Fortec Motorsport heads to Snetterton, Norfolk this weekend [20-21 May] looking to use its first ‘Gen 2’ win in the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA as a springboard to further success.
The Daventry-based team was one of the most successful teams in the first-generation era of Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series and has wasted little time in scaling similar heights in its first full campaign under the series’ new regulations, introduced in 2022.
British ace James Higgins led expertly from lights-to-flag in the ITV4-televised finale to the weekend to score his and the team’s first triumph of the new ‘Gen 2’ era, moving the 17-year-old up to second outright in the standings.
It marked a first career landmark in single seaters for the latest protégé to join Fortec’s renowned driver development programme, which has a number of the sport’s leading lights in recent years, including Charles Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo, Stoffel Vandoorne, Sam Bird and Marcus Ericsson, among others.
On a silverware-laden weekend, Alpine F1 junior Aiden Neate also took a second podium finish in successive meetings and is among the household names likely to feature in a starring role around Snetterton’s 300 circuit this weekend.
The 3-mile venue represents one of the most ‘complete’ challenges on the calendar for the team’s rising stars, with flowing, high-speed technical sections juxtaposed with long straights and ample overtaking spots – most notably into the Wilson Hairpin, Agostini and at the end of Bentley Straight.
A single mistake can set the car off-line for several corners afterwards, putting concentration and consistency up there with raw speed in order to achieve a successful weekend.
That will be no more evident than during qualifying, which kicks off the competitive action at 13:00 (BST) on Saturday afternoon. The first of three races follows at 17:00 the same day, with two further contests at 12:05 and 16:25 on Sunday, live on ITV4.
James Higgins (#18) said:
“I’m really looking forward to Snetterton this weekend, especially on the back of my first win last time out.
“The team and I are already hard at work to make sure we carry forward the momentum from that result, and hopefully it’ll be the same again as we look to close the gap to the championship leader.”
Aiden Neate (#57) said:
“I’m really looking forward to getting to Snetterton this weekend, and to make some amends. As a team so far this season, we’ve showed some really strong pace, and had some very good results, but there is even more to come.
“I know it will all come together for us soon, and I’m excited for that to happen. My first test day with Fortec was actually at Snetterton during pre-season, and we were quick right out of the box, so I’m confident we’ll be in a good place again this weekend.”
Oliver Dutton, Team Principal said:
“Everybody loves that winning feeling, but as a team the important thing leaving Brands Hatch, for us, was to ensure we keep that positivity ticking along to Snetterton this weekend.
“With 30 races, it’s such a long season, and the importance of momentum, and striking whilst you have it, cannot be understated.
“It’s a sport of highs and lows, so we need to make sure we continue to chip away at the championship lead whilst we’re enjoying one of those highs.
“Snetterton has been a good circuit for us in the past, so all the ingredients are there for us to enjoy another strong weekend. Qualifying has been our Achilles heel a bit this year, so if we can get that sorted and start on the front foot, we know we have the pace in race trim to manage the races from there.”