- Fortec Motorsport seal inaugural GB4 Championship title in Derby
- Nikolas Taylor takes the Drivers’ Championship with yet more podiums
- Carl Bennett makes debut alongside Taylor and Jessica Edgar
Fortec Motorsport could celebrate a fantastic title win in the maiden GB4 Championship with MSVR season at Donington Park last weekend (15/16 October) as Nikolas Taylor brought home the Drivers’ Championship.
The Daventry squad entered the final meeting in the driving seat for the title and also had the Teams’ Championship well within their crosshairs heading to the 2.4-mile Donington Park GP loop in Leicester, a circuit they were successful at in the back end of May.
With nine wins to his name from 21 races run prior to the season finale, Anglo-Malaysian rookie Taylor knew that a solid weekend would be enough to guarantee the team title success, but he endured a scare in qualifying when he left the circuit on a greasy surface when in the fight for pole position on Saturday morning.
The Fortec Motorsport squad did wonders to repair the car in time for the first of three races, Taylor starting third on the grid where he was also joined by Fortec team-mate Jessica Edgar (P11) and newcomer Carl Bennett (P13) making his series debut.
Taylor would put behind him any concerns by challenging pole-sitter Tom Mills into Redgate for the first time in a bid to snatch the lead, but settled into a safe second place which he held onto comfortably to the chequered flag to increase his points lead heading into the final two races of the weekend.
Needing to finish no lower than eighth to confirm the crown, Taylor found himself in the thick of a manic race two battle in tricky conditions. Fighting with Tom Mills in a thrilling first lap that saw the pair swap places three times, Taylor was squeezed out in a three-abreast move at the Melbourne hairpin to fall to fourth, and then to seventh briefly after contact exiting Redgate from a hard defence by Will MacIntyre.
Recovering to sixth place, an incident ahead promoted him to fourth and released a safety car that would end the race prematurely, giving Taylor the result he needed to confirm the Fortec Motorsport driver as Drivers’ Champion.
Bennett climbed a spot on his debut race on Saturday to surpass Fortec team-mate Edgar, both looking towards Sunday as they added impressive finishes of ninth and eighth respectively in race two as Edgar climbed up to as high as sixth following a fine opening lap.
Rookie Bennett took pole for race three with Edgar two spots behind, and they both battled hard inside the top 10 ealy on with Edgar in particular battling up to second on lap one. Holding a podium finish for much of the race on the restart, she would be pushed down to seventh at the flag while Taylor charged forward from 11th on the grid to a brilliant third place, passing Max Marzorati in a bold late move. Bennett finished in 12th to conclude his learning weekend.
In the Teams’ Championship meanwhile, Fortec Motorsport put up a strong fight all weekend but would have to settle for third spot in the final table, denying them a spectacular double title triumph to cap off a fine maiden year in the GB4 Championship.
Oliver Dutton, Team Manager said:
“It’s a massive achievement to come into a new series and take the championship on your first attempt, and Nikolas definitely deserved it after a superb season. To take nine wins along the way showed just what a fast kid he is, and although it was tense and tricky at times it’s been the perfect end result. Jessica and Carl have been learning all the time and the speed improvements were showing by the end of the season for Jessica which was encouraging for her at such a young age. We can celebrate and look forward to next year now.”
#17 Jessica Edgar
“It was a good finish to the season, and we did a good job at the start of the final race to get up into second place before we got knocked back. I was in third for most of the race so we did quite well, and as the season went on we got quicker. It’s been a learning year for my first full season in cars and at Brands we did well in the wet.”
#32 Carl Bennett
“I’ve been improving my technique this weekend and I think that if you look at my session times across the weekend, I’ve been getting quicker each time I went out which was the point of the weekend for me learning a new car. The team have been great and listened to all my feedback and trying to improve each time we go out on track, so they’ve made me feel comfortable to focus on being fast.”
#66 Nikolas Taylor
“I’m over the moon, and it hadn’t sunk in really. It’s a shame we won it behind the safety car in fourth, but all the hard work we’ve done as a team has paid off. At the start of the season we had raw pace, and we’ve carried that on all the way through. I was a bit nervous here at first but we got it done. My brother has given up a lot, I don’t know what to say, I mean, to be there most of the time, my family, my mum and dad, I’m glad they were here.”