Fortec Motorsport’s front-running pace was blighted by bad luck as the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA returned to action at Croft last weekend [29-30 July].
Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series returned to action after a five-week summer hiatus at the Yorkshire venue, with Fortec’s duo of James Higgins and Mika Abrahams looking to cash in on promising performances of late, and add to the team’s extensive silverware haul thus far in 2023.
Straight out of the box, both rising stars were immediately on the pace, with Abrahams in particular making good on his recent progress – despite a relative lack of testing to the competition – to get up inside the top three during FP2.
That pace translated to qualifying, with Higgins scoring another front row start in P2, and Abrahams a season-best seventh to build a platform for the team to bank some serious points in race trim.
The two held station in the opening contest, Higgins banking his fourth podium of the campaign in second. Abrahams was able to hold his own up front, the South African teenager taking the flag in seventh.
Abrahams’ progress in recent rounds was clear for all to see, and the 15-year-old featured prominently in the reverse grid race. Having gained four spots, and rising to tenth, an ambitious move from another car halted his charge, and left the #29 was damage.
Abrahams was still able to salvage P13, one position behind Higgins, up six places from his starting berth at the back.
Unfortunately, Sunday’s ITV4-televised finale to the weekend would end in disappointment for the pair, as both were taken out at Clervaux on the opening lap in other car’s incidents.
Despite the frustration of Race 3, the net result of the team’s performance over the weekend has kept the team a solid third in the Teams Cup, with the series heading next to Knockhill, Fife over the weekend of 12-13 August.
James Higgins (#18) said:
“We showed strong pace all weekend at Croft, and it was good to get another podium finish.
“Unfortunately, a good result was taken away from us in the last race through no fault of my own, but we’ll work hard to come back stronger.”
Mika Abrahams (#29) said:
“In many ways, a weekend to forget. We had good pace, shown by my results in practice, then qualifying, and I was able to convert that into good points in the opening race.
“Unfortunately, I was taken out by an ambitious lunge in the reverse grid race, having made good progress and gained four positions from the start, so that was 4 points for overtaking that were taken away.
“And then, in Race 3, it all ended with a shunt at Turn 1. It’s a lot to take in, but I know fundamentally now that the pace to compete at the front is there, and we can only go up as a team from here.
“Thanks to everybody at Fortec Motorsport for the hard work and support over the weekend.”
Oliver Dutton, Team Principal said:
“This weekend is definitely one for the “frustrating” category – both guys had fantastic pace, and definitely deserved to take more away from Croft.
“Of course, the podium and points in the first race are a positive, and we have to focus on that bit, rather than the incidents, neither of which the guys could particularly have done anything about.
“James is absolutely a fixture at the front now, and I’m sure he’ll have a strong end to the season, and Mika has developed superbly in such a short space of time. I’m really excited to see what he can achieve between now and the end of the season.
“Onwards and upwards to Knockhill, which is a circuit we’ve gone well at in the past, so let’s see what we can do.”