend though and we’ve picked up a really good points haul for the championship.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.